2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Predicting early chances???

Hi! I am a high school junior looking on deciding on which school to apply early. I am torn on a few schools, and I feel that I fit well at all of them, so I am unsure on how my chances would change based on which school I would apply early.

Is it possible to predict my early chances based on my current chances? The schools I am considering applying early are:

UPenn Early Decision (24%) (Wharton, so chances might be lower)

Princeton Early Action (24%)

Duke ED (23%)

Dartmouth ED (27%)

Cornell ED (29%)

UVA ED (53%+legacy)

Thanks! :)


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Let's eliminate UVA because you already a legacy there and if you apply ED you'll most likely be an auto-admit because your parent is an alum. I recommend you apply EA to UVA so you have somewhere to go but the option to apply elsewhere. Just a thought.

The big take away is that while Early admit rates are higher however that doesn't necessarily mean ones individual chances of getting in have an increased probability. There are many factors that diminish one's chances of getting admitted early.

Factor 1: All the strongest applicants at an given school apply early and get cherry picked off. You will be competing with the smartest kids who want to go to that college and & want to avoid applying during in the RD round. So all the strongest applicants for Huntsman and Wharton are going to apply early, especially if those programs are their top 2 choices. By the same token, all the smartest students who have pre-selected Princeton or Duke or Dartmouth as their top choice will apply early. And so forth down the line.

Factor 2: If you have are an ALDC or have a hook, applying early will improve your odds. That means any recruited athlete, legacy, development candidate, child of faculty, Black, LatinX, Indigenous, Non-CIS, low income, first generation college applicant will get a large singular bump, or a compounded bump if they have multiple tags. So a PG football player from Deerfield or Choate who is both a recruited athlete, black, low income and first gen. may have a 10X advantage. If you are just a legacy, you might have a 3-5X improved chance of getting in during the early round.

Factor 3: Most HS students are unaware that most of these schools work closely with community based programs like Questbridge, Posse and Fritch and Strong Scholarships, Jack Kent Cooke, Coca Cola, Gates, etc. These programs successfully match up to 75-100 student at each of these schools which can be like 10%-15% of the admitted ED/EA roster.

A rule of thumb is not to apply early if:

-Your grades are on an upward trend and you need another semester of rigorous coursework (APs/IBs) + grades to improve your UWGPA/WGPA

-You are aiming to take the ACT or SAT in the Fall and need that test score improvement to make your application more competitive (50% percentile range)

-Your ECs are not at the top of their "A" game and you need more time to curate a "SPIKE" or "WOW FACTOR" activity. Ivys/Elite definitely reward someone with a WOW factor.

-You need more time and effort to write better essays

Therefore, it's really hard to tell if you would have better chance of applying early to any of these schools vs the CV chancing rate. Since 3/5 are reach schools are the other 2 are borderline reaches, with the exception of UVA, I think all of them will be challenging to get into early. I don't know whether you can make improvement on your application components. If you can, perhaps, consider applying to all of those during RD when have a better odds and the pool is weaker across the board.

Good luck.

2 years ago

I would recommend stepping back and thinking about your goals. Applying early may or may not help your chances, but in any case, you want to make sure that you are applying ED to the school you would choose over all other options.

Throughout my career as a college apps consultant, I have always recommended that my clients apply ED to the one school that was at the top of their list, regardless of selectivity or prestige. ED works best when admissions officers can sense a very keen interest in their school dripping off the page. After you choose one school to apply ED to, I'd say that you should then apply EA to schools if you feel that you do not need extra time to present your best academic performance and essays. Hope this helps!

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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