Applying RD, ED, EA, REA, and with Rolling Admissions (formerly Bullseye Admissions) presents its webinar on Applying RD, ED, EA, REA, and with Rolling Admissions in a 60-minute webinar and Q&A with a Bullseye advisor. Our presenter will provide information about the various application options, their differences, and when to apply early vs. regular. Our advisor will share information about how to use the application options to devise an application strategy and what to expect with each option.

Date 09/03/2020
Duration 61:56

Webinar Transcription

2020-09-03 Applying RD, ED, EA, REA, and with Rolling Admissions

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Bullseye admissions webinar on Applying RD, ED, EA, REA, and with Rolling Admissions. I know it’s a mouthful and I’ll explain what all of that means. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q&A on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q&A tab.

Okay, here we go.

All right. So to start by introducing myself, my name is Zoe. I graduated from Yale in 2016 with a bachelor of arts in religious studies, concentrating in environmental studies, very niche, [00:01:00] academia. That was always my way. I was also very invested in sustainable agriculture and dance when I was in college in the past four years, since graduating from college, I’ve been working in called college advising and I’ve helped more than 60 students through this process.

So tests is also here for tech support. There have been some fires in my area and in California. So tests will be able to step in if my internet goes down please feel free to message her. If you have any tech issues that come up.

All right. So to start right when to apply to college and why it matters. So many colleges have multiple application deadlines. It’s not as simple as there’s this one date. You have to send your application. And each round each application policy comes with its own benefits and restrictions. So to give you an overview of what the typical application rounds are, [00:02:00] they are early decision, both one and two.

Again, I’ll explain what that distinction means. There’s also early action and restrictive early actions, sometimes known as single choice early action and there’s regular decision enrolling admissions. So the main distinction you need to keep in mind is the difference between early application deadlines and regular application deadlines.

The main difference there is pretty obvious it’s when you press submit early applications are typically due in November. No, by November 1st and regular opera applications are typically due around January 1st. And applying early can carry multiple benefits. One of which is it can marginally improve your chances of being accepted to your top choice school.

And you get a decision back sooner. Usually you’ll hear back by mid December, whereas with regular decision, you’ll hear back from colleges in March or April. But [00:03:00] applying early is not the best pathway for every applicant, right? If you need more time to improve your test scores or improve your grades, senior year of high school, you should take that time and apply regular.

It’s ultimately most important to submit your strongest possible application. And also if you’re planning to apply for financial aid, you just need to be. Smart about using early decision because early decision as we’ll discuss is a binding application strategy. It means you will attend that school if you’re accepted and you will be accepted before you receive your financial aid offer.

So if you’re bound to a school before knowing if you can afford it, that can create some issues. So that’s a good overview. Now we’ll get into what each of these application rounds actually mean.

All right. So early decision, one more specifically, this is a binding application strategy, which again [00:04:00] means if you apply and are accepted, you must attend that school and then you must withdraw any other pending applications you have out there. So obviously, because early decision is binding, you can only choose one early decision school.

You’re committing to that one school. Typically students use this, if they’re really sure about their top choice school, you’ve been dreaming of attending duke since you were in diapers, right? That’s a great opportunity to use early decision. And let me show you some of the pros of this program.

So qualified applicants receive a significant emissions boost. It’s important to look at that qualifier there, that qualified applicants get an admissions boost. It doesn’t mean that if you would have had no choice that no chance at duke, like your GPA is way below their threshold, your test scores, your essays.

If at all, is not meeting a certain benchmark, then you won’t get that [00:05:00] admissions boost. It won’t necessarily help you get accepted. But if your. Meeting their standard acceptance qualifications. Then you have an even better chance of getting accepted. And especially at schools that have very competitive admissions chancing this can be a huge leg up for you.

Another benefit of early decision one is that you get a decision earlier, right by by mid December and then your college application process will be done. You’ll already be going to that school. You won’t have to worry about it anymore. On the other side of the coin, having your decision that really, and it being a binding application can be a negative because you won’t have as much choice in where you’re ultimately going to attend college.

That can give you a huge peace of mind. You might love that, but you also might feel buyer’s remorse. You might see your friends choosing between 10 different [00:06:00] great schools, and that might be hard. So if you’re not completely certain about a school that you’d be happy attending that school don’t apply early decision one, because you can, in very small cases, withdraw from your EDU school.

Usually with financial aid, if you absolutely cannot afford it, but it’s a very complicated process and it takes a long time and it can negatively affect your timing for submitting other applications. So I had already mentioned this before early decision one is also not a great option. If you’re relying on financial aid you will receive a financial aid offer early, right?

You might get accepted December 15th. You might receive your aid offer a week or two later. But you’ll already, if you’re accepted already agreed that you’re going and colleges tend to take that very serious. Seriously. There is a loophole you could get out of it. If it’s [00:07:00] absolutely untenable, apparently apparent recently lost a job and you can no longer afford it.

You thought you could afford, but again, it can mess up your long-term application strategy. You might only be able to apply to schools that have rolling admissions deadlines. So keep that in mind. Okay, so now let’s move on to really action. Early action is also an early deadline, but it’s, non-binding meaning that after you apply to an early action school, even if you’re accepted, you can keep applying elsewhere.

And you can also apply to as many early action schools as you want. So the pros of early action are, again, that you receive an early response. Often colleges will get back to you by mid December, though. It can vary more with early action. Another pro, right? If you’re accepted, you’re not bound to attend that school.

It gives you more agency. And finally, as I mentioned, you [00:08:00] can apply to multiple schools using early action, and that can be nice to get more work out of the way. Some cons of early action. It gives you the smallest admissions boost amongst early application strategy is early. Decision gives you the greatest admissions boost, the greatest chance of getting into your child top choice, school restrictive early action comes next and then early action.

The difference is small, but every little thing helps. And then another con, and this is true of every early application strategy. You have less time to complete your applications. So again, if you’re struggling with your test scores or struggling with your grades early action might not be the right fit for you.

Okay. So our next application round here is restrictive early action sometimes called single choice early action. It’s similar to early action in the sense that it’s non-binding, if you’re [00:09:00] accepted to your REA school, then you still have until may to decide where you want to matriculate. You can keep sending in applications, regular decision.

However, you have to really action. As it sounds in the name does restrict your ability to apply to other schools early. So REA is usually used by private colleges. I’ll use the, as an example, so they have restrictive really action. They actually call it single choice early action. Therefore you’re saying to Yale, I am only applying to your school early.

I’m not applying to any other private schools early, and that therefore gives you a slightly better chance of getting accepted to Yale. If you’re already a qualified that. So let’s get into these pros and cons, right? Pros you do receive an admissions boost from restricted really action. And if you’re accepted, you’re not bound to attend again.

You have that agency, you get to [00:10:00] receive all of your college acceptances in total and then make an informed decision. The cons you can only apply to one private school early and something important to note there is that I said private schools restrictive early action cannot legally restrict your ability to apply to public institutions early action.

So if you fail is your single choice early action school. You could still apply to your local public institution, early action without breaking any of the limitations there. And again, the con with any early application strategy is that you have less time to complete your application.

Okay. So this is just to show you what schools use restrictive really action. For example, this is not a comprehensive list, right? Just the highlights. So Harvard, Stanford, Notre Dame, [00:11:00] Boston college, they all have restrictive early action schools that have single choice. Early action include Yale, as I mentioned and Princeton.

However, it’s really important to note that for this year, Princeton is saying they’re not doing single choice early action anymore. They only have one application deadline, and it’s the regular deadline of January. And that’s because of COVID they just want that one application deadline.

Okay, great. So now let’s move on to early decision to. This is a bit complicated because it’s called early decision. But the deadline for applications in ed two is not actually early it’s in January, alongside regular decision applications. So the way it works is identical to ed one, it’s a binding application.

If you apply to a school ed two, when you get accepted, it means you’re going to that school. You’re [00:12:00] given this option to apply ed to in January to give you a second chance at capturing the admissions boost of early decision in case you weren’t accepted to your first AB one school, or maybe you’re one of those students you want another month or two to work on your grades and test scores, and then you want to apply ed to NYU.

That’s fine too. So again, the pros of this application strategy, you get us. Admissions boost higher chance of getting accepted to your school. You also receive a decision by mid February before you receive responses from your regular decision school. Again, the other side of the coin here is because the deadline for ed two is January one.

You will have to submit all of your other applications to regular decision, right? So let’s say you’re applying to 12 schools. Total. You have one school you’re [00:13:00] applying to ed two, you will have had to apply to those 11 other schools, regular decision. If you’re accepted EDU two, congratulations, but you’ll have to then withdraw those 11 applications.

You already spent hours completing. It will still be a success, but it can feel a little frustrating in that way. And again, this is similar to ed. One, ed two was not the most reliable pathway if you rely on financial aid, because again, you’re bound to that school and you’ll receive your aid offer after you’re accepted.

All right. So let’s do a poll. We’ve talked about early application strategy is even though early decision two is due in January. So let me get this poll started. You should be able to answer in the poll tab and it’s just asking if you’re planning to apply to schools early or not. Let’s see if we have [00:14:00] any responses here.

Some people are still deciding lots of people are still deciding and some people know they’re applying early decision or early action, less responses for ed to, which is I would expect that I’ll give you all a minute to, to keep fiddling with the pole. And if you don’t know when you’re going to apply to school, that’s absolutely.

Okay. That’s part of the purpose of this webinar is to inform you about the different application routes and help you decide which one’s actually right for me, which ones are right for me because you’ll have to combine them. Okay, great. So the vast majority of you are still deciding and again, perfectly fine.

That’s why we’re all here. All right. So that’s the end of the poll. Let’s continue with talking about regular decision and rolling admissions. So regular decision. This is your standard application strategy. [00:15:00] You can apply to as many schools as you want. You’re not obligated to attend any of these schools.

If you’re accepted and deadlines are typically January 1st, that’s the most typical deadline, but it can really be any time in those first two weeks of January. There are also some schools that have regular decision deadlines in February or March, but that’s much less common. So assume January, if you hear regular decision deadline.

So the benefits of regular decision are one. You get more time to complete your applications. You get another couple of months, which can’t be overstated. You get more time to work on your essays and to put your best foot forward. Another pro is that there’s no limit to where you can apply or matriculate.

You have maximum agents. The cons of regular decision are mostly time management. So a lot of students submit the [00:16:00] majority of their applications. Regular decision might be somewhere between five and 10 applications that you’re submitting in January. If they’re all doing the first week of January, that can create a huge bottleneck for students.

And if you’ve fallen into the lull of, oh, I submitted my EA applications November 1st. I don’t have to worry about regular decision until I’m on winter break. Then you might run into some issues and being able to complete your applications as well as humanly possible. So it’s important to make really regular progress on your regular decision applications, right?

You could even be working on your regular decision applications over the summer. Pace yourself is the main takeaway here.

Okay, so now let’s talk about rolling admission. So rolling admission means that there’s no singular deadline. There’s a window in which you can apply. Typically rolling [00:17:00] admission at a school can open an August and will end in may, but it can end later can open a little bit later, open sooner. It will depend school to school.

So when you apply rolling admission, you’re going to receive a decision within three to eight weeks. That’s pretty quick. And the reason it’s called rolling admission is that students are accepted as they apply. So you submit your application. You’ll be considered very quickly and then you’ll receive a decision because.

Decisions are enrolling it’s best. If you can apply as early as possible, right? If you can apply in summer or fall, that means that there will be more spaces available. The later you apply, the more you run into the risk of, oh, whoops. The school has already filled that our freshmen class and I missed my chance.

But that being said, schools will often have a handful of spots open and rolling admission [00:18:00] can work as a fallback. If you really struggled with your ed school, something horrible happened and you can no longer attend. You can submit rolling applications later. Yeah. Okay. So now let’s talk about priority deadlines.

So these are tricky because technically you’re still applying like regular decision with a priority deadline. But if you’re applying to a specialty program like a BSMD program or if you’re applying to a specific major or a merit scholarship, your specific deadline to submit your application might be sooner.

So I’ll give you some examples, right? So Purdue is a great technical college and has a great computer science program. It’s very competitive and very popular. So if you’re applying as a CS major, you’re supposed to apply by November 1st. Those, if you’re an applicant and you apply after November 1st, then you’re only admitted as spaces available and it’s very possible.

[00:19:00] They will have filled their freshmen class. With their November 1st applicants, an example with merit scholarships is like Vanderbilt. If you want to be considered for merit scholarships, you have to apply by December 1st. Even if you’re applying regular decision, you won’t hear back any sooner, but just to be considered for merit scholarships, you have to apply a little earlier.

There are multiple schools that have that policy. So for any school you’re applying to have all your ducks in a row, know what major you’re applying as if it’s applicable, if you’re undecided, that’s fine. But if there’s a specific major or college within a university or applying to make sure what their specific deadline is, if it’s really important that you be considered for merit scholarships, double check what your deadline is, and you can usually find all of this information on a school’s admissions website.

Okay. So now let’s talk about [00:20:00] crafting an application strategy. What do you do with all of these options? So the first decision you have to make is, am I applying anywhere early? And if you are, if you decide you’re ready and you want to get a decision sooner, rather than later, you can, you have to pick one EDD or one restrictive early action school, right?

You don’t necessarily have to use those options, but if you’re planning on using ed or REA, you have to choose one school and then alongside those applications, you can choose additional early action schools. So let me give you some examples of this, right? So you’re applying early decision to one school, let’s say NYU.

And therefore you’re bound to apply or you’re bound to attend if you’re accepted, but you can simultaneously apply to other schools early action, because they’re, [00:21:00] non-binding, you’ll be able to say no to them. If you’re accepted, you’re absolutely able to apply to both NYU early decision and five schools early action.

But if you’re accepted to NYU early decision, you’ll have to withdraw all of those other early action applications. Alongside early decision, you can also submit any regular decision applications that have priority deadlines, like what we just discussed. So maybe you’re still applying to Vanderbilt regular decision, but you want to be considered for merit scholarships or do you want to be considered for an honors program?

You’ll have to apply earlier and that’s okay. And while use early decision program, won’t hold that against you. And it’s similar with restrictive early action, right? You can apply to other public schools early action. You have ultimately the opportunity to apply to a lot of schools, early action. Or if you’re just applying to all of your, to a [00:22:00] lot of schools, early action, you could theoretically apply to 10, 12 schools.

Non-binding early action. However, the second point here is you have to assess how many applications you can actually handle. You never want to sacrifice quality in the face of quantity. Yes. I understand the impulse to apply early, get your decisions back sooner, but you never want to do that. If it’s going to negatively affect the quality of your applications, it takes a long time to draft your essays and to get them to a point where you’re proud of them.

It takes a long time to write your activity list and really strategize and make sure it’s up to. So really consider how many applications can I handle before November 1st. And then figure out how many applications you’ll have for regular decision and how many applications can I handle in the remaining two months between early action and regular [00:23:00] decision.

So something you have to do when you’re considering, like what application rounds am I using for all of the schools. I’m applying to think about your shirt, sorry, your longterm goals and account for your schedule. So I have clients who know that they’re really academically busy and busy with their extracurriculars when.

October 15th comes around. So their goal is to do a lot of work over the summer. A lot of work in September and get maybe 75% of their applications done. And that case you’ll have a really strong body of essays already done. You can reuse them for other applications and they’ll have a two week break in December to complete the remaining applications.

That’s a fine application strategy. Just know what big dates you’re working around. If you’re an athlete and you have a really important season coming up, complete your applications before and [00:24:00] after give your spell, give yourself the space. You need to have a good fulfilling senior year of high school.

That’s really important. So part of making this a successful and fun experience for you is to make regular progress on all of your app occasions. It’s, as I mentioned before, the temptation is huge to put all of your time into your early decision school. Maybe that’s the only school you’re applying to early because you love it.

So you could put five months into that application and make it perfect, but then you’ll have 10 other applications to submit. If you’re not accepted, maybe you’re deferred. Maybe you’re rejected, then you’ll only have a month and a half. You know what? So if you hear back from your school December 15th, that gives you two weeks to complete the rest of your applications.

You don’t want to put yourself in that position. So it’s really important [00:25:00] to look at your total calendar, how many schools you’re applying to, how many weeks you have left until those deadlines. And just say, Every two weeks, I’ll aim to complete an application. So I’ll continue helping you with this on this next slide.

So it’s important to give yourself reality checks early and often in this process. So you’re good. The goal always should be to complete applications at least two weeks before that line. And I advise him because you never know what can happen. There can be technological glitches. There can be yeah, or right.

You don’t want to be working till the last minute. College applications are really important. You don’t want to have typos in your essays. So complete it so that you have those two weeks to really look over your application with fresh eyes, really make sure you have all your ducks in a row that your guidance counselor recommendation has been submitted, that your transcript has been submitted.

All of the small bits and pieces that go into an application. [00:26:00] Those two weeks will give you the space to press submit with confidence. Another thing I want to mention here is that there’s no tangible benefit to applying to a school way before their deadline, right? So if a school’s deadline is January 1st for regular decision, and that’s when you’re applying, there’s no benefit to applying December 1st, instead of January 1st, colleges will only start reviewing applications after that deadline.

And as long as you’ve submitted before the deadline, whether it’s a month before the deadline or a minute before the deadline, your application will be treated the same. And. If you send your application in a month early for something like regular decision, then you know, something, some update may have happened.

Maybe you won an award through your sports team or you won an award through school for community service. You won’t be able to add that to your application afterwards. If you’ve already pressed submit. [00:27:00] So typically I recommend that you press submit on an application about five days before the application deadline.

That again, allows you to account for technology glitches while making sure everything is as up-to-date as possible. So something useful again, in this reality check is constantly asking yourself how many applications do I have versus how many weeks do I have to complete them? In my extensive work with clients, I’ve found that to be a really useful motivator to see, wow, I have two months to complete 10 applications.

That means I have to do an application every week plus some. So use that as a reality check to keep you motivated and make sure that you’re making the progress you need to. All right. So receiving admissions decisions, there are three decisions you can receive one you’re accepted, congratulations and other you’re rejected, which hurts.

Take the [00:28:00] time to feel that, and then move on to the applications where you have a chance or you can be deferred or wait-listed. So deferrals happen when you’ve applied to a school early, early decision restrictive, early action. You can be deferred. And what that means is you’re still in consideration.

You are still marked as a competitive applicant, but they couldn’t quite make a decision about you. So your application is being deferred to the regular application. Pool your application will be read once more alongside the total number of applicants to that school. Deferrals can feel like a disappointment, right?

It’s not what you’re aiming for. It’s not an acceptance. But it’s still a mark that you were considered competitive and you still have a chance. The chance is not huge being accepted after a deferral though, that depends school to school a little bit with those statistics actually. But again, that door is not completely closed similar with wait-lists except that happens when you apply to a [00:29:00] school regular decision.

So you apply regular decision and a school couldn’t quite make a decision about you. They like you, they needed a tuba player instead of a phone well player, then they might waitlist you. And would that, the means is as that college starts receiving answers from the students they’ve accepted, some students will say, yes, I’m attending.

And some students will say, no, actually I’m going to another school. If there’s space for you, they’ll call you. And they’ll have a list of waitlist people. If you’re at the top of the list, you’ll get called first. It also, again, depends a little bit on demographics. Chances of getting off, wait lists again, not huge, but still the doors open.

And there are specific procedures you go through if you’re deferred or wait-listed you write a letter of continued interest to your colleges to say Hey, I’m still interested. Thank you so much for taking the time to review my application. And that is something bulls I can help you with if you had, if you decide to work with an advisor [00:30:00] to briefly let you know what my experience was, I applied to all of my schools, regular decision.

I knew I was going to grow. I knew I was going to change throughout my senior year. And I wanted to give myself that space to apply to 10 schools that ask and all the risks and all the acceptances I received and then make a really informed decision. Applying to all my schools, regular also gave me the opportunity to apply to a highly selective full tuition, merit scholarship to UVA.

It’s called the Jefferson scholarship. Sometimes colleges won’t consider you for highly selective programs. If you’re applying ed to another school, because you’ve said I will attend that school. If I’m accepted you could still apply to schools early action. That’s just not the particular route I chose.

Applying regular decision to all of my schools. I had to be really careful about that January bottleneck. So I completed my top choice application over the summer, even though it wasn’t due [00:31:00] until January. And I continued to make regular progress until I submitted all of them applications.

Okay. So now we’ll move on two questions and answers. And I’m going to start with some of the questions you submitted when you registered for this event. And then I’ll start looking at the Q and a questions you’ve been submitting. So one of the questions we got was can you withdraw from an early decision application, if it turns out to not be the right choice for you?

I did address this briefly. But I think it’s worth going over again. So you. The short answer is no, it’s not easy to withdraw from an ed school. If you decide you can’t attend, really, the only loophole is you weren’t given enough financial aid and you cannot afford it in that case. It’s possible to withdraw from an ed school that you were accepted to, but it’s very hard [00:32:00] and it’s lengthy and again can then affect the progress you could have otherwise been making on regular decision applications.

So I really only recommend applying ed if you’re sure about the school and if you’re not worrying about the financial aid offer.

Okay. Let me look at some of the questions you’ve submitted here. All right. Great. I love all this engagement. So let me copy and paste this. It says in a year with many more schools going test optional, does the definition of qualified for ed change? It’s hard to give an equivocal answer here, right? The standards for school have not changed. The, for Yale, if the standard applicant has a 3.9 GPA, that’s still the standard they’re looking for. If you have a slightly lower GPA, that’s okay. If you have a higher GPA, great. Test scores, ha taking test scores out of the mix can make it a [00:33:00] lot harder to assess if you’re qualified applicant.

What that does is it puts more responsibility on your GPA, on the rigor of your course load on your essay as in your activity. And short on every other aspect of your application to be really strong. So if you are applying to schools without a test scores, really look at standard GPA to that school, what is the median accepted student?

What is their GPA? And if you’re having a hard time gauging, if you’re qualified for a school, talk to students who go to that school and were accepted, what were their stats? What did it look like for them? It’s anecdotal. But it can give you an idea of where you stand.

Okay. Let’s look.

Okay. So [00:34:00] here’s a good question. Can you apply to a school ed one? And if you get rejected, reapply, regular decisions, then the answer to that is fairly simple. It’s no. So if you’re rejected from your ed school, you can’t apply there anymore. They’ve already made their decision. If you are differed from your ed one school, you will automatically be reassessed and regular decision.

And something I wanted to mention about the difference between and is that you can’t apply to the same school. So if you were rejected from your ed one school and they also have ed too, you can’t apply ed to you were rejected just like you can’t apply regular decision. If you were right. Bird you’re off.

You’re automatically moved to the regular decision pool. So if you applied somewhere 81 and you’re rejected, or you were deferred and you, but you still want to use the benefits of early decision to you’ll have to have another school that you [00:35:00] love and you’ll have no regrets about in your back pocket.

You’ll have to have that ready. Another school you love that you’ll have no regrets about.

Okay. There’s a question about AP tests. And I’ll answer it just cause it’s the first thing that I see right now. AP tests are not going to significantly affect your chances of being accepted. To your schools. Colleges are mostly looking at grades rigor of your course load and test scores like sat and act.

If you decide to submit them. And if they’re still accepting them during COVID the benefit of AP tests mostly is that is that they can help you get out of prerequisite classes. Once you start at your college, once you mature speculate. So if you’ve got a five on AP calc, you might be able to skip some introductory math courses and go into the math that you love.[00:36:00]

Okay. Let’s get some more questions here.

Okay. How long after being accepted, do you hear about financial aid offers to all schools offer some type of financial aid? Great question various school to school. The one important thing to note is that there is federal financial aid FAFSA and that is often that’s an application for the application that you that you submit, and it will calculate.

What’s called an expected family contribution. It’ll calculate based on your parents’ taxes and all your holdings, what they think you can afford per year for school. And using that calculation. If you need a lot of financial assistance, the federal [00:37:00] government can give you some loans can give you some scholarships.

But often the most aid you’ll get is from a specific school from a specific institution that’s called institutional aid, and often schools will use the FAFSA’s expected family contribution. To figure out how much money you actually need. Some schools will use an additional application called the CSS profile.

You’ll have to submit both. And that again, helps schools understand how much money you need to afford their school had a, and they’ll base that offer off of those two applications. Different schools offer different amounts of aid, right? So I know Yale, I got a lot of financial aid from Yale because Yale is a need-blind institution.

If you’re accepted, then you get all the aid you need. But some schools have a limited budget and they can only offer so much financial aid. So w will [00:38:00] vary school to school. The first question here is how long after being accepted, do you hear about a financial aid offer? Again, that can vary from my experience, it takes a couple of weeks.

And then if you have to negotiate, that can take longer. It’s a hard process. Figuring out what schools you want to apply to, or you want to matriculate at based on your financial aid office for as part of the good news is if you’re applying to non-binding early action programs and regular decision programs, and you’re getting various financial aid offers, you can use those different offers to negotiate.

You can say, Hey, school a, I was accepted to a school that’s similarly competitive, if not, a little bit more competitive. And they offered me more money. Don’t you want to offer me more money too? So that gives you a little bit of agency.

Okay. So at this point, we’re partway through the Q and a as a quick break, I want to let you know about Bullseye, which has partnered with NCSA [00:39:00] to bring you this webinar. So we have a bunch of free resources at Bullseye that can help you with your college applications, including free webinars. Like this one essay guides on our blog pages, on our website, featuring different colleges and so much more.

This month we have a whole set of webinars that are here to help you build a strong foundation for applying. So I’m going to send you the link to our foundations landing page, which has all of our webinars this month.

Okay. Let’s see.

I’m gonna send a link in the public chat.

Okay. Great. So now let’s, oh, here, sorry. I forgot to turn the page. This is a calendar of our various webinars, the [00:40:00] webinars that have a little college hat on them. They show that’s for members, only members of Bullseye, but all the other webinars that don’t have the college graduation cap on them, they’re open to anyone.

Okay. So now we’ll continue with questions and answers. I’ll keep mining from this chat page and copy and pasting into our public chat.

Okay. So here’s a question for restrictive early action schools like Yale can you only apply to your state school or any state school you can apply to any public institution? So if I had applied to Yale early action, I could have applied to public schools in Texas or Maryland or Massachusetts or California.

It doesn’t matter as long as they’re public. And that is a great way to both get the [00:41:00] marginal admissions boost of applying to a school restrictive early action and to send in more applications.

Okay. How do you find out what type of admission a call, what type of admission a college has? That’s really easy. Again, I recommend that you go to college websites and admissions pages. There will always be a part that says for prospective students. And often if it’s love design, there’ll be a clear place for you to look at deadlines.

And that will make it really clear. These are the deadlines we offer. This is what to do on those deadlines. Go to school admissions pages, if you’re really confused and you can’t find the information you need, or there’s a nuance, you don’t understand, feel free to call admissions offices. Yeah, that, that is another great option that’s available to you.


All right. What about applying to colleges with sat slash act scores, optional applying early? Do you send the scores or do you don’t or do you not? So this really depends on the school and on your scores. So in response to COVID, some schools have had different responses, right? A lot of schools have gone test optional, but they’ve gone test optional in different ways.

Some schools have said do and not submit your test scores. We will not look at them. And that case abide by the school do not send in your test scores there. They won’t consider them. And they’ll just be annoyed that you tried to send them something that they told you not to send. But other schools I’ll keep using it as an example because it’s the one I’m most up-to-date on They are test optional.

You will not be penalized if you do not submit your scores, but they’re still considering [00:43:00] scores. If students choose to submit them. So the schools are being honest, like truly this year with COVID with the extraordinary extenuating circumstances of a pandemic, you will not be penalized for not submitting test scores.

That is true. They’re not lying or trying to trick you, but you do have to consider the larger picture, right? So some students will be applying with the same GPA as you with similarly, fantastic essay is if they’re matched neck and neck with you on everything else and that other person submit strong test scores as well, that does give them a slight leg up.

Cause they have another way to demonstrate their strengths. So if you were able to take. Standardized tests before COVID hit and you got a decent score and you’re wondering, oh, do I submit it? Do I not really look at that? School’s [00:44:00] median score for their accepted students. That’ll give you a sense of does this score make me competitive or will it hurt me if it’s going to hurt you?

If your score is substantially lower than the standard accepted applicants, don’t send it in. If your score is matched with the standard accepted applicant or it’s higher. Sure. Send that in. And it’s just, again, another way to demonstrate your strengths.

Okay. Competition be tougher when applying EA R E D. So yeah, it’s interesting. And how that’s phrased the competition won’t. Won’t be harder, right? You do get a huge number of qualified applicants applying that much is true. But colleges year to year, they have standards. They know what they’re looking for.

So you’re not necessarily competing against the application right [00:45:00] next to you. You’re competing against the college standards and what they’re looking for that year. Are they looking for more students from Ohio? Are they looking for a kazoo player for a swimmer that will vary and you have no control over that?

So I think the undertone of this question right, is will it be harder for me to get in if I apply early action? And the short answer is no. And in fact, it’s the opposite. If you apply early, whether it’s early action, restrictive early action, early decision. And you already matched that school’s general expectations for an accepted student, then you have a slightly better chance of getting in yeah.

Applying early as a great option. If you’re prepared, if you already have the grades you’re looking for, and if you have the time to write strong essays before the deadline.[00:46:00]

Okay. Another question, is it better to apply to your safe schools, EA and then apply to your reaches R D or is it better to apply early to highly selective schools? So that can vary sorry. My copy and paste functions are not working so right now. Yeah, that can vary. It depends how qualified you are as an applicant. So if your. Applying to Harvard, but you know that your grades, your test scores that you have from January, that your extracurriculars are substantially lower than the standard accepted applicants. It’s not necessarily in your benefit to apply early because early is a great way to capture an admissions boost at schools where you’re a qualified applicant, [00:47:00] right?

If you have a match school that you love, maybe you’re applying to Drexel and you love Drexel, but you love Harvard a little bit more, but like you have a really strong shot at Drexel consider applying. I don’t know if Drexel does early decision, but let’s say theoretically, they do It might be a smart to use early decision there.

Cause then you already had a strong chance of getting accepted at Drexel. If you’re applying early decision, you’re pushing yourself over that edge. You’ve got an even better chance of getting accepted there. So yeah, there’s no harder, fast rule applied to the most selective schools earlier applied to the most selective schools, regular it’s about gauging your competitiveness at that school and gaging when you can like how much time you have to complete a strong application.

Okay. So there’s a question about recruitment, [00:48:00] which I think many of you might be dealing with. So when it comes to getting recruited for sports, how does the dynamic of applying to a school that you were going to get recruited to? How does that play out? So if you’re being recruited at a school it depends what division we’re talking about.

It works slightly differently in D one versus T2 versus T3. Do you one, if you’re being recruited and you will have already been vetted by the time you’re given a recruitment offer and typically they’ll ask you to apply early. So that might mean applying early action, early decision to that school, and might also mean applying an August.

You’ll talk with the coach exactly what the requirements are and then it’s expected. You’re only applying to that school because you’re making a verbal contract. Yes, I’m being recruited. I’m committed to this school. That’s what’s happening. Do you three D to fall somewhere in the middle? It can either align more with D one or more with D three.

You still talk with coaches [00:49:00] and you still go through the process of recruitment. But it’s not quite as regulated as D one. So with D three recruitment, you can apply to more than one school that you’re being recruited at, that you’re being seriously considered for the athletic team. And again, you’ll usually be asked to apply early action or early decision to show that you’re committed to the school.

It is acceptable to apply to one school you’re being recruited at ed and another school that you being recruited at early action. But obviously if you’ve applied to a school early decision, The same parameter is still abide, right? If you’re applying somewhere early decision, you’re saying if I’m accepted, I’m going here.

So ultimately you would have to withdraw that early action application. If you’re unsure, unsure where you stand with a coach of like how sure is this recruitment, it is acceptable to ask, like you don’t just have to be completely passive in this process. You can say, [00:50:00] Hey coach, I really am excited about this school.

I’m excited about your team. And I’m wondering what the dynamic is here are. And how short is that I’m being recruited. It’s important to gauge how serious the team is about you and how serious the school is about you to know exactly how that’s going to affect the rest of your application strategy.

Verbal contracts with coaches, right? Or they say, you look academically qualified and we want you on the team. They’re great. There’s still not a one, a 100% guarantee. So you should still have a smart school list that has safeties and matches and reaches and have those in your back pocket. But recruitment, it really, it changes your application strategy a lot and really increases your chances of getting accepted to your schools.

So it’s important to understand what the coach you’re talking to, what the exact parameters of your recruiter are.[00:51:00]


All right. So there’s a question it’s about COVID in a way. How has the acceptance rate to elite schools affected by students who graduated in the class of 2020 applied to college, got in and decided I’m taking a gap year and now have a reserved spot. Fantastic question. And the long and short of the answer is we don’t know exactly how COVID and students gap years are going to affect acceptances.

This year, we expect COVID will also affect the finances of institutions. A lot of colleges are already reeling financially. So there are a lot of unknowns as is true in general of life and a [00:52:00] pandemic. Life is uncertain college acceptances aren’t are uncertain. So this year, yes, it might be a little bit more competitive to get into your schools.

Or if you’re applying to schools and you’re not relying on any type of financial aid, maybe that will help you slightly. Cause they’re looking for students who can pay full tuition. These are all unknowns. I think because we’re in such a time of uncertainty with COVID it’s smart plan to have one or two more safeties than you would typically have.

Typically I say a school list is done as long as you have two to three safeties, I think three safeties make sense. And COVID times for safeties might even make sense. And if you’re not qualified for financial aid or you are, but you’re going to need more money than FAFSA says you can afford.

Applying to safety schools is a great way to capture merit [00:53:00] scholarships. Because when you’re applying to a safety school, you are quote unquote overqualified. You have higher stats than their typical accepted students. So those colleges want you, and they want to incentivize you to go to their school.

And scholarship offers are not guaranteed at a safety school by any means, but there is a greater chance of receiving merit aid at safety schools.

Okay. Let’s look at this. And I’ll copy and paste this in the chat. Sorry. I was struggling before with tech, but it should be working now. So if I wanted to apply to Vanderbilt RD and be considered for merit scholarship and apply to Stanford REA would I be allowed to submit my RD application to Vanderbilt early so I can take, so I get, so I can make that December 1st deadline while also submitting my Stanford app by November 1st.

I hope that question makes sense. [00:54:00] It does that. There’s a lot of details there, but I understand exactly what you’re saying. And the short answer is yes, you can absolutely do that. So whether you’re applying to again, NYU ed or Stanford REA you can still apply to other schools, regular decision, even if that regular decision has an earlier deadline, the priority deadline for something like merit scholarships.

So yes, applying restrictive early action to Stanford and applying for merit scholarships, a regular decision at Vanderbilt by December 1st. Totally allowed. Totally kosher.

Okay. If I applied somewhere rolling again, I’ll copy and paste this and I already got in. What does that mean? If I decide to apply EDD or so rolling acceptances, we have no bearing on where else you [00:55:00] apply. It’s nice to have that in your back pocket, right? If you applied tomorrow to the school rolling and you get accepted by the end of the month you just get to have that.

You get to know, wow. Yay. At least I have one school I can apply to applying to a school. Early decision is fine, even if you’ve already been accepted at another school because rolling admissions, that’s not binding. You’re not saying I will attend the school if I’m accepted. But the caveat there is that if you’re accept ultimately accepted to your ed school, you’ll have to withdraw that accepted application from your rolling admission school.

Yeah, it’s fine to do those applications side-by-side but if you’re accepted to your ed school, you have to withdraw any other pending application you have open.

Okay. So there’s a question about will we be able to send sat scores [00:56:00] after the either or EA deadlines? If our scores come out after we sent our applications, That depends on the school. Some schools are very clear. Yes. We still accept scores up to this date. Set. You’ll have to do a rush order though.

So you won’t get to review your scores. You’ll just have to take the test trust that you did fine, and those scores will automatically be sent to your school. I often discourage students from doing that because the number you get back from a test score, like the sat is really important. And it’s harder to predict, and it’s really important to be able to review that number and intentionally decide.

Is it going to help my application to a specific school? So if you’re having to take a test scores later and you won’t get them until after an EA or EDU deadline, I ultimately recommend that you apply regular decision instead to give yourself that time, to look at your scores, [00:57:00] that will help you more.

Okay. So we reached our hour mark. That’s the end of the session. I had a really great time telling you about the different application options and answering your questions. I hope this webinar was helpful to you and that you feel more prepared to apply this cycle. If I didn’t get to your question, I’ll also send out a feedback form later this evening, where you can add additional questions.

And if you decide to work with Bullseye, you can work with me. Our next webinar will be in two days on Saturday from eight to 9:00 PM. Eastern time. This session is actually one of our small group sessions for Bullseye members only and will be a pre-professional session on the pre-law and civic path.

If you’re not a bulls-eye member, don’t worry. Our next foundation’s webinars in three days on Sunday. And it covers letters of recommendation. So everything you need to know about who to ask, how to ask and more [00:58:00] will be in there. When you leave this session, you’ll be redirected to sign ups for the next webinar.

Thank you so much for coming out to tonight’s webinar. I hope you all stay safe and take care. Thanks so much.