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Ins and Outs of Early Decision, Early Action and Trends in College Pricing

trends in college pricing
Abigail Anderson

Written by Abigail Andersonon December 29th, 2016

I joined College Coach after working in independent school and college admissions. At the collegiate level, I evaluated thousands of applications and managed more than 20 student workers and 200 alumni interview volunteers. I recruited in, and read applications for, multiple domestic and international recruitment territories, including all of New England and the Mid-Atlantic, Europe, and the Americas. I also worked with and evaluated transfer applicants. Committed to increasing college access and demystifying the college application process, I collaborated with colleagues across institutions to develop free, accessible programming for high school juniors wanting to jumpstart the application process and improve their essay skills. My passion has always aligned with working directly with high school students; I started my career in admissions at a highly-selective all-girls’ boarding school. While there, I recruited students throughout New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and California. I oversaw multicultural and first-generation student recruitment, participated in both admission and financial aid committees, and assisted in residence hall management.
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Sally Ganga filled in for our regular host, Beth Heaton, during this week’s timely and informative episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, covering what seniors should do after receiving an Early Action or Early Decision letter, as well as trends in college pricing affecting juniors’ planning. In the first two segments, Sally was joined by two College Coach veterans, Kyra Tyler and Beth Feinberg Keenan. While Sally and Kyra worked in college admissions, Beth worked in financial aid, rounding out the perspectives in this insiders’ view into what students should be doing in the days and weeks following the early rounds of admission. Sally started the group off with discussing binding Early Decision rounds and how to handle (and move on) from the toughest news of all: an automatic denial, wherein the applicant is denied, with no option for moving onto a “Regular” admission round. The trio emphasized the importance of having a healthy “mourning period,” the necessity to do a realistic re-evaluation of the college list, and efficiently completing any additional applications. At this point, the trio flipped to the opposite end of the Early Decision spectrum and discussed what to do if you’re a happy senior who has been admitted in an Early Decision round—and, yes, there are absolutely steps that need your immediate attention! In fact, Sally shared an important anecdote about a student who had an $80,000 scholarship revoked for not following the rules surrounding a binding Early Decision agreement. At this point, Beth shared her expertise in financial aid appeals that might (or might not) alter the binding component of the ED agreement. She also gave advice about when it is appropriate to reach out for an appeal, so be sure to tune in for that discussion! After the break, Sally, Kyra, and Beth discussed the same set of topics for Early Action decisions—what to do following a denial, an admission, and a financial aid award. Additional topics covered included how a deferral to the Regular round of admission might affect the student’s decision-making process moving forward and how to strategically take advantage of schools with a late, or “Round 2,” of Early Decision. In the final segment, Kathy Ruby helped listeners understand how the formidably dense “Trends in College Pricing” Annual Report from The College Board might affect them. For example, did you know that there are some universities where paying the out-of-state tuition might cost you less than tuition at your in-state public flagship university? Or how about the fact that 70% of full-time students receive some sort of discount on their college tuition and that this discount is increasing the most among private, non-profit colleges? Tune in next week for even more great information from Sally and her guests! Getting-In-CTA


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