a month ago
Admissions Advice

Early Decision Question

So I am confused about early decision. If you don’t get into your school that you marked ED do you apply to other schools AFTER you find out? Or do you do all of your applications at once, and mark one of them ED?

Also, is it possible to find out if you got into a school or not that you marked ED before other applications with ED are due (i.e. could you apply ED to School 1, get rejected, but then apply ED to School 2?)

And lastly, does ED help your chances (even slightly) in getting into that college?

Thanks! :)


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
a month ago

Apply ED regardless of the school you apply means that if you are accepted, you have entered into a 'binding' contract obligating you to attend that school. The only caveat is that if you and your family apply for financial aid, and vehemently disagree with the financial aid letter you receive and find no amicable solution to negotiate in good faith with the school. In that case, the ED school will allow you to withdraw and you can proceed with applying to other schools. I will not muddy the waters further but you already know that the other 2 options are flat out rejection and deferment (which means your app flows into a bigger RD pool for consideration). Deferment is non-binding and treated like RD.

If you are flat out rejected or deferred, you 100% can apply to other schools either ED2 or RD. By the time you find out your ED1 decision, I do not believe there are any other ED1 schools you can apply to.

Depending on the ED1 school you applied to, you have entered an agreement with that school as soon as you click the submit button. You have agreed to abide by their ED1 policy which varies from college to college. Therefore it's imperative that you re-read what you already agreed to when you applied ED1. In most cases, ED1 schools only allow you to apply to 3 types of schools concurrently. 1.) military academies, 2.)state colleges, 3.) rolling admissions colleges. If you applied say ED to Boston Univ., then you can't submit other applications to schools that do not fall into those 3 categories. So if BC, Tufts, NEastern, Skidmore, Colgate, Hamilton are on your list, its a no go. And if you already violated the terms of your ED1 agreement with your school, you better withdraw those applications because if your ED1 schools finds out you applied to other ED1 schools or schools outside of the allowed list, that's a very big no-no. You can potentially have your ED acceptance rescinded or be blacklisted.

When you asked can you find out if you ED1 school before other ED apps are due, I'm assuming you are asking whether you have to wait until the middle of Dec. date to get your decision prior to applying to more ED2 schools. And the answer is yes. You can't hit the submit button to other ED2 schools concurrently as you are waiting for your ED1 school because I'm pretty sure, with your ED1 there is legal language that emphatically states you can not apply to ED schools as long as you are applying ED to that school. So that is a no go. But once you get your ED1 decision in the next week or two and find your decision that will inform you on what you can do. If you get in, you must withdraw all your other applications immediately to the other 3 categories of schools.If you get rejected you can start over and apply to ED2 schools but adhering to the ED2 school rules about applying there. And if you get deferred, you can continue on. But if you get in and inadvertently applied to other ED1 schools, you better hope no one finds out because you may get your admission rescinded.

ED helps some students more than others. If you are an ALDC candidate it will help you immensely. ALDC (Recruited athlete, Legacy, Deans list (dev. candidate), Child of college employee like prof./admin). Some people think applying to an Ivy ED is beneficial but that is becoming less and less evident as the ED pool is very competitive and 1/3-1/2 the admits are ALDCS. So unless you have superior grades and stats, you may find your chances on par with applying RD when there is no ALDC pool and the overall pool has been diluted with lesser candidates "shooting their shot". If you are applying to lesser competitive college ED say like Union college or St. Olafs, well then applying ED might give you a big boost since those schools are looking to fill up their admit roster as fast as possible.

Good luck.

a month ago

I'm not sure about all your questions but I'll try my best to be helpful.

1. After you apply ED it is understood you won't continue applying to other schools unless you get your decision and are rejected. However, if other EA or RD schools on your list have an earlier application deadline than the ED school you should be able to apply. From my experience most schools application cycles have similar or the same deadlines so you would likely end up submitting all your applications around the same time regardless. Usually ED and EA applications are due Nov 1st or 15th with RD applications being due Jan 15th (from my experience). This gives you a bit of time to apply somewhere else if you are rejected in ED.

2. That would depend, in general I would assume the ED deadline would have passed by the time you get a decision back from the first one. You wouldn't be able to apply ED somewhere else unless they have ED II. Even then I don't know if you would have enough time, the one school I saw with both ED and ED II has the deadlines Nov 15th and Dec 20th and I assume others would be similar or the same. The notification date for ED is marked as mid Dec so you might miss the ED II deadline if you are rejected in ED at the first school.

3. That depends on the school's policy. ED is usually used to indicate demonstrated interest so it depends on if they take that into account and how much they weigh it as an application factor. For some schools it is really important and others not at all so you would have to check for the specific schools you want to apply to.


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