Question: I am going to be a senior in the fall and probably valedictorian at a small high school in the Midwest. I am very interested in Haverford College, outside of Philadelphia. Since Haverford is my first choice, I want to apply under the binding Early Decision option, but my family is low-income and cannot afford to send me there. My guidance counselor said it's a really bad idea to apply ED since I will need to compare financial aid offers in April. Haverford is my dream, so do you think I'm stupid to try for ED?
No! You didn't get to be valedictorian by being stupid, and likewise, you are not stupid to apply ED to Haverford. In fact, you would probably be very smart to do so unless you spot any of the caution signs that “The Dean" will get to in a minute down below.