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Could someone explain exactly how Early Decision works? Is it for Ivies? All D3s or just more academically selective ones? And what does it cover? Does applying and being accepted ED prevent you from going to another Ivy if that's where you apply? Or D3 if that's where you apply? What about going to a different level- such as how being accepted ED at a D3 affects applying at a D2? Sorry, I've tried to search this and can't quite find all the info I'm looking for.

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If you apply ED, then "theoretically" you've "made your choice". Once accepted the only "only" way out of it is if the financial aid doesn't work. When my oldest son decided ED at Tufts - he contacted the other schools he already applied at and inform them he'd decided ED (whether that was a requirement or not, I forget).


If you are not sure where you want to go or would like the option to work out your best financial aid package, then perhaps ED isn't for you.


Coaches push ED for a couple of reasons - if you're academically gifted, then it's almost a no brainer (pardon the pun) for them to request you go ED.  If you're on the bubble to get in through admissions to the College, then "some" have "pull" in admissions (or higher) to assist through the process.  Since ED time is usually early in the process of admissions there are less candidates and admissions has the time for a coach looking over their shoulder.  Come February, March, April - they don't want the coach hounding them (does that make sense?).  BTW The academically gifted going ED at a school where he/she'd be in the "top" of the class anyway is more likely to get a good academic aid package.  This holds true for my middle son (who went ED) where we get about 10K/year for a presidential scholly which may not have been so much if we went traditional admissions - that amounts to about 18% of the overall cost (you do the math).


Consider ED the equivalent of a National Letter of Intent.


I *know* the information you seek has been stated multiple times in the HSBBW - fairly recently too. This site is a treasure trove. Or as Forrest Gump may have said - like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to pull out.

Are all D3 schools part of Early Decision though? What about those that have rolling admissions- where do they fit in? Maybe this has been answered but I did search and this is one of the specific things I can't find when I search. Also, I don't understand how it relates to other levels. Are you saying that applying ED at a D3 would preclude someone from looking at a D2 school?

You have to look at colleges individually, as each college sets its own policies.


ED is essentially a contract. By applying ED the student promises to go there if accepted. If you look at stats on college sites you'll see that only about 1%  of students accepted ED do not matriculate.


So you could look at a D2 school or any other school, but that would be as plan B should ED not work out.



Decent summary here:  http://professionals.collegebo...e/applications/early


Early Decision is not just for D3s. It can be for any college. For D3 baseball recruiting it's the best indication the player is a top recruit if asked to apply ED. ED applicants are committed if accepted. Rolling Admissions is a longer, open window to apply. Like ED it's a way to find out earlier in senior year if accepted. The student isn't committing to the college upon acceptance.

OK, so if I understand correctly, no one is going to come arrest you if you don't honor an ED, but it would be considered unethical. Correct?


What's driving me crazy trying to figure out is this: If a D3 doesn't specifically say the application is an ED application, if the school actually only has rolling admissions, but a student applies within the time frame that would traditionally be ED, is this then treated just like any other application and not ED?


And as an extension of that, does any college consider an application an intention of attending if accepted? Because every coach we talk to says they want you to apply immediately. If this was solely about academics my kid would be applying for more than one school and then choosing which fit him best, so I don't understand how this works.


We are not in this situation, I just don't want to get us into it, so I wanted to figure this out.

Each school at all levels (D1, D2, D3) may have it's own admission policies.  Schools with some form of Early Decision (or Early Action) usually offer one of theree types. 


ED exists at many schools.  The applicant applies early to just one school and gets a decision early.  If accepted, the student will withdraw all other applications and agrees to attend the school (no changing your mind or waiting for the best financial aid offer). 

Another option at some schools is Early Action (EA).  EA is not binding, you apply early and get a decision early, but can still apply to other schools.  A third option available at many schools is Single Choice Early Action (SCEA).  Like EA, it is not binding, however you may only apply to one school early.  If accepted, you may still apply to other schools. 


DIII and the ivies often use ED or SCEA as a substitute for the NLI.  Both parties commit early, though there is no scholarship contract.



In the context of college baseball recruiting, ff a Coach is asking your son to apply ED typically there is a reason.  The coach wants a committed athlete and the athlete is getting help with Admissions that he wouldn't ordinarily get and a spot on the team.  I would verify your understanding with the coach. 


Each situation and school is different with their academic requirements and the number of ED slots available for athletes.  In addition, ED is a time when the applicant pool has some flexibility with regards to athletes and non-athletes.  I know in my oldest son's case the overall acceptance rate was 30% for ED and about half that for Regular Decision for the University overall.  Caveat:  each college (architecture, engineereing, etc...) within the University can make their own admission decisions and the acceptance % can be much lower than the overall University.  In my middle son's case (non-athlete) he was a borderline candidate for the school he most wanted to attend.  He applied ED also, and he's doing extremely well in the college of engineering.  ED acceptance can lock you if accepted, but it can give you an academic boost as well into a very competitive school..

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