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How Early Should I Apply For College

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What Are The Drawbacks Of Applying Early

Should I Apply to College Early Decision? – College Raptor Q& A
  • If you are accepted early decision, you cannot change your mind about attending an institution.
  • If you are accepted early decision, you will not get a chance to compare your financial aid package with those offered to you by other institutions.
  • Committing to early decision, early action, and single-choice early action applications can put pressure on you to make a decision on where to apply before youve explored all your options.
  • If you are not accepted at your early decision, early action, and single-choice early action schools, you still have time to apply to other colleges. However, you will have to do it faster than if youd applied regular decision from the beginning.
  • If your grades drop during your second semester of senior year, colleges may rescind your admissions offer.

Remember, you are not obligated to apply early to any schools. This is an option if you have a dream school and know you wont regret committing early or if you are pretty confident that theres one school youd like to attend over your other options . If you need more time to make decisions, weigh your options, and complete your applications, there is no harm in applying regular decision to every school on your list.

Page last updated: 05/2019

You Can Get Familiar With Your School

You’ll need to keep focused on finishing up your high school degree, but one of the most exciting aspects of early decision is that you can start getting acquainted with your college months before you arrive. Whether its through social media, a summer internship or an informal chat session with other incoming freshmen, you can start to feel like you fit in long before you step on campus.

Figure out what clubs, sports, and special events your college offers and which ones you might want to take part in. You may even have the chance to chat with upperclassmen and ask them questions about campus life.

In addition to having more time to get familiar with your school, early admission could improve your chances of landing premium student housing and the most desired on-campus job. Finally, when it comes time to create your class schedule, you may have a better chance of getting the classes you want at the times that suit you best.

Key Takeaways: When Do You Apply For Grad School

In this article, we went over when to apply for grad school, a graduate school application timeline, and how early you should try to get your application in.

When to Apply for Grad School:

What time in your life is right? Here are factors to consider.

  • Your field: Some fields expect work experience. In others, itâs very common to go straight from undergrad to a masterâs or PhD program.
  • Application strength: Will you be able to put forth a strong application in the next application cycle, or do your credentials need some work?
  • Personal life and relationships: Are you at a place in your life where you can accommodate a major life change?
  • Cost and finances: Graduate school is expensive! Itâs best to have some savings tucked away even if you get fully funded by your program.

Grad School Application Timeline:

Assuming the majority of your deadlines are in December or January, hereâs a 12-month timeline for getting everything done:

  • Research schools and narrow down programs of interest.
  • Make some kind of chart/tracking system for your graduate school tasks register for the GRE.
  • Prepare for the GRE.
  • Take the GRE and send your scores.
  • Start your application essays and personal statements.
  • Ask for recommendations.
  • Request transcripts, start application forms, and keep working on essays.
  • Double check that recommendations and transcripts are on track, finish essays, and finish application forms.
  • Wrap up any application loose ends, proofread, and send!

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Is There An Advantage To Submitting College Applications Early

Youve probably heard about different timelines for applying to college. Some of you may even be considering applying through an early action or early decision program, where your application would be due a couple months before many regular decision deadlines. But, have you ever wondered if you should submit your regular decision application early? Would there be any advantage to submitting your application well before the actual deadline?

In this post well look deeper at application timelines, and discuss the few instances in which you might want to submit an application well before the deadline. Keep reading to find out more!

I’m Graduating High School Early

When should I start applying to college?  College Search Tips

There are rare advanced students who earn enough credits, perhaps from courses at a local community college or online, to graduate high school early and go straight into college at a young age.

These students push their timeline earlier by a year or two, taking the SAT or ACT as freshmen or sophomores, and gathering all their documents early. If this sounds like you, you’ll probably want to work closely with your counselors, administrators, and teachers to make sure they agree with your choice.

You might take your tests in freshmen and sophomore year, ask your sophomore year teachers for recommendations, and apply in the fall or winter of your junior year. You may also have to take the GED to earn the equivalent of your high school diploma. Make sure you’ve met all graduation requirements and, of course, have concrete, realistic reasons for graduating high school early and enrolling in college.

The aforementioned situations are exceptions rather than the rule, but can be great options if they apply to your situation and needs. In closing, let’s review when most students submit their applications to colleges.

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Making Your Final Decision

After all the hard work that goes into the application process, receiving your admission notifications can be exciting. Most colleges start notifying students in early spring, either by email, or traditional letter, or both. Upon receiving your notifications, you only have a few weeks to decide which school you will attend, since most colleges set May 1 as the deadline for committing to a school.

The difficulty of your final decision depends on how many schools you got into and whether you were accepted to your dream school, possible schools or safety schools. If you have been accepted by ALL of the colleges you applied to, ironically, your decision could be more difficult. To help, review the research you did on each school and your priorities. By re-evaluating what’s most important to you, you will find the right fit. If you have been accepted to only some of the colleges you applied to, your decision will actually be a bit easier. Use the same criteria to find the school best suited to you.

If you have not been accepted to any of the schools you applied to, you still have options. Though colleges rarely reverse an admission decision, you can try calling the admissions department to see what their policy is on an appeal. Appeals are usually only considered when you can prove there was information missing, overlooked, or that something was entered incorrectly on your application materials, such as your school counselor submitting the wrong grades.

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Summer Before Senior Year

Summer is the perfect time before the chaos of September rolls around for you to start the preliminary phases of college admissions. Schedule tour visits for any college campuses that you have not yet visited and make notes that can be used to eventually narrow down your choices. Start considering which of your teachers would write a strong letter of recommendation. Take time to look over the Common Application and begin brainstorming some topics that you could use for your personal essay or personal statement. Once you narrow down your choices, explore their websites to learn admissions requirements and request an application. Make sure that your senior class schedule will meet all of the required courses youll need for enrollment.

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Deadlines Are More Than Dates

In admissions, deadlines are more than dates. Colleges publish both deadline date and type. For example, the College of Charleston offers and Early Action November 1 deadline. Students are reviewed equally within deadline groups, regardless of submission date. So, College of Charleston applicants who meet the Early Action deadline of November 1 . Submitting an application early offers students the advantage of confirming that materials have been received by the deadline. Most deadlines are received by dates, not post-marked dates. One caveat: some schools offer a Rolling deadline type, meaning that applications are reviewed as they are completed. When the class is full, the college stops offering favorable admission outcomes. Students should try to apply to schools with a Rolling deadline program by November 1.

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Whats In It For The Applicant

Should I Apply to College Early Action? – College Raptor Q& A

It is a well-known fact that applying Early Decision often provides students with a huge boost to their admissions chances. Even after accounting for athletes and legacies who are frequent beneficiaries of early-round policies, there is still a massive differential at many schools between the ED acceptance rate and that of the Regular Decision cycle. For example, at American University 85% are admitted ED vs. 33% RD, at Middlebury it is 45% vs. 13% , and at Washington and Lee it is 43% vs. 16% .

The Early Action rates are not universally higher as with ED rates, however, they typically are more favorable than during the regular round. At some uber-selective schools, a fairly large advantage can be gained. UNC Chapel Hill admits 28% of EA applicants compared to just 12% via regular decision. At Notre Dame and Colorado College, the EA admit rate is more than double that of RD. At other institutions, such as Babson, MIT, and UVA, the edge is negligible. Other large research institutions such as the University of Miami and Ohio State University sport significantly higher acceptance rates in the non-binding early round than in the spring.

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Early Decision And Early Action

Early Decision and Early Action are options that allow you to apply to a college early and receive the admissions department’s decision in advance of traditional applicants. Many colleges now offer early admission programs because they present significant advantages applicants can receive increased consideration since colleges tend to admit a higher percentage of early applicants than they do normal applicants. There’s also the obvious benefit of advanced peace of mind if accepted and more time to plan for the move to the school. Colleges enjoy the benefit of enrolling students who really want to go to their school and meeting enrollment goals early.

In addition to the benefits of early admission, there are also restrictions that are important to understand. Early Decision, for example, is binding if you submit Early Decision to a college and they accept, you must attend that college. You will also not be able to apply for more financial aid after this point. Early Action, on the other hand, is not binding you can submit Early Action to a college, get accepted and have until the following spring to decide whether or not you want to attend.

Questions To Ask Before You Apply Early To College

If you are thinking of applying earlyeither early decision, early action, or restrictive early actionask yourself these four questions and discuss them with your parents, high school guidance counselors, or college prep advisors:

  • Am I happy with my grades and test scores? If not, you may be better off using the fall semester to improve them and applying during the regular admissions cycle.
  • Do I really know what I want in a college? Have you thoroughly researched the colleges on your list? If you were accepted under an early decision program, could you commit to the school without any doubts? If not, consider not applying early and dedicate more time to finding out what you really want in a college.
  • Do I need substantial financial aid? If so, you may be better off skipping an early decision application so you can compare and negotiate aid offers from multiple colleges.
  • Am I applying early to “just get it over with”? No doubt about it, an early acceptance can relieve some of your application stress. But there’s a big payoff to taking the time to put together a well-researched list of colleges and weathering the stress of applying to each one. Your reward is ending up at a college where you know you will thrive.
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    When Are Early Action And Early Decision Deadlines

    There are typically two early action deadlines: early action one and early action two . The EA1 deadline is almost always November 1, while the EA2 deadline is typically November 15. Some schools, however, list their early action deadline as December 1. Early decision deadlines vary slightly more, with most falling on November 1 or November 15. However, other common ED deadlines include November 2, November 16, and December 2. Some schools also offer early decision two , which may have a deadline of December 15, January 1, 2 or 15, or even February 1 depending on the school. Always check the deadlines of your top schools before applying.

    Grad School Application Timeline

    Remix of " Real College Essay: 1"

    Once you decide that itâs the right time in your life to apply, there are a lot of things youâll need to accomplish. Youâll probably need to decide on schools, take the GRE, gather recommendations, request transcripts, write application essays, and anything else your programs of interest may require. Most graduate school deadlines are in December or January, but you should actually start thinking about your application much earlier than that. I recommend getting started on the preliminaries about a year before your applications are due. So if Iâm applying in December 2018 for fall 2019 admission, the time to start working on the application process is Jan 2018!

    Hereâs a graduate school application timeline, starting about 12 months before any application deadlines. Iâve assumed your first deadline is in December and started the grad school application timeline in the previous January, but you can adjust as needed for your own deadlines.

    Also, these are just general guidelines. Most of these tasks can be rearranged per your needs. For example, if youâre a student, you may find it easier to do most of your GRE studying during the summer and then take your GRE in August.

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    Why Applying Early Might Benefit Your Chances Of Admission

    One of the most important elements of the college admission process is also one of the most overlooked by students and their parents: timing. When competing for admission at your top-choice college, its not enough to just write a few essays and hit submit. There are many nuances that students, parents, and counselors must consider including whether to apply in the early round or not.

    Timing and application strategy are key in selective admissions, and applying in the early round can improve the chances of getting an acceptance letter but only if students are ready. This is why its important to maintain an upward grade trend throughout high school, take challenging courses every year, and start building a balanced college list early.

    There are many different application options for students to choose from, with many variations of applying early. Its important for students and parents to know the differences and whether a colleges particular early application policy fits a students needs. Here are the different early application options available to students:

    Who Should Apply Early

    Applying to an ED or EA plan is most appropriate for a student who:

    • Has researched colleges extensively.
    • Is absolutely sure that the college is the first choice.
    • Has found a college that is a strong match academically, socially and geographically.
    • Meets or exceeds the admission profile for the college for SAT® scores, GPA and class rank.
    • Has an academic record that has been consistently solid over time.

    Applying to an ED or EA plan is not appropriate for a student who:

    • Has not thoroughly researched colleges.
    • Is applying early just to avoid stress and paperwork.
    • Is not fully committed to attending the college.
    • Is applying early only because friends are.
    • Needs a strong senior fall semester to bring grades up.

    Encourage students who want to apply early to fill out NACAC’s Early Decision Self-Evaluation Questionnaire, in the Deciding About Early Decision and Early Action handout. You may want to share this with parents as well.

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    Cut Down On Admission Stress

    If you are accepted to your dream school, you won’t have to bother with the time and expense of applying elsewhere. You can put your focus back on right now instead of one year from now.

    Some students and high school counselors believe that applying early decision gives them better odds of acceptance, but the truth is early acceptance rates and admissions standards vary from school to school. You can find early decision application numbers and acceptance rates for many schools in our Best Colleges book, and dont be afraid to ask an admission counselor at your dream school directly about their early admission practices. There is a disadvantage to applying early, however. You may not have the opportunity to compare financial aid packages offered by other schools.

    Meet With Your Schools Guidance Counselor

    Should I Apply For Early Decision to Law School?

    High school guidance counselors can help:

    • Solicit recommendation letters as well as give advice on who the best people would be to ask
    • Sign up for SAT and ACT exams and provide resources to help you study
    • Organize campus visits
    • Provide you with a list of schools based on what you want to study that you may not have considered otherwise
    • Give constructive feedback on college essays, majors you might be interested in, and the type of fit that would be good for you.

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