When you apply Early to college, you improve your odds of gaining admission. It’s that simple. If anyone tells you that you’ve got the same odds whether you apply through an Early Action or Early Decision program or through a Regular Decision program, then close your ears and start humming because they couldn’t be more wrong. Deans of Admission at various highly selective universities will often tell you that applying Early doesn’t improve your odds, that they simply judge your candidacy at a different time. This, of course, is a bold-faced untruth. Simply look at the data. The admission rate for Early applicants is much higher than is the admission rate for Regular Decision applicants at just about every highly selective college in the nation. This data tells the real story.
The Founder of Ivy Coach, Bev Taylor, was recently quoted in a “US News & World Report” article on applying Early to college in which she states that more college applicants are using their Early card than ever before. The data backs this up, too. According to the “US News & World Report” article by Margaret Loftus, “Of high school seniors who filled out the Common Application last year, nearly 51 percent applied to some form of an early program, says Rob Killion, the Common App’s executive director. The programs range from simple early action, which doesn’t obligate you to attend, to binding early decision.”
The fact is that when you apply Early Decision to a highly selective college, you’re giving college admissions counselors a proverbial “bird in the hand” as the “US News” article correctly points out. You are obliged to attend if accepted. A college’s yield matters. If you’re obliged to attend, this is a perfect yield (plus or minus the few students who fall our for various reasons). You’ve demonstrated to the college that you love them above all other colleges and this is their opportunity to let you know that they love you back.