There are those who believe in getting a good head start. This is something that rings true when it comes to filing for college admissions. Even though most of the top universities around the country offer a very reasonable deadline for the filing of a student’s college admission – which may fall sometime early November – there are those who would like to avoid the risk of not getting into the school of their choice. For students who want to secure their place in advance, they often avail of the Early Decision.
What Does Early Decision Mean?
Early Decision or ED is a plan for students who are about to enter college. This is normally availed by students who have already decided what college they want to enroll in. Based on its name, those who avail of this plan must only have one definite choice.
Also, according to the ED guideline, you can only enroll in one university and will not be allowed to have a second or third option due to its binding clause. The moment you apply for Early Decision and your request is accepted, you’re required to enroll in the university you selected.
Students applying for Early Decision have until early November to formalize their intention. Colleges will not accept any ED applications beyond that period. Once accepted, most universities notify students of their admission via around the middle of December. Once you’ve been accepted for Early Decision, you’ll need to prepare your grades until junior year along with the results of your latest SAT/ACT based on the examination taken during the month of October.
How Early Decision Increases the Chances of Admission
Even though a number of students avail of the Early Decision plan every year, it’s up to the university that offered the plan to determine whether a student will be accepted into the school or not. However, those who applied for Early Decision have a slight edge over those who opted to go for the regular process of admission.
One way Early Decision helps students get in is that most universities show leniency to those who applied in advance. Universities do this by increasing the scope of the SAT score or grading average required for a student to enroll. This gives students with average SAT scores a better chance of getting into the college they chose to apply for ED. This won’t be the case for students who opted for the regular admission process.
Another reason why Early Decision can increase the chances of getting in is due to the multitude of competition these colleges face. At the end of the day, these universities rely on the tuition fees of students to keep the school running. Simply put, universities view students as paying customers. The last thing they would want is for students to take their business elsewhere. As a result, they’re more indulgent when it comes to accepting those who enrolled via Early Decision.
Should You Avail of Early Decision?
Early Decision may be a popular option but it’s not for everyone. Before you decide to go for it, you may want to sit down and ask whether ED is the best way to go. To help you make a choice, here are some things you should consider before signing up:
Determine the College You Want To Go To
Listing a number of colleges and universities you want to enroll in is easy but when you’re forced to narrow it down to just one, it can be a daunting task on its own. Since availing of an Early Decision plan means sticking to just one university, you need to determine which one you really want to attend.
Once you’ve submitted your request for an Early Decision to a university of your choice you’ll have to drop the other potential colleges you had on your list. This is done since filing for an Early Decision serves as your commitment to the university that you’ll be enrolling with them. So make sure that it’s a school you really want to go to.
Have All Application Documents and Test Scores Ready Beforehand
When it comes availing of Early Decision, you need to make sure that all your application documents and all your test results are ready for submission. Now if you’re aware that some of your test results might be coming a little later after the designated time of submission, you might just want to go through the regular processing of admission instead to avoid any inconvenience.
Always remember that by having all documents and test scores ready, the processing of your Early Decision requests becomes quicker and at the same time it improves your chances of getting in faster.
Conduct an Ocular of the Campus You Want To Enroll In
Even though you already know which university you want to go to, it won’t hurt for you to find out what you’re getting yourself into. So make sure to do an ocular of the campus you’ll be joining.
Aside from doing a one-day inspection, you may want to try spending a few days on the college you chose to give you an idea of the people and professors you’ll be dealing with one you’re in.
Advantages Offered by Availing of Early Decision
Even though Early Decision may not be for everyone, availing a school’s offer for ED does have its perks:
Higher Acceptance Rate
Early Decision has been known to deliver a higher acceptance rate compared to regular diction. The great thing about it is that not everyone is open to availing it or aware of its benefits. As a result, you only get to compete against a small number of students vying admission in the same university you want to enter.
Plus, since the volume isn’t as high compared to the number of students enrolling via regular decision, there’s a possibility that you’ll be given special consideration and an increased chance of being accepted into the school.
Faster Admission Results
Every student that enrolls in a college or university is bound to have their admission request reviewed. Due to the volume of kids enrolling in the same school, it can be an arduous task for any university to release the results of every one who requested admission. That’s not the case if you filed for an Early Decision.
Since not all of the students avail of this, the volume of students won’t be as high compared to those who pursued the process of regular admission. As a result, your request for admission will be reviewed faster allowing the university to inform you of your result quickly.
Shows Your Interest in the School You Selected
Colleges appreciate students who show great interest in attending their school. One way to show your desire to be a part of a university is by filing your admission request via Early Decision.
Schools feel good when they know that a student yearns to be a part of their community. This is now considered to be one of the top factors that school officials use to determine whether a student’s request for admission should be accepted. By availing of an Early Decision, you can show these colleges the level of commitment you have for the school you want to enroll in.