Early Decision 101: Colleges Admit More Students Who Make an Early Decision

Early decision is a common policy used in college admission in the United States for admitting freshmen to undergraduate programs. The early decision serves to indicate to the college that the student considers the institution to be his first choice. It is easier for a student to be accepted to their dream school if they apply to early decision

Reasons Why Early Applicants Have Better Chances of Admissions

  • Early Decision College Applicants: Better Students 

Many colleges feel that early decision gives them better students. Admission officers indicate that early applicants tend to have better grades and test scores. The regular applicants, on the other hand, present a weaker pool which may explain the varied admission percentages.

  • Early Decision College Applicants: Commitment

Some colleges prefer early applicants because they demonstrate a commitment to attend the school. Also, the higher number of students admitted during the fall, the greater the chances that the school can hit its enrollment numbers.

  • Early Decision College Applicants: Get ahead of the Competition

Early admission reduces the need for a college to compete with others for prized students. The early decision comes with a 100% commitment.

  • Early Decision College Applicants: Higher Admission Rate Yields Prestige

The higher the yield a college has, the more in demand the institution. Early admission helps institutions to increase their yield, which is the percentage of admitted students who end up enrolling.

How is Early Decision Beneficial to Students?

–    If accepted, the student will know where they will be attending college by mid-December, which means that college searching pressure is off

–    By the time students submit their regular decision applications, nearly half the entering class has been filled. The early decision gives students an advantage since early admittees account for 40% of an enrolled class

–    Early decision enhances a student’s chances of being admitted when compared to the regular application process. Decision statistics are in favor of the early decision. For instance, for the class of 2019, the Ivy League schools as a whole admitted 8.7% of the total applicants in comparison to 20.43% of early decision applicants.

Fact: There is a misconception that if a student accepts an early decision offer from a college, the student will not get a favorable financial aid offer. This is not true. A student who would have received an academic scholarship in the regular decision will be awarded one in early decision.

Tips for Applying Early Decision

  • Do extensive homework about the school before deciding to apply early decision. Is the school, offering your preferred major? Will you be comfortable with the student body? What about the extracurricular activities- is your preferred game on offer? Also, how do you plan to finance your education? Will you be relying on financial aid? Is your family able to pay for tuition and all other costs? Visit the school and ask your parents to bring their tax forms so that you can get an idea of the total costs of the college.
  • Do not apply for an early decision, unless you are 100% ready to commit
  • Early application is only a good tactic when you and the school are truly well matched
  • If you decide early application is the way you want to go, give your all to the essay. Emphasize your strengths and vividly describe what makes you a perfect fit for the school. Admission officers will look favorably upon students who express a clear desire to be part of their student body.

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