Page 2 - KnightTime News Fall 2018
P. 2

KNIGHTtime News
of Applying Early Decision
 By Matt Mettille
The beginning of the school year is synonymous with seniors
and their parents talking about the college process. In particular, there
is a lot of chatter about whether
and where a student plans to apply Early Decision (ED). Early Decision
is a college admissions option at many colleges where students typically apply in early November receive a decision by mid-December. If admitted ED, applicants agree to withdraw all other applications and attend that institution. It speeds up the decision-making process and can be a very smart and strategic option for many of our students. Last year, 82 students applied Early Decision (57% of the class) and 50 were admitted (61% of the ED applicants). Two years ago, only 37% of the class applied ED. Here are some thoughts and pieces of advice we share with students as they are thinking about the possibility of ED.
Students should apply ED to a college if it is their absolute  rst choice. Not all colleges o er ED, but for those that do, ED is the ultimate way for students to demonstrate interest in the school. For the college, it guarantees the student will enroll, protects their yield, and it
can allow them to satisfy institutional priorities. Colleges that o er ED continue to  ll large portions of their class from this pool. Last year, Penn  lled 53% of their class through ED while Columbia and Dartmouth each  lled 47%. Some colleges o er ED 2 which works the same way but with a later timeline—students typically apply in January and hear back in early February. Some colleges that have two rounds of ED will  ll over 60% of their class after the two rounds are complete, including Claremont McKenna (68% of their class is  lled after both ED rounds), Bates (66%), Middlebury (66%), and Carleton (64%). It also doesn’t seem like this trend is going away anytime soon. At a conference this summer, I had conversations with the Deans of Admission at Bucknell, Lafayette, and Oberlin, all of whom mentioned that they hope to  ll a high percentage of their class through ED and/or ED 2 in the upcoming year.
It makes sense. If a college o ers ED, it will be easier to be admitted if you apply ED. Let’s look at Columbia, for example, which  lled 47% of their class in ED last year. 4,085 students applied ED, and 650 were admitted, which resulted in an ED admit rate
of 16%. Conversely, 36,118 students applied regular decision, and 1,641 students were admitted, so the regular decision admit rate was around 4%. Colleges like Columbia know that students from Menlo
are getting good guidance about the college process, and if they are serious about Columbia, they should apply ED. Places like Columbia
aren’t typically shaping their class
in regular decision with smart, high achieving independent school students from Silicon Valley. In our individual conversations, we work to help students understand why they should seriously consider applying ED to a place like Columbia, if it’s a student’s top choice and they are in line with the college’s pro le.
This isn’t time for the Hail Mary.
The 50 students that were admitted ED last year were mostly on pro le for admission, they made smart
ED choices. We sometimes have students that hope to use ED as the “Hail Mary” to the ultra-selective school with the hopes that by applying ED that will wipe away
the out-of-range SAT score or lower- than-average GPA. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. ED shouldn’t be used as a chance to resurrect

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