Highly selective schools with high EA rates

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: July 2003 Archive: Highly selective schools with high EA rates
By Baltodad (Baltodad) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 07:55 am: Edit

A couple of the "reach" schools my son is considering -- Notre Dame and Swarthmore -- have surprisingly high Early Acceptance rates compared to their regular admission. (Swat: regular is 26%, EA is 50%. ND: regular is 36%, EA is 61%.)

Are they less choosy if you apply EA, or is it just a statistical quirk? My son's scores and grades are "adequate" for either school, but he's definitely not a shoe-in, especially at Swat (unless it's easier to get into their engineering program than their liberal arts).

I've noticed that a lot of other selective shools have EA rates that are almost identical to the regular rate.

Any thoughts?

By Thecurious1 (Thecurious1) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 09:09 am: Edit

Actually I'm wondering the same thing. Though you may be right about Swarthmore's eng. admission VS liberal arts.

By Serene (Serene) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 11:00 am: Edit

The EA applicants may be self-selecting... I'm not sure.

By Baltodad (Baltodad) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 11:16 am: Edit

I guess it's possible that a higher caliber of students might apply EA at Swarthmore or Notre Dame than is true for the regular admissions pool at those schools... but why wouldn't the same be true for the competitive schools that have very little difference between the percentages for regular admission and EA. (Rice, for example, has identical percentages for both.) I would think that a lot of Swarthmore applicants are applying for (and would prefer) one of the top Ivies.

I've heard that one's chances might be better for getting accepted EA than in being accepted from the regular admissions pool because schools want to keep their "yield" number high. It certainly makes EA an attractive option if there's a reach school that you really like.

By O71394658 (O71394658) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 11:49 am: Edit

Man...I would definitely apply EA if that's the case. A 50% acceptance rate at Swat?! That's incredible. Your son should definitely go for it.

By Baltodad (Baltodad) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 02:03 pm: Edit

Here's a website I just found that gives the EA vs regular admission rates for a large number of schools, ranked by the differential between their two numbers. One is almost incredible: Coast Guard Academy is 59% EA, 7% regular (a 743% better chance for those applying EA!!!). Columbia is 32%/12%, a 167% better chance. Princeton is close behind at 158%. Places with more than a 100% advantage include Amerst, Oberlin, Yale, and Carleton.


By Kissy (Kissy) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 07:39 pm: Edit

I think the EA applicants are, for the most part, a self-selecting pool. From what I gather, adcoms feel that many URMs don't have access to sound counseling advice so are often unaware of EA options. Also, early applicants are less inclined to be dependent on financial aid packages since their acceptances are unconditional (in most cases). So, if one is to believe that higher socio-economics translate into higher achievement, then it could be concluded that the early applicant pool is stronger.

Notwithstanding, I think the selectivity and perceived caliber of a school influences the number of early applicants who apply, thereby affecting their percentages.

In the case of Rice, I think there are probably many Ivy-aspiring students who apply to Rice as a safety which would put them in RD. Knowing that Rice has added an "Interim Decision " or ID application period leads me to believe that perhaps they don't get the numbers or strength in their EA pool that they'd like.
Hence, the similarities in their EA and RD rates.

Baltodad- Does your son have a preference for any particular area in engineering yet? I know of a Swarthmore grad whose husband was an engineering major there. She told me that their program was a pre-professional general engineering curriculum, preparing students for grad school. This was a while ago so it may have changed since then.

By Asknot11 (Asknot11) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 07:42 pm: Edit

HONESTLY! Baltodad, if your son considers ND a reach and really wants to go there DONT DONT apply EA. Notre Dame is one of the few schools where EA admission is tougher than RD admission. The pool is self-selecting. I read somewhere that the average sat/act for ND's EA is 1420/33.

By Serene (Serene) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 07:59 pm: Edit

I think there isn't much difference between EA and RD. I mean, it's not like they'd take an unqualified student if he does RD or they'd reject a qualified student if he does EA.

By Kissy (Kissy) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 09:08 pm: Edit

To me, the more telling statistic isn't the acceptance rate of EA applicants but the percentage of the student body admitted through EA. In many elites, this number seems to be disproportionately high to their overall number of acceptances. That would point favorably towards EA.
But, now that USNWR is dropping yield from their rankings criteria, who knows how this will all play out?!

By Mitacceptee (Mitacceptee) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 09:42 pm: Edit

Just out of curiosity, if you had a school with a high acceptance rate, would it truly be highly selective anymore? What a mind boggler.

By Baltodad (Baltodad) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 10:49 pm: Edit

Asknot: Self-selecting or not, ND still accepts 61% of the EA pool. My son hasn't come close to deciding where he wants to go, but will do an overnight at ND this Fall. He's 1390/32, and goes to a Catholic prep school (even though he isn't Catholic), so he's in the ballpark.

Mitacceptee: I work a block away from St. John's College in Annapolis, Md. Very smart students, very tough curriculum, but very high admission rate. Self-selection at its finest. Is it "highly selective"? I'd say no.

By Sirmoreau (Sirmoreau) on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 12:15 am: Edit

Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo CA

E Decision 46 47 1.0

GOOD GOD. 46 percent acceptance rate for ED, i'm doomed.

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