6 months ago
Admissions Advice

Early action

hey everyone, so I've basically narrowed down my school list to a couple of schools but have a hard time deciding on what I apply for early action. 3 schools that I'm confused about are Stanford (hard target), MIT (target), and Caltech (target). Stanford has a restrictive early action which I'm thinking of applying for, which means I can apply for MIT and Caltech only for regular decision. the problem is that I think this is a little risky since all of these are competitive schools and I might get rejected from early action and regular decisions. Both Caltech and MIT have non-restrictive early actions which I can apply to which means Stanford goes to a regular decision which basically makes it even harder to get into, and there is still a chance I might get rejected from both schools in EA. I've planned all my transcripts and potential essays for Stanford since it is my first choice. Should I trust the chancing calculator and apply for RD at MIT and Caltech or play a little safer and EA at Caltech and MIT.

edit: just additional information that might help- I'm a comp sci major and most of my EC's are related to comp sci and I do have a couple of safeties in my list.

Stanford r-ea.
MIT and Caltech nr-ea
other (in comments)
Poll closed38 votes
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6 months ago[edited]

I don't think you can game the admissions process in the way you think because you are dealing with incomplete data. While we know that EA rates are 4.78% and RD rates are 3.4% for MIT, we don't know what the EA and RD rates for Stanford and Caltech were. I'm guessing that they were just as bad. Caltech only had 235-240 seats to fill and if they received 50% more applications this past cycle that would be 12000 applications for 500 admits assuming a 47% yield rate. Plus we know do know how many took a gap year at Caltech that is coming back. We do know that 378 or so Stanford Class of '24 took a gap year and they made special provisions to accommodate all of them this fall. But there is no public information on how this officially changed admit rates. Also, keep in mind that a large school like Stanford will give out 125 scholarships to recruited athletes, and perhaps another 100 to Questbridge and 18% of admits overall are legacy as well at Stanford.

This next cycle will be IMO worse because there will be an influx of Int'l students (mostly STEM) applying. They've been shut out of the market for 2 years because of Trump Immigration rules w/regards to COVID-19. I believe there will be panic shopping this ED, EA, SCREA season because now all the 11th, 12th graders know what happened the last cycle. They don't want that to happen to them. So the smart ones are going to be very strategic about where they apply early because admit rates will probably be lower. And they will have a longer list of schools to apply to for RD. MIT and Stanford were in my top 4 (targets), I didn't get accepted but I got into a 3.66% admit rate university and I'm very happy. There are no sure things so make plans to apply to more schools.

🎤6 months ago[edited]

Thank you for taking the time for this long answer, this cycle has been pretty stressful for all of us due to covid and the new administration. I do have a list of safties and state schools and my mother went to UPenn but I don't really want to apply there since it takes up the whole early action spot and is binding. I'm leaning towards applying for as many nr-ea as possible and leaving the hard targets to chance in RD, again thanks for the insight!


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