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Tips on Applying Early Decision

Applying early to a college isn’t a simple decision. Whether your first-choice school offers early action or early decision, you may not want to hear the verdict on your application as early as December. Being denied admission to any school that early in your senior year can be demoralizing.

It’s true that applying early can give you a slight edge on the competition. Schools want to ensure that a certain number of admitted students will be filling their freshman class (and meeting or exceeding their admissions standards). If your first-choice school is well within your reach, it may impress the admissions committee that you are devoted enough to attend when higher-ranking institutions might accept you.

Consider applying early decision if:


1. You have a top-choice school.

2. You have thoroughly researched – and visited! – your top choice to determine whether it is right for you.

3. Financial aid isn’t a factor in whether you would attend.

4. Having any kind of answer early in your senior year would relieve some of the strain on your application process.

5. You would not benefit from having the college see your senior fall grades. (If you were rapidly improving in school, it might help you to wait.)

6. Your SAT scores are within the college’s acceptance range, and you do not plan on retaking the SAT.

If you can honestly answer “yes” to all of these, then applying early decision may be right for you.

Top Test Prep offers admissions counseling to help you manage your application process.

Contact Top Test Prep for help with your college admissions applications, (800) 501-7737.