Parents I come to you!

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Parents I come to you!
By Burllinz (Burllinz) on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 08:04 pm: Edit

I already posted a similar topic under college search and selection but I wanted to come to the parents forum because it's so active. Basically, I am trying to decide where to apply early. My top three choices are: Dartmouth, Yale, and Harvard(in that order). Here are my three scenarios:

1. I apply to Dartmouth ED, because it's my first choice. The downside is that I am bound.

2. I apply to Yale EA, keeping my options open. I have heard the horror stories about last year's Yale EA, and that this year is supposed to be worse. I am realistically expecting not to get accepted in the EA pool.

3. I apply to Harvard EA, again keeping my options open. It sounds crazy because it's Harvard but I feel that I would have a better shot getting accepted EA here than Yale. (Harvard has a history of accepting the #1 and 2 students at my HS)

And quickly my stats: 1600/790/770/720, 1 out of 250, 3 sport varsity athlete (captain of 2), some community service and clubs

I appreciate any input!

By Iflyjets (Iflyjets) on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 08:24 pm: Edit

If Dartmouth really is your clear first choice, then apply ED. Would you prefer to go to Harvard or Yale, or are you concerned about not being accepted at Dartmouth, in which case, wouldn't that concern also apply to Harvard and Yale? Or are you concerned about FinAid at a binding institution? Because if that is the case, they will let you know if it is affordable when they respond to your ED request (if you are accepted). Furthermore, you should be able to use Dart's estimator to determine a ballpark figure that they will offer you. I would think Yale and Harvard would make similar offers based on EFC. Or, are you hoping that one school will want you more than the others and adjust your finaid package, for which, you need to be able to apply to all three without a binding decision? (That's what I sense in your post.)

If Dartmouth is your clear first choice, would you pick it over Yale and Harvard if you were accepted to all three? If you can answer "yes" to this, I'd apply ED and not worry about the others unless ED does not go the way you hope.

Good luck.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 08:56 pm: Edit

It sounds like you're really not sure that Dartmouth is your first choice or else there wouldn't be an issue. Dartmouth is less random in admissions than the other 2, and with your stats and 3 sports, and a thoughtful application, you're pretty much a shoe in ED. I haven't seen anyone with your stats turned down in 20 years of interviewing for them. You obviously have a good shot at all 3 RD, so if there's any question don't go ED. That said, go Big Green! You'll love Dartmouth.

By Marite (Marite) on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 09:12 pm: Edit

If financial issues are not a concern, then apply ED to Dartmouth. It's your first choice and your stats are excellent.
If finances are a concern, then do not bind yourself to a single school. A school's idea of what is affordable and your family's idea may be wide apart, but you will be bound by the school's estimate. Different schools have made very different offers to applicants based exactly on the same financial information. Go EA to another school if you wish and apply to Dartmouth RD. In April, you will be able to compare offers, and even perhaps negotiate.

By Momrath (Momrath) on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 10:56 pm: Edit

Burllinz, Are you a parent or a student? Seem to remember seeing your posts under both voices.

If you want Dartmouth, then apply ED. Don't try to out-think the process as you will end up with paralysis by analysis. If you apply RD to Dartmouth and get denied you'll always feel that you didn't give it your best shot. On the other hand if you're not 100% sure about Dartmouth, if you need to compare financial packages, or if you -- or your family -- just "gots to know" whether Yale and/or Harvard would accept you, then dump the whole idea of ED anywhere. This last "if" sounds silly, but quite honestly, it's something you need to consider. Picture yourself in May. When your schoolmates are bragging about their Harvard and Yale acceptances, will you still be able to say I chose Dartmouth because it's where I sincerely want to be?

From the very little that you tell us about yourself (I'm too lazy to search through your past posts) you sound like a good fit for Dartmouth, ED or RD. It's a wonderful school and in my opinion so completely different from Harvard and Yale in ambience and atmosphere that I wonder that anyone would view all three as equal choices.

By Mini (Mini) on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 12:15 am: Edit

Will you be a recruited athlete? That would make a big difference, both in where you go, and whether it makes sense to go ED or EA.

And Marite is correct - if finances are a signficant concern, don't go ED.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 12:27 am: Edit

While Dartmouth and Yale are quite different, these two were the "last ones standing", so to speak, when it came time for enrollment forms. I could see how one could be torn between these two wonderful schools. Actually, when I sent in my deposit for Yale, Dartmouth accidentally sent me an e-mail congratulating me on my enrollment. I believe in signs very deeply, and I was at once stricken with horror, thinking that meant for sure I had made the wrong choice. I'm at Yale now and I love it, but I don't think I would have loved Dartmouth any less if I had attended. So I can sort of relate to the OP.

I think I am perhaps going to be the minority opinion by suggesting that you NOT apply ED. If you were sure, we wouldn't be having this discussion. I basically think ED is pretty essentially unfair, because it asks people our age to make a final decision about where we will spend the next four years of our lives soon after junior year, when we have a hard time deciding on whether getting the hairbow that matches our shoes or the hairbow that matches our pants be better for the next school day. So if you're not sure, don't feel pressured to jump into the admission strategy game.

By Burllinz (Burllinz) on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 09:10 am: Edit

Momrath- I am a student, but my mom posted under my name a few times because she had trouble logging into her name.

Thanks for the input everyone, and I can see all of your points. Since my visit to Dartmouth, I loved it. After that I visited Harvard and Yale. I liked them both, particularly Yale. I think I would be a good fit for Dartmouth, but sometimes I think if I could get into Harvard or Yale, shouldn't I try? People keep telling me it will open doors for me later, etc. I find it hard to pass that up, and also I'm sure they would be amaizng places to attend college. I'm also persuaded by the thought that I could have this decision made by December if I applied early somewhere, and my college application process could be over!

By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 10:27 am: Edit


I'm sure you could do equally well at Yale or Harvard, but if you love Dartmouth, go for it and don't look back. Dartmouth will open as many doors as Yale and Harvard.

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