Get In Your Early Decision or Early Action Applications!

Categories: Admissions Advice

Do you not only want to get admitted to a college but also be legally bound to attend if you’re accepted?

Then early decision is perfect for you!

If you’re totally into a college, like 99% of you is 100% all about going to that college, but the rational side of your brain–that 1%- is saying to you, “Why sign a contract in ink when you can sign it in pencil?!” If this is the case, then early action is the perfect solution!

So what’s early decision and what’s early action? They’re both application programs offered at some colleges that allow for students to find out earlier than usual if they’re admitted to their college of choice. Deadlines for both these programs are usually around November, earlier than regular deadlines.

Here’s the breakdown.

Early Decision:

You can only apply to one school with early decision, and if you are admitted through early decision, you are required to withdraw all other applications at other colleges. It’s basically a contract. If you get in, you go. It’s a great program for students who are dead set on going to one particular college. It’s also a good option for students who want to slightly increase their chances of getting into a school. Colleges love knowing they can secure some commitments.

It’s like if two guys–let’s say their names are Zac Effron and Ryan Gosling–asked you to Fall Formal. But Zac says that even if you say yes, he might wind up going with another girl because he’s just always making shady decisions like that. Ryan Gosling, on the other hand, says, “Yeah, of course I’ve asked other girls to play it safe, but if you say ‘Yes,’  I’m deleting their numbers from my phone and going with you.”

Zac Effron is a great candidate, his High School Musical work speaks for itself, but Ryan’s body of work, plus his commitment to you makes him that much more of an attractive candidate. So just like a college, you might just say yes to Ryan because he only has eyes for you.

Early Action:

Early action is different from early decision in that it’s not binding. If you’re accepted, you have the option to commit immediately, or wait until spring. Unlike early decision, you can apply to multiple schools with early action. Although, there are some schools that offer a single-choice early action program where students can only apply to one school with early action or early decision.

If you’re asking, “So…what’s the point of early action?”  it’s mostly so you can hear back from schools earlier. Plus, similar to early decision, you’re chances of admission might increase if you apply through it because schools understand that there’s a higher chance you will actually enroll.

How do you know if you should apply using either of these applications? Well, if you plan on weighing offers and financial aid packages from different colleges later in spring, you probably shouldn’t apply. Also, since the applications are so early in the year, you might benefit from having more senior work to show off if you’re presenting a portfolio of some sort.

Also, be weary of the fact that you might change your opinion of which school you want to go to later on in the year. If you’re the type of person who changes his or her mind, early decision/action might not be for you.

But! If you’re gonna apply for these, get your applications ready because deadlines are approaching in November!!!!

Will you be applying early decision or early action? Leave a comment below!

Original Post Date: October 31st, 2011

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