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Articles / Applying to College / UChicago Admissions Q&A: ED/EA Ask Me Anything Recap

UChicago Admissions Q&A: ED/EA Ask Me Anything Recap

Written by Sam Jaquez | Nov. 1, 2022
Photo courtesy of University of Chicago

Last week, we were privileged to hear from a UChicago admissions director in an Ask Me Anything forum event to get exclusive tips for applying to The University of Chicago. The AMA, which was hosted on the CC forums, was a chance for the community to pose their last-minute EA/ED questions to Justin Klein, Associate Director of Admissions at University of Chicago.

In a poll posed to all interested in the AMA event, 34 percent voted that they were interested in getting their admissions questions answered by The University of Chicago because of the school’s status as a top school. Twenty-six percent of those polled are also interested in the event because they are planning on applying to UChicago in the future. Other votes revealed additional interest in the event based on plans for applying ED/EA of UChicago in the future.

Here's a recap of some questions from the AMA with admissions.

Clockila: What is the ED1 acceptance rate?

Justin: We do not publish admissions data on individual rounds. With four different rounds (EA, ED1, ED2, RD), the data can vary pretty widely from year to year so it just wouldn’t be useful. Some years it may be that high, some years it will be much lower, it really depends.

DroidsLookingFor: Do you publish data on the percent of EA students who defer to ED2 who then get admitted?

We don't publish admissions data on individual rounds...but we have recently seen ED2 increase in popularity among first-time applicants and deferred students, and we generally balance our admitted students to reflect the pool overall in many ways.

Macleo: Would applying ED 1/2 or EA affect my Financial Aid offer, if admitted?

Justin: Nope! We meet 100 percent of demonstrated need for all students regardless of when or how you apply.

Macleo: If the Fin Aid offer is less than we can afford after being admitted ED 1/2, what are our options, if any?

Justin: (This goes for any school, not just UChicago) if your ED school is not going to be able to adequately support you, there are ways to release you from your commitment. At schools like UChicago that meet 100 percent of need, this is extremely rare. I strongly encourage checking out our net price calculator to help you make the decision on whether a binding application is right for you!

Tommyshelby: How important is the video profile? Also, if I exceed the 2 minute limit to let’s say 2 minutes 10 seconds then will I be penalized?

Justin: We do recommend submitting the video profile! It really helps us get to know students. We’ve used it for a few years, and while there are of course valid reasons to not want to submit one we have found that we feel we know applicants in better depth when it’s there. If you’re a bit over the 2-minute guideline, that’s not a problem. Be mindful that there’s already a lot of content in an application, and if your video starts running on then all you’re doing is diluting the information we’re trying to understand from you.

Cassiopeia1: Should the video introduction be submitted by the November 1st deadline, or is it okay to submit it a couple of days late?

You can totally submit the video later. To ensure that we have enough time to include it in our review, I’d encourage getting it in by mid-November or so for the early rounds or late January for the later rounds.

Versova: What were the best essays you’ve read about? Also, can you give us some last-minute tips for the application?

Justin: Gosh there have been so many good ones over the years. I hesitate giving exact responses because I don’t want students to think that this is exactly what we’re looking for, but ones that stand out are ones where we can see a student’s excitement come through. An example that stays with me is one that connected the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to the Zeigarnik Effect. I’ll let y’all google those if you want to learn more about them.

My best last-minute tip is to make sure you’re being direct! The best applications are ones where I can easily grab lots of information.

Read more tips from admissions on UChicago Essays.

Dylan_Kim1: How can I make my application stand out? Can you give me some last-minute tips?

Justin: My best last-minute tip is to proofread. My best tip in general is to make sure you’re as direct as possible. Dense applications that make me feel like I just had a conversation with you, where I feel that you just explained something to me, those are the ones that tend to be more successful.

Spikygal: Does UChicago look at the unweighted or eeighted GPA?

(continued) Is it the rigor of courses an important factor in choosing one applicant over the other or the GPA beyond a certain threshold? What is the minimum threshold? Does UChicago recalculate the grades of core classes to get an idea of the applicant’s capabilities?

Justin: We do not recalculate, so when it comes to GPAs we’ll see it how it’s reported on your transcript. Frankly, I don’t care much about your GPA. GPAs lose a ton of information, and fortunately I went to a great college where I learned how to read. So, I can just read your transcript! I’ll get lots of info on your academic performance and rigor through that full read, much more than if I were to boil it down to one number with a GPA.

Bouders: Is there a level below which an SAT score would hurt an applicant?

Justin: Of course we always want to see “good” test scores and grades, but there’s a lot of context to what makes a score “good” for each individual student. In general, you should submit your scores if you’re proud of them or feel they represent your ability and hold on to them if not.

Cassiopeia1: I’m currently debating whether I should submit an SAT score of 1510 (750 EBRW / 760 Math). Should I submit it or go test-optional?

Justin: There are a lot of factors that go into that decision, but the long and the short of it is: do you feel like your test score is representative of your ability? If so, send it our way. Do you feel like the rest of your application does a better job of showing us that you’re awesome? If so, keep it to yourself. We want you to feel like you put your best foot forward.

MeMiMoMum: If I didn’t take AP English or AP History in 11th (but I will have taken 6-7 other AP’s), should I even bother applying to UofC?

Justin: We don’t expect any particular classes, so whether or not you choose to take AP English or AP History doesn’t really factor in. We do want to see that you challenge yourself, and do so in a variety of areas, but how you do that does not mean “take literally every AP course”.

Rosechild: How much does four consecutive years of a sport matter? Do [admissions officers] take into account scheduling conflicts?

Justin: We aren’t looking for any specific activity, which includes sports, arts, or anything else you might do. While consistency can be nice, we also want to make sure that you’re doing things you enjoy. If you’ve dropped activities to start other ones that you are excited about trying, that’s certainly not a negative in our eyes.

We do take scheduling conflicts into account. We know there are way more things going on than any individual student may be able to participate in and that’s not a problem. Please let us know when things like that come up!

MeMiMoMum: Chicago’s crime rate worries my mom. Is it safe around campus?

Justin: I totally understand being worried about campus safety. Every university (UChicago included) invests heavily in the safety of its students and community. After all, what are we other than the people who study and work here? That said, I’d always caution people on extrapolating too much from statistics as numbers can only go so far. There’s a lot of context behind the lived experience in any given place, and a lot of being safe is understanding how to take advantage of your resources. Whether it’s programs our campus safety offices run like electronics and bike registrations or blue lights or campus safety officers, or transportation options, or orientation programs that help students acclimate to city life, our students usually feel safe taking advantage of this wonderful city. Anecdotally, being in this area for almost a decade, it’s a great place to be.

Theamw: What are the most popular student clubs or extracurriculars on campus?

Justin: Of course this changes from year to year, but some of the most common RSO’s (short for registered student organization, aka clubs) are Model UN, University Theater, and Doc Films.

Theamw: What would most students say the most unique thing about UChicago is?

Justin: I’d say the most unique thing about UChicago is the way academic thinking comes up throughout the day of an average UChicago student. Not to say you can never escape your homework, but you’ll find students at the dining hall devising new statistics in basketball, or Kant might have thought about last night’s Bachelor in Paradise.

Theamw: How popular is the English and Creative Writing minor?

Justin: Both of those are quite popular! Creative Writing is consistently one of our most popular majors to add to a double major, too.

To learn more about Early Decision Admissions check out CC’s Early Admission Central where you can find links to trending discussions, helpful articles, and early application deadlines.

And for more discussion on applying to UChicagoand other universities be sure to join the CC community!

Written by


Sam Jaquez

Sam is a freelance writer. She studied at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she earned a degree in English.

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