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Does sending your applications earlier help your chances of getting more aid.

asbjavedasbjaved 156 replies20 threads Junior Member
I'm not talking about ED-ing... I'm applying through the regular decision process to some schools, and so their deadlines are somewhere from January 1st to January 20th.

Now there are two sides of the story that I have heard.

A) People say that at the earlier stages when the colleges' financial aid budget is yet untouched, it it easier to bag more aid since they can offer it, rather than around the end when most of the aid has been given out. So they argue that if you send out your packet earlier (like i can have it completed and sent out to my colleges in mid november), chances of you getting more aid seem better logically.

B) the other side (and thats just my paranoid common sense) says, that if i send them out too early before the admission commitee is on the grind of things, the application might not be reviewed as properly as it will be later. Like, if they really start working their brains out in December, that's when they'll be most receptive to your application's good points. The same highlights, in november, might just not make as much of a wow-moment for them because they wont have a lot to compare it to... Or yet again, it just might look cooler, because they don't have a lot of the good stuff in november. I dont know, im totally torn between the two here

I need opinions, please... Cuz i cud start sending everything out by the end of the month, and i dont know if i should do it, or hold back and send them out later in the mid of december...

P.S. I know this is a guidance counselor question, but mine's absolutely NO good... so... HELP!!!
edited October 2010
4 replies
Post edited by asbjaved on
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Replies to: Does sending your applications earlier help your chances of getting more aid.

  • LaDaliciousLaDalicious 34 replies3 threads Junior Member
    no I'm pretty sure it shows initiative to apply early. It shows dedication to the college and that you are/can be an organzied student. I'm speaking from my personal point of view. I just applied (and got accepted) to the University of Illinois on September 1st and had all my application materials in by or before the first day the application was active. I REALLY think this boosted my chances of getting in. But I would only advise doing things early if a person is sure they can devot 100% attention to the app and all it's materials.
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  • charlieschmcharlieschm 4096 replies186 threads Senior Member
    Many colleges run out of aid before the last students are admitted. They also have to guess how many of the students who are offered admission will accept. Many colleges provide a "priority" date for financial aid applications. Many want financial aid applications at the time of EA and ED application deadlines if you apply that date.

    The admissions officers must read tons of applications. Many come in one day before a deadline. The earlier you apply, the more attention your application will receive. By the time they read the last application, they just want the whole thing to be over.

    However, an application should not be rushed, just to get it in early. Also, most colleges will not read anything until everything that is required has been received.

    If a student is convinced their grades will noticeably improve, it may pay to not apply early. If a high school has a high drop out rate, it may be worthwhile to apply early so your class rank looks better before everyone else quits school.
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  • mamabear1234mamabear1234 3482 replies45 threads Senior Member
    It depends on the specific school and what type of aid you are talking about. If you are talking about rolling admission schools and merit aid, yes, it definitely pays to get your application in early, because many of them will offer scholarships with acceptance.

    There are some schools that have special scholarship programs that you need to have applications in early for. Check the school's website.

    If you are talking about schools that wait to notify you of acceptance until March, it doesn't matter if you have it in early. But be careful to meet all deadlines posted on each school's website.

    If you are talking about need-based aid, having it in by the deadline is important, but I don't think early will make a difference. They can give you an estimate of aid, but nothing is final until you file the FAFSA, which can't be done until January anyway.
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  • asbjavedasbjaved 156 replies20 threads Junior Member
    thanx everyone...

    @mamabear1234: I was talking about the schools with defined admission dates. So i'll think i'll hold on till a little later, since it might just do good to wait a little and think things over... I'm not really bound to the FASFA cuz im an international applicant, but hey, thanx... Ur second point just brought some really nice scholarship opportunities to my notice... =)
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