The Looming Early Admission Deadline

Early Decision Deadline, Early Action Deadline, Early Deadline for College

To not apply in the Early round to a reach but not impossible reach school is nuts (photo credit: Bryan Y.W. Shin).

Around this time of year, many seniors and the parents of seniors reach out to us in the hope of improving their case for admission. Our first question to them typically goes something like this: “Where are you applying Early?” In many cases, the reply goes something like this: “He’s not applying Early. We’re reaching out to you for the Regular Decision round.” We then of course tell them they’re nuts, that to waste the Early card in college admissions by not applying is to waste the most valuable card an applicant has in his back pocket. Let’s use the University of Pennsylvania as a case example. In the Early Decision round for Penn’s Class of 2022, 18.5% of applicants earned admission. In the Regular Decision round for Penn’s Class of 2022, 6.5% of applicants earned admission. The difference is, to quote our nation’s leader, huge.

Seniors Should Absolutely Apply Early to College

While these students and their parents had no intention of applying Early before they called us, many will change course and choose to apply Early at the last minute. They’ll throw together applications in a couple of days and cross their fingers. Of course, putting together an outstanding application at the last minute is near-impossible, but a student isn’t going to get into a top school by not applying; something is better than nothing. So at least they’re using their Early card — even if they’re not using it as well as they could be. We’re happy to offer these students a one-hour evaluation in which we’ll go through their completed application and let them know what’s wrong and what needs to be changed before the looming deadline. Of course, many of these changes will come down to execution and, no, we’re not necessarily available the day before the deadline to start working on the application and the many essays.

Senior Early Admission Procrastinators

Interestingly, the other batch of seniors and parents of seniors who reach out to us around this time of year have every intention of applying Early. They’re just completing their applications at the very last minute. They’re the ultimate procrastinators. Many of these folks write to us that they “need help with the college essay.” As our regular readers might guess, this of course elicits an eye roll from us because there is not one college essay. There are lots of college essays and those supplemental essays are as important as the Personal Statement. And what good is a great Personal Statement if the Activities portion of the Common App. doesn’t showcase a singular hook? What good are great supplemental essays if the student has never visited the college to which he’ll be applying, if he’s never demonstrated interest?

We can help these students, too, during a one-hour evaluation. We can point out what’s wrong in their applications (including in their essays) and what needs to change. But, of course, their success will ultimately come down to execution. And they’ve only got a couple of days left. But, hey, some things — not all things but some things — really still can be fixed before the looming deadline.

If you’re interested in a last minute one-hour evaluation, fill out our free consult form and indicate last minute eval. We’ll then be in touch.


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