I'm planning to apply early decision to Mount Holyoke. I have heard that applying early decision can help your chances of getting into a school but I'm also applying test optional because my scores are lower than MoHo would like to see. I'm nervous however that applying without a test score will wreck my chances of getting in. College Vine classifies Mount Holyoke as a "safety" if I do apply test optional but I definitely want a second opinion if anyone has any idea what my chances would be.
I don't think applying to Mount Holyoke test-optional is a big thing because they've been test-optional for 20 years already. Historically, about 1/3 of Mt. Holyoke admits do not submit test scores so that supports their overall intent to admit applicants holistically. In the last cycle on the Common Data Set 68% submitted test scores while 32% did not.
Usually, Early Decision applicants have a large admissions advantage over RD. For instance, Smith College (Mt. Holyoke's closest Seven Sister neighbor) has a 50% admit rate for ED vs 30% overall. But Mt. Holyoke's ED rate is 66% vs 52% for RD so that's not a huge differential.
You a have a coin toss probability of getting admit RD and 2 out of 3 chance for getting in ED so the odds are already quite good.
My recommendation is to spend more time crafting your essays, curating the best recommendations, and making sure your Common App reads perfectly without any grammatical or punctuation mistakes. Have someone go over it a couple of times before you submit it. And if you aren't sure about your essays, put it through the Peer Essay Review here a couple of times to make sure you are you are on the right track.
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