Yesterday I shared an easy way to to obtain early decision statistics from individual colleges and universities. Here is the post:
As I promised at the time, I want to delve into the specifics of a high school senior, I’m going to call her Sarah, who wants to apply early decision to The College of New Jersey. I’d love to hear whether you think Sarah should apply ED.
Sarah has a 3.7/3.8 unweighted GPA. She’s a very hard worker, but she’s taken only honors classes and no AP courses except an AP literature class this fall. Her combined SAT scores are around 1900. The teenager, who wants to be a special-ed teacher, is madly in love with The College of New Jersey.
Part of the family dynamics is that the girl is a twin. Her brother, a late bloomer has an unweighted 3.4 GPA, but he continues to improve academically and he earned a great SAT score — 2100. Sarah has been the better student, but The College of New Jersey sent her brother an invitation to a reception for possible merit scholars and not her!
This snub might seem shocking unless you take a look at TCNJ’s Common Data Set. In the section of the Common Data Set that states what admission factors are most important, the school clearly states that while grades are “considered,” test scores of applicants are “very important.” The rigor of the high school record is also “very important.”
You can discover more about using the Common Data Set to learn about a school’s admission factors here:
Applying Early Decision
Sarah wants to apply Early Decision, which should boost her changes of getting into this very selective public liberal arts college and she doesn’t want to consider any other schools. If Sarah’s family had unlimited cash, I’d say go for it, but that’s not the case here. Here is an excerpt from the dad’s email:
We went along with this (Early Decision intention), but now I have lost my steady income as a psychologist and am piecing together consulting work…hence, we are concerned that even the modest full freight of TCNJ will be a lot. I want her to consider other schools to see what kind of merit packages they might offer (even privates, where her scores and grades are above their admitted means)–but she won’t hear of it. My wife is concerned about her emotional status if we push the issue…
Here’s my suggestion:
Because of the family’s tenuous finances, I’d tell Sarah she can’t apply early decision. If she got in through early decision, Sarah would be committed to attending the school regardless of whether the family received any financial aid or merit awards. In this case, it’s better to see what other colleges would offer too.
I’d recommend she apply to The College of New Jersey during the regular admission process and apply to other schools as well.
What do you think?