A guarantee of travel season (whether I’m standing and talking at a college fair for a few hours or chatting with students around a table in their high school counseling office) is that every single day, I will be asked at least one time, “Isn’t it reallyyyy easier to get in ED?”
My answer to this question is yes. And no. And kind of.
So let’s break Early Decision down and have a real talk.
First thing’s first: It is NOT (I repeat NOT) easier to get into Tufts ED. But sometimes it’s harder to get in Regular Decision. Let me explain.
Early Decision is...well...early! Which means that when reading ED applications, we have not yet admitted any students to the new class and thus have a sea of empty seats that need filling. The piles and piles of ED applications on our desks (figuratively of course, computers are truly wonderful things) represent students who have expressed a deep love of Tufts (ED is binding after all!).
And some of those students also show us the academic chops needed to be successful in our classrooms. And some of those students also embody the intellectual playfulness, kindness, curiosity, grit, and so many other traits that are prevalent in our community. And for those students who embody these ‘Tuftsy’ qualities in and out of the classroom, why wouldn’t we say yes? They’re the same type of and caliber of student that we will eventually admit in Regular Decision.
Now fast forward to Regular Decision.
While every single seat was empty before, now a good portion of them are occupied by ED students. There are fewer seats but more applicants than before. And while a portion of our Regular Decision applicants are academically qualified and personally compelling and we love them and maybe they love us too, the principle of supply and demand is now coming into play. We take many of them, but we can’t take them all because there just isn’t the space. And this is the ever-present conundrum in highly-selective admissions: there are more qualified candidates than there is space in the class. Yes, we do accept and enroll the majority of our students through Regular Decision, but this squeeze is felt most intensely during Regular Decision.
I am not telling you these things to make you more stressed about this process. I am telling you these things to empower you with new (and important) information. Remember, we enroll and accept the bulk of our students through the Regular Decision process!
That being said, if you have truly fallen in love with a campus (maybe your tour guide made an obscure reference to a British panel show you follow religiously and has that major in Music, Sound, and Culture and has Community Day every year where you get to interact with local families and staff the face-painting table...okay, so you may have guessed that I’m talking about Tufts here!), your odds will likely be best in ED. So do your research! Talk to current students. Talk with your family about financial aid. Visit campus if you’re able, or poke around the website and take a virtual tour. If you’re the kind of student we’d admit in Regular Decision, you’re the kind of student we’d admit in ED.
Now breathe (again).
As you’re doing your homework and asking the tough questions about colleges you’re considering ED, reach out to us! We’re here to answer your questions and provide words of encouragement and some kind reassurances along the way.