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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:45 am 
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https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-front- ... ge=1&pos=1

Behind a paywall. Profiled student (who declined to participate) calls tactic "dumb." But it's fairly obvious that she views Tulane as a safety school second choice.

In short article says Tulane does it because it works but obviously generates controversy on applicant side who like to compare various offers which may not all be received until April.

Only analogous I know, but I think this is how early signing period is helping Fritz similarly where athlete has to decide if he may get a better offer from elsewhere in February or take Fritz's potentially disappearing offer now.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:12 am 
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I’ve seen the other side of the coin because my wife at one time was an admissions officer at Bryan Mawr College, an old time Seven Sisters school. A school has literally thousands of applications to process by at most ten admissions officers. Probably 20-30 applications for every spot in a freshman class.

So while I understand the angst of an applicant, what Tulane and others are trying to do is take back some of the initiative to fill out their incoming freshman class. It would be like having 500 “possibles” on football signing day, and being not quite sure who the 25 would be who will actually sign.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:39 am 
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Personally I'd ban binding early decision and make it rolling admissions with an acceptance date after which you are no longer guaranteed a spot

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:55 pm 
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I have a high school senior going through the application process, including Tulane.

The invitations by Tulane to switch to a binding early decision have happened three times already and it's only January 3rd.

Any guesses what would happen if companies that recruited Tulane students on campus tried the same tactic? Before we interview you, commit to accepting our offer if we extend one. And by the way, after you agree to accept our offer, then we will decide where we will set your compensation level.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:10 pm 
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LondonWave wrote:
I have a high school senior going through the application process, including Tulane.

The invitations by Tulane to switch to a binding early decision have happened three times already and it's only January 3rd.

Any guesses what would happen if companies that recruited Tulane students on campus tried the same tactic? Before we interview you, commit to accepting our offer if we extend one. And by the way, after you agree to accept our offer, then we will decide where we will set your compensation level.


Google exploding job offer

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:56 pm 
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At least an exploding job offer is an offer with a salary.

Asking an applicant to commit to a university before understanding the level and types of financial aid doesn't seem fair at all.

As far as the Fritz analogy, he's offering scholarships. That's totally different. I wouldn't object to an admissions offer including a DHS that expires in a fortnight.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:58 pm 
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LondonWave wrote:
At least an exploding job offer is an offer with a salary.

Asking an applicant to commit to a university before understanding the level and types of financial aid doesn't seem fair at all.

As far as the Fritz analogy, he's offering scholarships. That's totally different. I wouldn't object to an admissions offer including a DHS that expires in a fortnight.


I agree with you about the process, just your analogy was suspect

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:10 pm 
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windywave wrote:
LondonWave wrote:
I have a high school senior going through the application process, including Tulane.

The invitations by Tulane to switch to a binding early decision have happened three times already and it's only January 3rd.

Any guesses what would happen if companies that recruited Tulane students on campus tried the same tactic? Before we interview you, commit to accepting our offer if we extend one. And by the way, after you agree to accept our offer, then we will decide where we will set your compensation level.


Google exploding job offer



Employers like Google are already doing exploding job offers regularly for all the same reasons Tulane does. Usually it includes a most favored nation clause so that if a direct competitor starts offering more than you do for entry level positions, you agree to match it. (You see this alot with professional firms especially legal ones employing this tactic.) So realistically comp is not an issue. It's just whether you have made the right "early" selection.


Just like comp financial aid is negotiable. It's ok to walk away from something if you can demonstrate, Tulane is not paying market rates for financial aid. (It does.) No one alleged that in the article.


All that's going on here is classic transferring of risk. I get why "the other guy" doesn't like it.

Again all one has to do is say no and see what pops up in April. Tulane may be your best offer then too. Wait and you also might get that acceptance from Harvard if you're not sure Tulane is your first choice. You should see the last second jumping around that goes on at medical schools during the summer when not having a full class matters financially. Meanwhile the quality of Tulane's entering frosh classes continue to improve because it has gotten out of the safety school application business.

As concerns football, we can run down the list of Reillys, Moreaus and Scotts who got LSU offers at literally the last moment. Meanwhile Fritz interestingly did get three good signees last February from those who did not hear from their SEC school of choice. So safety school can still work for a few. It just doesn't work for the whole class and that's the point of all this be it in academics or athletics.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:07 am 
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Baywave1 wrote:
It's ok to walk away from something if you can demonstrate, Tulane is not paying market rates for financial aid. (It does.) No one alleged that in the article.


I haven't seen evidence that you can just walk away from the commitment if another school offers a more attractive financial-aid package.

Also, I haven't seen evidence that Tulane agrees to match other schools' financial aid.

If either of those statements were true, then I wouldn't have an objection to the practice.

As far as the article goes, it does say "That means they can't compare different financial-aid packages." I think that implies that financial-aid packages are not all created equal.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:18 am 
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The second statement is absolutely true and happens all the time. You simply say "I can't afford it" and you'll be surprised how often you get movement.


The "public face" on the first statement is that it doesn't happen. However sub rosa it occurs in selected cases. If you can demonstrate to Tulane or someone else that the offer is not competitive or workable and that's why you're walking from a cemented early decision, you can see action from someone. However this is hardball and student might have to channel his or her inner Scott Boras and do a gap year.


I can assure you this stuff is all negotiable. Concern about anti-trust legal exposure plays a role here too. Put the emotion aside and if finance is the hard cold calculus here then do it (even if your child hates you for it. That's what the college is counting on that you won't counter or walk from its offer.)

Here is something you might consider. If your child definitely has a first choice and you know what you're willing to pay for college then propose that to the university first in exchange for early decision commitment. Sure this violates a prime rule of negotiation where you make the other guy offer first but at least you potentially lock in a price you can live with if the college agrees.

Regardless I hope your child enrolls in the school of choice at an affordable price. If you're not sure now, simply wait for April and let it play out. Like the February signing period for football, Tulane still has three to four frosh spots just not 25. I'll root for Tulane but that's a secondary part of this.


Sorry for the long post but I'm just trying to discount the notion that applicants are only tools here and only recourse is to whine to a global newspaper that the tactic is "stupid." You are not powerless here.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:50 am 
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Well said, Baywave1! Though it has been many years since my daughter went to undergrad and grad school I had made it a priority since her birth to invest for education so that when the Hunger Games began, I had a full war chest and the ultimate leverage. Turned out she didn’t need the funds and for that we are grateful. I also had the advantage of my wife being an admisssions officer at a highly selective college so I understood how the sausage was made.

What you say is correct to a point. If your kid is highly sought out you can haggle like at a Turkish bazaar. It’s the next tier student that has it tougher—good enough to make the cut but interchangeable with thousands of other applicants. Be brutally honest with yourself on your kid’s standing and proceed from there. Remember that most top tier schools could fill each freshman class 100% with valedictorians and still turn away other valedictorians. The kid’s senior year of high school is almost too late to be giving these things thought. Most families have to prioritize expenses but you must be honest with yourself. If 2 new SUVs are in the driveway, you have chosen expensive private education, and the family vacations are expansive, the pie is only so large. The day your child is born is also the day the clock starts ticking toward college. To treat it any other way is a choice you make.

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