Applying Early Decision

Applying Early to College, Early Decision Admission, Applying Early Action, Early Decision Applications

Applying Early Decision drastically improves one’s chances for admission as compared to applying Regular Decision. Does that mean a student with straight D’s will be admitted to Harvard ED? No (photo credit: chensiyuan).

If you’re a student with a clear first choice college and that college offers an Early Decision program, you should strongly consider applying Early Decision. Why? Well, for one it vastly improves your chances. Have a look at our Ivy League Statistics and see for yourself the difference in the admit rate for Early Decision candidates as compared to Regular Decision candidates. The figures can indeed be interpreted as striking!

Applying Early Decision demonstrates to a university that you love them. By applying Early Decision, you make a commitment that, should you be accepted, you will matriculate. Early Decision students thereby help a university’s yield data since they’re required to attend and this invariably helps the university’s all-important “US News & World Report” ranking. Being admitted via Early Decision also allows a student to be done with the stressful college admissions process early on during senior year. When other students are going nuts filling out their applications while studying for exams,  you’ll have the college admissions process off your back.

And if you’re a legacy who wants to take advantage of your legacy card at a certain university, apply to that university Early Decision if the school indeed has an ED policy. If you’re a recruited athlete, chances are you’ll be applying Early Decision. Has there been controversy that Early Decision caters to a homogenous population? Yes. The Early Decision pool typically is not as diverse as the Regular Decision pool (check out our post on the Harvard and Princeton Admissions Spin). And why’s that? Well, for one, students won’t have the opportunity to weigh financial aid offers if they apply ED.

If you have a clear first choice college and you’d like the chance to be done with the college admissions process early on during senior year, you might want to apply Early Decision to your first choice college if they have an ED policy. And now is the time when you should be working on your application if you haven’t already begun to do so.


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