Is ED Right for you?


Yes, I mean Early Decision…

Sure… it can cut down on the wait, relieving the pressure associated with the college admissions process. And, you’ll know your fate before winter break.

What are the trade-offs?

Do you have a better chance of being accepted?

Do you really want to be “stuck” attending that school if a better school or a greater award of financial aid comes along later?

How does ED work?

You can apply for early decision to one school only. If accepted:

• You MUST attend that school;
• You MUST withdraw all other applications already submitted; and,
• You MAY NOT apply elsewhere.

The only exception – if the school does not meet your financial need, you may decline admission and apply elsewhere.

Because you must enroll if accepted, the worst step you can take is to apply ED from a school you know little about. Be sure both that you have visited the school (and others) numerous times and that your exhaustive research has you utterly convinced that school is the absolute best school for you.

If your top-choice school offers ED and you feel prepared and ready to apply, GO FOR IT!

But, there are times when applying ED may not be the best option for you or your family.

If receiving a large financial aid award is critical, you are better off applying regular decision. Doing so allows for the comparison and negotiation of aid offers before choosing.

And, if there is a chance of improving grades and standardized test scores, you also will be better off applying regular decision.

Finally, applying ED does not necessarily boost your chances of admission. Early applicants often are better qualified than regular applicants.

When must I decide to apply ED?

The application process for ED begins months earlier than the process for regular decision and standardized tests must be completed no later than October.

If you apply ED and don’t make the cut, the school may add your name to the regular admission applicant pool. If it doesn’t, usually you may be free to reapply under regular admission (but this is not always the case!). Be sure to check the admissions policies of the school.

If you feel you may need assistance with this issue or one of the plethora of other issues your family may face during the college planning years, contact our Professional College Planners to schedule the first meeting in your family’s college planning campaign.

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