3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Should I ED to Northwestern?

Northwestern is my #1 choice university. I am stuck on whether to apply ED or wait for regular decision for this school.

From what I learned, they accept half their class from the ED pool (around 25%), which is a lot better than the 9% acceptance rate for RD. However, other sources have told me that the ED pool has more competitive applicants and that's another reason for the high admit rate (apart from binding).

I'm stuck because I would have to scramble to finish up counselor rec letters and finishing up my application to get it done before Nov 1. By how much will my chances of getting in actually be increased by applying in ED? Is it worth trying to finish my application materials faster just to go ED, or should I wait for RD, where I will have more time to fill out and review my application?


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4 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

Your admission rates are incorrect, to begin with. Yes, ED was 1105/4411 or 25% last year but the RD rate was 4.93% (2134/44222) making a total admit rate of 6.8% (3239/47633). So if you compare 5% to 25%, then it was 5 times harder to get into NW as under RD.

The ED pool is challenging for the following reasons:

1.) Mixed in there are very smart applicants who definitely want to go to NW

2.) You also have recruited athletes that take up say 20% of the ED spots, and they bring the stats down in terms of GPA and test scores.

3.) You are competing with legacies

4.) There are sons/daughters of NW faculty and staff

5.) A sprinkling of development applicants (super rich kids)

6.) And a few drops of VIPS and perhaps even some political favors for the Dean or Board of Trustees.

So I say conservatively there are 800 seats. If NW has the same amount of ED applicants then 800/4411 will be closer to 18%. But that is still way better than 4.9%

You have to decide whether the added stress and work to get your ducks in a row over the next 18 days is worthwhile the opportunity of getting into an elite school like NW early. There are 3 outcomes. If you immediately align with what they are looking for, then you're in. If not you will be deferred or rejected. If you are in, you don't have to fill out another 10 or 15 college applications.

Good luck with your NW decision.

3 years ago

Hi! If you feel like your qualifications and statistics are competitive (High GPA, SAT Score, Excelled Extracurriculars, etc.), then you should definitely apply ED. Even if your statistics aren't as high as you would like, you can start working on your essay from now.

This all comes down to time management, where I would suggest you finish getting all of your "other" application materials ready (High-school reports, SAT scores, Letters of Recommendation if needed, etc.), so you have a good 2 weeks to prepare and perfect your essay before the November 1st deadline!

I would still always suggest applying ED to your dream school because you have a higher chance of getting in, and once you are (hopefully!) accepted, you will not regret applying ED!

Hope this helped, and good luck!

3 years ago

If you intend to apply ED, you will have more chances of getting in than RD. But it is binding. The decision is yours

3 years ago

Hey. I'm also a High School Senior who is applying to colleges. My answer might not be the best, but I want to share what I think.

From what I think, if you like that school and feel like your personality fits into the school, you should apply as Early Decision. But Regular Decision, applicants in Regular Decision don't have much interest as Early Decision but still want to go to that school. On the school's side, they want to keep their yield rate. And they want to admit students who truly want to come to their school. So if you LOVE that school and feel like Northwestern is the perfect match for you, go for Early Decision. At least you tried so that you won't regret it. I'm applying to Syracuse as Early Decision too, and I don't think I won't regret it. So do what you feel like you want to do.

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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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