2 months ago
Admissions Advice

Would there be any reasons as to why you shouldn't apply Early Action?

Going into 12th grade

Trying to put together my different application deadlines

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
2 months ago

In addition to the factors already mentioned, one thing to take account of is whether a school is public or private. Contrary to what you might think, applying EA to a private school can insinuate that you have a good bit of interest in the school and therefore will be willing to pay more to get in. In this way, they might give you less merit aid than if you applied RD- so consider how much you want to get in/how much you'd be comfortable with potentially paying for before applying. If some of your private schools are more of a safety or backup option, RD might be best. Private schools have a lot of money to give. A lot of public schools won't give you much scholarship/merit aid to begin with, so it's not as much of a difference for them.

Also just a reminder to be cognizant of each school's procedures in that many require you to apply EA to be considered for different opportunities or in relation to your prospective major. For example Purdue has an EA deadline to be considered for the honors college and their full range of scholarships, as well as a hard cutoff for the veterinary nursing major and a priority application deadline (aka first come before the deadline, first serve) for multiple majors. So all this to say, make sure you're taking a look at each school's specific requirements so you're on the right path!

2 months ago

In the US, some students who are low-income high achieving skip ED, EA, and SCREA if they are working with community-based organizations like Questbridge or Posse and others who work directly with top research universities and liberal arts colleges. If you are chosen to be a Questbridge finalist, you are given the option of applying to up to 10 of their 45 partner schools at once. You have to rank them in your preference of attendance and if you are accepted you are obligated to attend that school. So if you pick Stanford, Caltech, MIT, Yale, Columbia, Brown, Princeton, Dartmouth, Cornell, Pomona, and you get matched with #4 choice Yale, you have to go to Yale. So for QB finalists, they don't have an EA option for Yale but I suppose they can always forgo the entire matching process and just apply to Yale SCREA instead.

One thing that should be mentioned is that at schools like Harvard or Yale, or MIT that had SCREA last cycle, it was evident that 75%-80% of the SCREA applicant pool was deferred into the RD pool. While 4.78%, 7.41%, and 10.54% did get accepted into MIT, Harvard, and Yale, 3/4 got bumped into the RD pool. This is something to consider. If you know you are not the strongest candidate for these schools, it would be a waste of time and effort to apply early because they are only going to select the strongest of the SCREA pool, to begin with. Plus you are competing with legacy, development, recruited athletes, staff kids, so the real admit rates were like maybe 4% for MIT and Harvard, and 7% for Yale (MIT doesn't recruit athletes or give legacy preferential treatment) So you might use the extra time to apply to more schools or pick a different ED or EA school to apply to versus top schools that are going to defer you anyway.

My last point is for US Students that had to receive Pass/Incompletes or Pass/Fail grades 1 or more semesters on their official transcripts. I know that had I received letter grades during COVID my WGPA would be bumped up by a 1/10th from 4.30 to 4.40 after junior year so many of you are in the same boat for your 9th and 10th-grade years. In this case, if you feel you want to maximize your course rigor and grades and apply with the highest GPA possible, you might want to consider have an extra semester of grades. The other thing you can do is work with your HS counselor to see if they would permit you to take dual enrollment/college online courses as weighted graded courses concurrently with your 12th-grade year so you can have some more data points on your cumulative GPA.

Hope that helps.

2 months ago

The only reason you shouldn't apply early action is if you need more time. You might need more time to write supplemental essays or might want to go through the college application process slowly.

Applying early action means you apply early/mid-November so you might be in a time crunch. It's far better to write a compelling essay and apply Regular Decision than to try to apply early action just to end up writing essays one night before the deadline.

Remember that early action doesn't really give much of a boost to your application. You just get to know admission decisions quickly.


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