“Should I ED?” Matt, a student from East Lyme High School asked.
Matt and I had worked together through our Student Mastery Program, through SAT Prep, and now in full college counseling mode.
I suppose at this point I was Matt’s mentor, particularly since his parents did not attend college in the United States.
I know Matt has what could be called commitment issues or perhaps just a general desire to keep his options open.
I answered: “yes, as your college counseling strategic advisor. But as your older friend, I understand why this will cause you a great deal of angst. So, I know it will be hard for you to commit. So you will have to listen as I explain the benefits of Early Decision….”
I’ll shorten the lecture here.
(1) Colleges, despite being not for profit, are businesses
(2) Their business is dependent on their brand
(3) Their brand is dependent on their desirability
(4) Yield – the number of students who accept admission – is one large way that colleges are evaluated as desirable. Specifically, if a college offers 100 spots for admission and 90 accept, that’s good. If only 10 accept, that’s bad.
(5) Defined interest – visiting colleges, contact college reps, having a legacy at the college – is one way that college admissions officers generate a high yield.
(6) Early Decision is easily the most significant way to demonstrate defined interest
(7) Therefore, as a blunt but not exact analysis, applying early decision might double your chances of admission at a particular college.
Eventually, the logic of the analysis overpowered Matt’s commitment hesitancy. He was admitted ED to his favorite college.