Question: I’m applying Early Decision to an Ivy League school. Is there any advantage for me to send in the application materials very early, besides the fact that I can expedite my interview opportunity?
There’s no real advantage in getting an application in way early unless a college offers Rolling Admissions. However, you’re right when you say that an earlier submission can expedite the alum-interview process at those colleges that maintain a “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” policy for interview scheduling.
In addition, should your application be incomplete, the sooner you send it, the more time you will have to track down missing components. Remember, even if YOUR part is complete, you may find that submissions from your school, teachers, etc. did not arrive. It is always YOUR responsibility to make sure that all application components reach their destination and to follow up, if they didn’t. If teacher references (etc.) show up SLIGHTLY after the ED deadline, you won’t be penalized. But if they’re VERY late, then you will probably be pushed into the Regular Decision pool. So sometimes taking care of your part of the application on the early side can help assure that you receive timely notification about missing materials.
Good luck with your verdict.