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Some high school students know exactly which school they would like to attend and they may have no other schools in mind. Maybe it is the school their parents attended or it is the university that is within driving distance from your home? Whatever the circumstances are, these types of students would be ideal for Early Decision programs. If you are a well-rounded high school student who can back up your application with the grades and activities to prove so, and you know there is only one school you have your hopes up for, then you may want to think about Early Decision.
What is Early Decision?
Early Decision programs are offered at many colleges and universities across the country. These programs give students a head start on the admission process by allowing them to apply early. These students will also receive notice of a decision earlier than usual as well. By applying under the early decision program, you are showing your first choice school that you are definitely interested and committed to attending their school, if accepted. Before applying to your intended college under early decision, there are a few things you should think about first to see if this is something that is a good fit for you.
- Head Start: applying as an early decision candidate gives you a head start on the whole college admission process. You will have an earlier deadline for your application, usually November, however you will also receive a decision earlier. If accepted, you can get a head start on other paperwork such as dorm assignments, college interviews, financial aid, etc.
- Admission rates may be higher: Statistics show that colleges and universities accept more early decision candidates than they do regular candidates. Part of this reason is because early decision candidates are positive about their decision to attend the school.
- Two chances: If you are declined as an early decision candidate, you may still be eligible as a regular candidate. Check with the college to see if you would have to resubmit your application for regular admission or if your application will automatically be reverted over to the later deadline.
- Binding: Unlike early action, if you apply as an early decision candidate, your admission is binding; meaning if you are accepted, you have to attend the school. That is why this program is ideal only for students who not only fit the profile of students at the school, but who are certain that they do want to attend the school if accepted. This means that you should also research tuition costs and financial aid eligibility prior to application.
- Restrictive: You cannot apply to any other “early” programs at any other schools. You can, however, apply to other schools under regular admission guidelines.
Early Decision is definitely a program that is perfect for students who are confident in their first choice school. The ideal student is one who knows exactly which school they want to attend and knows that they fit the profile of the current students. Since early decision is binding, it is stressed that upon acceptance you will attend the school and withdraw any other applications you may have out to other schools. This is definitely a program that is reserved for students who are committed and confident in their decision.
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