It’s early in September — well before college application deadlines — and George Washington University has already received over 3,000 undergraduate applications. While we were surprised about this information when The GW Hatchet reporter, Becky Reeves, first contacted us about this story, it was only later that we found out that these “applications” were not much more than a show of interest. According to Executive Dean for Undergraduate Admissions Kathryn Napper, as Reeves reports in her piece entitled “Thousands submit early college admissions applications,” “Almost every single one of the applications that have been submitted are not completed. They still need to submit transcripts and supplements before their application is complete.”
Submitting College Applications Well Before Deadlines Is A Mistake
Quoted in the article, Bev Taylor of Ivy Coach explains why it’s not a good idea to submit an application two or more months before the deadline. As she states, “I like to encourage students to apply as close to the deadline as possible. If for any reason they change their mind, it can be undone.” And beyond giving students the opportunity to change their minds, what if a student wins a major award or realizes a mistake in their essays? Once a college application is submitted, it can’t be undone. Also, at colleges that don’t operate under a rolling admissions policy, no one is going to read a student’s application until after the deadline. November 1st is the first Early Decision / Early Action deadline and prior to that, admissions officers are traveling to high schools in their geographic areas and meeting with prospective students. With some exceptions, the first Regular Decision deadline is January 1st, and before reading Regular Decision applications, admissions officers must first complete the Early Decision round.
What To Do If You Mistakenly Apply Early Decision Well Before A Deadline
Just consider that a student applies Early Decision to a college and then decides that he or she made a mistake. What should they do then?
A. Contact the college and withdraw the application.
B. Not apply to another college ED.
C. Pray that the college successfully withdraws the ED application.
So take your time, read over your applications, and don’t worry that you haven’t clicked submit. Just mark your calendar to remind yourself of application due dates.
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