Preparing for College

Early Decision at Smith for Financial Aid Applicant?

Question: I'm very interested in Smith College and have basically fallen in love with everything I've found out about it. Based on the outcome of the visit I'm making in September, I'd like to apply Early Decision, but I have one reservation: Financial Aid. FA is very important for my family, because basically, we can't afford college, period. If I get in, on one hand, ED would give me more time to apply for scholarships and I'd know earlier exactly how much money I'd need, but on the other hand, I wouldn't be able to compare financial aid packages from different schools. I'm very torn at which would be the best way to go...Regular or Early decision. Any insight?

I worked at Smith for years (and still live around the corner from campus) so I do have some insider observations to share. In most cases, an Early Decision application will boost admission odds, so it can be a wise plan, especially for borderline applicants. But for those who are concerned about costs, it does prohibit comparing aid awards before making a final choice.

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