The Early Decision Advantage

Early Decision Advantages, Applying Early Decision, Why Early Decision Helps

“The Los Angeles Times” has a piece on the advantages of applying Early Decision or Early Action that we figured we’d share with our readers.

There was an article recently in “The Los Angeles Times” entitled “More high school seniors taking early admission to college” by Carla Rivera that we figured we’d discuss. The article, which focuses mostly on California students and universities located within California, articulates how more and more students these days are choosing to apply through Early Decision or Early Action programs. As you may know from reading our college admissions blog, we always encourage our students to apply Early. In fact, if a student is unwilling to apply Early, we’ll often choose not to work with this student. Because our students, overwhelmingly, tend to get in by heeding our sound advice. One of the few cards that students have in their back pockets is their Early card. To not use it is to waste it.

Just check out the statistics for the University of Pennsylvania as a case example. For the Class of 2018, Penn had a 9.9% overall acceptance rate. In the Early Decision round, 25.2% of students earned admission to the university and these students filled 53.7% of the university’s incoming class. In Regular Decision, 7.3% of students who applied to the University of Pennsylvania earned admission. So, to recap, it’s 25.2% in the Early Decision round and 7.3% in the Regular Decision round. One need not be a mathematics major to know that there is a significant advantage in applying Early Decision to Penn. While the statistics aren’t always this striking, the same trend is true at many highly selective colleges across America.

As the article on students applying Early in “The Los Angeles Times” points out, “More than 460 colleges nationwide, many of them top private institutions, offer early options as well as the chance to apply during the later, regular period. Most students still choose the latter. But the number of colleges offering earlier deadlines has increased by about 7% in the last five years, according to the College Board. And most of those colleges report that they are receiving more early applications, according to surveys conducted by the National Assn. for College Admission Counseling.”

Have a Comment on Early Decision or Early Action policies? Let us know your thoughts by posting below. We look forward to hearing from you.


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