Some parents come to us around this time of year in the hope that their child won’t make mistakes in the highly selective college admissions process that will hurt their case for admission. For most of these parents, their children have already made a major mistake. And that mistake is that their child didn’t apply Early Decision or Early Action. Just take a look at the data, through our compiled Ivy League Statistics. The odds of getting in during the Early round are so much more favorable than in the Regular Decision round. It’s apples and oranges. To not use your Early Decision or Early Action card, and to not use it wisely by applying to a reach school but not an impossible reach, is to not take advantage of one of the few cards that a college applicant has in their back pocket.
Many assert that Early Decision or Early Action is only great for athletes and legacies. These folks couldn’t be more wrong.
When we tell parents that this was a mistake not to apply Early Decision or Early Action, they sometimes tell us that they heard it’s harder to get in during the Early round, because so many athletes and legacies and such are applying then too. They sure are. Recruited athletes are often admitted in the Early round. And the same is true of legacies. But that doesn’t change the fact that when a non-athlete, non-legacy applicant applies Early and shows a school his or her unmatched love for that university, that university will show the applicant back a whole lot more love than if he or she simply applied Regular Decision. The odds of getting in for that non-athlete, non-legacy are so much stronger in the Early round and any information out there to the contrary is patently false.
Another line we hear quite a bit from parents is that students weren’t able to commit to a school in the Early round, that they wanted to apply to a bunch. And what do we have to say to that? Your child is going to have to commit to one school, in the end, anyway so he or she might as well do it in the Early Decision / Early Action round when the odds are, to paraphrase from “The Hunger Games” (coming off its worst box office opening this past weekend) “ever in your favor.”
Hope to avoid making other major mistakes in the highly selective college admissions process? Fill out our free consult form and you’ll receive a reply from Ivy Coach within the day.