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Understanding the Early Application Process

 

What is Early Admission?

Early admissions is the process of applying ahead of the regular application deadline to a college and receiving early notification of your acceptance or rejection. There are different types of early applications and many reasons why you should or should not apply early.

What is Early Action and Early Decision?

Some colleges provide two types of early application notifications - early action or early decision.

Under early action you are only eligible to apply to more than one college early, and can apply to other colleges according to the regular application deadline. For an early action, you will be notified of your status ahead of the regular application deadlines.

Under early decision you are only eligible to apply to one college early. If you receive an offer of acceptance for an early decision, you must accept the offer from that college. You can not accept an offer from another college without a formal release from the college that offered you an early decision.

However, early admission rules differ from college to college. Some colleges have early action programs and some have early decision programs, and others have both. So check with the college to be sure!

Why Would You Apply Early?

There are several reason why you might want to apply early to a college, such as to:
  • Reinforce your interest in attending that college
  • Demonstrate your confidence in your admissions qualifications, or
  • Determine your college options sooner than later

  • However, you should really think about whether applying early is the right approach for you and for the college you are interested in.

    What are the Advantages & Disadvantages?

    Advantages of applying early to a college may include:
  • The reduced stress from waiting for letters of offer or rejection to come
  • The ability to plan ahead for college life if you were accepted early
  • The time and money you would save by not applying to other colleges

  • Disadvantages of applying early to a college may include:
  • An early decision may limit your options for financial aid
  • You have to complete your applications package by October
  • Depending on your senior year's performance, the college may rescind their offer
  • You are committed to accept the offer under an early decision, but may not be completely sure about going to that college
  • It's highly competitive as only the top students apply early and this may affect your chance of being accepted to the college of your choice

  • This is a big decision and one that you should talk over with your career counselor at school.

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