ED (no, not that ED….)

ED on TV stands for erectile dysfunction. ED for me means stress.

More specifically Early Decision kind of stress. I cannot decide if I want to apply ED somewhere, or go with their friendlier (but less advantageous) cousins, EA or REA. If you don’t already know, Early Decision is an all-bets-placed kind of situation, where if you get accepted to a school in the early round, you are mandated to go- no questions asked. It’s an attractive choice because it gives a tremendous admissions boost, like 7% to 26% at Duke, or 9% to 22% at UPenn. In such a stressful process, having a boost that early in the game is always a plus.

On one hand, I would love knowing where I am going by Christmas, and save myself major application stress for the rest of the year. Plus, for my incredibly indecisive self, it would totally help make my choosing process easy. And, there’s the chance boost. If I had to go ED, I would put it in for UPenn, and call it a day; I love the school and the programs it offers.


There’s the big WHAT IF. UPenn is definitely a top choice, but not necessarily my dream school, and committing to UPenn (in the event that they accept me of course) could mean me kissing my hopes goodbye. Sure, less stress, but also, less risk. My dream school is an SCEA/REA type school- at those schools, applying early doesn’t give much boost. But at least it isn’t binding. I don’t want to apply to my dream school, get rejected in power-fail fashion, and wonder if applying early to UPenn would have saved me. Ugh. Decisions, decisions.

Applying EA to my dream school vs. ED to a top choice. Hard pull. At least I have quite a few months to make those decisions…but I would personally love to get as much as a head start as I can. These applications aren’t going to fill themselves out.

If you have advice on which choice I should make, let me know in the comments!


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