EA or REAAnswered
So, here's the situation. I am a rising senior and I have a good profile for t25 schools but I have to make a decision on whether i wanna go smart or go for the dream
Smart: i can go EA and apply to MIT, Caltech and UChicago
Dream: i can apply to Yale(my dream school) and only apply their as i need Financial aid and public schools don't have that available for internationals.
What is better and how to make this decision
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I am an international student myself so I hope I can help you, Whats the chance of you getting in Yale or the others?
Did you knew MIT is need blind for international students.
What mayor are you interested on?
The profile for and MITor Caltech student is kind of different than a Yale one, so where do you fit the most?
Personally ( I want to mayor in something related to social science) I will apply REA to Yale since it would increase my chances.
Hope this helps you!!
Congrats on picking 4 of the best schools in the country to apply to. To give you some context on informing your decision, here are my observations which are different than any other respondents.
1. From all the research I found, the EA/SCREA admit rates are the following for the last Class of 2025. UChicago- +/-6%, Caltech +/- 5%, Yale 10.54% (verified), MIT 4.78% (Verified). 5 cycles ago Yale was over 17% so that stat. info. is not germane.
2. The only reason I think Yale was higher than the other 3 is because of the following. Within the 10.54% SCREA acceptance pool contain the following groups: a.) Recruited Athletes (200 admits), b.) (30-40 admits) Development Candidates (rich donor family applicants), c.) Legacies (173 admits) d.) Children of Yale professors/employees (20 admits), and e.) Questbridge Match finalists (72 Admits) that were accepted. So if you factor these 5 groups out, my best guess is that the SCREA rate if you do not belong to these groups is no higher than 5% (I got 4.24%). Also, keep in mind that up to 80% of SCREA applicants were deferred to RD. So 10% were flat out rejected 80% deferred and 10% accepted.
3.) MIT historically has been 45% harder to get into for International students. And you can research and verify this on published MIT statistics of previous classes. Last year when the overall admit rate was 7.3%, the Int'l admit rate was 4%. This year the overall admit rate was 4.0% so it wouldn't surprise me if the Int'l admit rate dropped to 2.5%.
4.) All 4 schools you have listed meet 100% of the needs for Int'l applicants. The only caveat is that at CalTech you can only apply for financial aid under Regular Decision and not as a transfer or Early action.
5.) All 4 schools you have listed are Private Colleges, not Public Colleges.
6.) Yale, Harvard, and if Princeton brings back SCREA will mostly likely defer 75% of its applicants. So keep that in mind.
I recommend applying early only if your application has ZERO weakness in it because typically on the strongest applicants get in on the early round if they are not part of the groups I mentioned. If you are missing something like a test score or have a weakness in your ECs or course rigor or spotty grades the last year, it's very useful to use the extra semester of 12th grade to clean up that record and create the impression of an upward trajectory if you have some weaknesses. Whenever you are applying to colleges that have less than a 20% acceptance rate they all reach schools so I do not think I would use the word "smart" when describing apply to 3 of the hardest schools in America at the same time. I would say you are stacking the odds in your favor that 1 in 3 might work out for you versus just applying to Yale.
In this hypercompetitive upcoming admissions cycle, I fully expect more and more applicants to apply early to Ivys and Elites because like a Black Friday sale, no one wants to miss out on the Door Busters. But if you know this and more, perhaps it's time to think through your strategy more. There was a time 2 or 3 cycles back were applying Early may have given applicants a 2X or 3X advantage. I think those kinds of margins are only available these days at 2nd or 3rd tier schools like Colgate, Bryn Mawr, Smith, Wiliams, Amherst, Emory, Colorado College, BU, and BC, Vanderbilt, etc. Not all of these are great picks for Int'l students looking for FinAid. The spread between EA and RD at MIT was only 1.4% (4.8% vs 3.4%) and I imagine it was the same at CalTech.
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