3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Good Reasons NOT to apply ED or EA or SCREA

I don't think you should apply ED/EA/SCREA if:

1. You don't have the best essays or you know your writing skills are not the best.

2. You are not happy with your test scores and have signed up to retake them.

3. Your grades are on an upward trajectory.

4. Or your Chancing profile shows less than 20% for that school.

Keep in mind that in the ED/EA/SCREA pool of applicants are these people and therefore the admit rates can actually be 2 or 3 times overinflated because it's a much tougher pool.

1. Legacies - Some pools are 25% legacy and their admit rates are 3 to 5X versus non legacy. Many top colleges tell legacy parents that if they want their kid to matriculate at their Alma mater, they should apply ED/EA/SCREA.

2 Recruited athletes - Although there are not as many R.A.s these days due to COVID-19 and some programs being eliminated (e.g. Brown U.), some application pools have 20% R.A.s

3. Development Candidates - For all top colleges there maybe 10-20 seats reserved for kids of wealthy donor who have used the back door to gain admission through large $1mm-$10mm contributions.

4. Kids of colleges employees - There can be 10-20 admits whose parents work at the college as professors, admin. or support staff. They have a slight edge

5. SUPER HUMAN applicants - these are the cream of the crop that a.) want to go to say, a Yale, MIT, Harvard, Stanford as their 1st choice, and don't want to be bothered with applying to 10-20 schools. Since these applicants have TOP grades, test scores, ECS, recommendations, awards, honors etc, they disrupt the ED/EA/SCREA pool and are stronger applicants than what is typically found in the RD pool. They get to eat the first piece of cake before anyone else does so keep that in mind. This might be 33%+ of the admits.

6. VIPs - Applicants like celebrities, movie stars, Nobel peace prize winners, are in this category. So if you are a Malala or Greta, you are going to get in most likely if you apply early.

7. Deans List - I'm not talking about your HS Deanslist but the College Chancellors list. There may be a few friends of the school that get in through political connections with the front office as political favors or quid pro quo favors. Even though no money is exchanged, the school may call in the debt when they have a school wide capital funding program to build a new Library or Business School.

So if you are applying to MIT or CALTECH, there is really no advantage to applying early since the EA rates are about the same 4%-4.7% for MIT and my guess is 5-6% for CALTECH. If you are thinking of applying to Harvard, keeping mind that while the 7.47% SCREA rate is more than twice overall rate of 3.43%, the SCREA pool is very competitive. I would suggest only applying ED/EA/SCREA if the early rates are like 3 to 4 times higher.

Just my 2 cents 1 day before Early Applications are due.

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3 years ago

Very nicely thought out but a few caveats I feel. Sometimes EA is best for those 20% chance schools as it could go from 1/5 to about 1/3. Also some EA schools don’t require essays like UIowa + these state schools typically give more aid to early applicants

3 years ago

Also I feel fin Greta Thurnbeeg applied to Harvard she’d get in regardless of the admission cycle. Re: David Hodges.

🎤3 years ago

If CV states you have a 20% chance at school, applying there EA doesn't mean your chances go up to 33%. It means you have a 20% chance of getting in regardless of when you apply. If there were such a magic loophole in the admissions process, then everyone would be applying EA all the time. The difference between MIT's EA rate of 4.8% and their RD rate of 3.4% might be >33% but the difference in acceptance rates has more to do with the quality of the application pool during EA vs RD, not because one's probability increases solely because of timing when to apply.

3 years ago

Im definitely not saying 20 to 33 is normal or more than rare but EA ED REA does provide a significant boost. I forgot the specific school but it went from about 20% admit rate to 30% and it was about 15% of the admittence class despite being 8% of the applicants. All this was from CDS. Quality does increase but that's not the sole reason there's a reason ED EA exists beyond high quality.


3 years ago

The superhuman part is very true since most of ED applicants have their eyes on a specific college they want to go to and it is much more competitive than RD, in which their superhuman stats aren't much of a merit. But if they apply for RD, most people who are considered during RD are those who were deferred during ED application (which raises the potential for the person to exceed those deferred people's stats) and just other "regular" people who aren't necessarily "superhuman"s.

🎤3 years ago

The superhuman part is the deciding factor for admissions officers regardless of when they apply. My point is that the % of SHs in the pool is higher during ED/EA/SCREA and that a regular applicant might be misled by the admit rates because they are not factoring all these other types of applicants who have inherently higher probabilities to get in.


3 years ago[edited]

I agree. In this NYTimes article, it says that these privileged applicants make up 5% of the total of applications yet 30% of the admits at Harvard.


3 years ago

Do you know what Harvard did in the 30's? They won't even admit (no pun intended) it. They're not as good as everyone thinks.

3 years ago

Your comment didn't make sense to me so can you re-write it so everyone can understand what you were trying to say?


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