Part of applying to university is a process of self discovery as well as learning a bit about ethics. What are ethics in a nutshell? At its simplest, ethics is a system of moral principles, concerned with what is good for individuals and society. Generally speaking, it has to do with honesty, fairness and morals.
When we start the college application process, we discuss at great length the meaning of Early Decision and the obligation that comes with it. Early Decision (ED) is an obligation, a contract and a binding obligation between you and the university. You choose Early decision because it is a school you are in love with, a school that you can afford to attend, a school that is a good match for you.
While applying to your Early Decision school, perhaps you applied at the same time you applied to other universities (some students might complete these applications and if turned down at their ED schools, then will submit and pay their fee, others apply all at once). Those students who gained acceptance to their ED school, no doubt were thrilled. The question for some loomed, what should they do about their other applications? This is a no brainer. They write admissions, thank them for their consideration and withdraw those applications. Here is why. It allows for those students waiting to hear from those schools a chance, and it is the honest thing to do. Put yourself in their shoes. If you have been accepted to your ED university, and just want to ‘wait and see’ what happens with your other schools, you are, in effect, taking away a spot from another student. Not exactly ethical behavior.
Applications were up for Early Decision applications to rather selective universities this year. The main reason appears to be due to the fact that many universities switched to test optional (College Board/SAT/ACT) because students just could not sit for exams because they were either cancelled (and are still being cancelled) or it just was not (and still is not) safe to sit for those exams. If you go to this link you can see the statistics regarding some of the high profile schools who were willing to share their numbers at this time. This link will be updated as more information is available.
So, if accepted Early Decision, notify all schools. Do this for your fellow seniors. They deserve a fair chance at the school of their choice, just like you had your fair chance.