It’s almost October, so if’s unusual for a day to go by without discussing ED.
I know some of my readers will go right into the gutter from that statement, so let me clarify that ED stands for “Early Decision.”
And NOTHING else. (See other parts of the internet or your spam folder for alternative definitions.)
Early DECISION – as opposed to Early ACTION – is binding (with one exception) and allegedly boosts your chances of getting into your top choice college.
Many colleges tout their stats on what percentage of the class they fill from ED, and what the admit rate of ED students is versus regular decision admits. But you’d be wise to take a peek BEHIND those stats.
Consider the following: there is a TON of self-selectivity in the ED pool. Meaning, this is where you’ll find most of the applicants who already have an edge in admissions over “regular” kids who also want in.
I’m talking about
- recruited athletes
- “Development List” candidates (potential donors to the college’s endowments)
- recruited underrepresented minorities
- kids with parents who have connections and .an “in” with trustees, college presidents, etc.
- children of faculty
There are plenty of other categories, but I think you’re starting to get the picture.
But hang on, I’ve got one more doozy for you:
Colleges reserve up to 80% of their spots for these special, non-academic categories of student.
Meaning, if you are NOT a special category – see above list – your TRUE odds of admission are far WORSE than what might be published in US News & World Report or wherever you obsessively get your college-related information.
Because the non-politically correct truth is that these special categories tend to DRAG DOWN the published averages because they have lower grades and scores.
That’s why Naviance, your guidance counselor and other sources of “information” can be horribly, fatally misleading – by lulling you and your child into a false sense of security about your chances of being admitted…
…and where to use your ED “ticket.”
It’s easy to waste your ED on a long-shot – and it happens all the time.
What’s the big deal about taking a shot, you might wonder.
The big deal could be that you wasted your ED on a long-shot, instead of strategically using it on a college easier for you to get into. Frequently, this results in getting dinged from College #2, too.
Then there’s the whole issue about financial aid and ED. The short of it is that colleges do not always give their highest and best scholarship or need-based offer to admits in general – let alone ED students – and it’s usually helpful to have offers from other colleges to play off against each other.
With ED, you can’t do that, because you won’t have any other offers.
There’s a lot that goes into finalizing a college list, not to mention getting in. Where to ED, and SHOULD you ED, is the tip of the iceberg.
We have four spots left for our November Sprint college advising program for Class of 2020 seniors who are working on their college list, essays, applications, etc. The clock is ticking, this new program is like an insurance policy to ensure that you don’t mess anything up while you and your child are under mounting pressure from deadlines, schoolwork, extracurricular activities, you name it.
Check it out today, I expect all four remaining slots to get snapped up in a matter of days.
-Andy, your friendly neighborhood College Planning Guru
P.S. If you have a November 1 or November 15 financial aid priority deadline, we can get your FAFSA and other applications done on time, error-free and without stress – but not if you enroll at the last minute.
Here’s the info on our forms prep service – it’s a money-maker/money-saver for you, and a way to make the unaffordable college, affordable.