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How do colleges make their decisions (early action)

somedood12345678somedood12345678 7 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 17 New Member
edited November 2012 in College Admissions
I applied early action today, and my parents are pretty mad at me right now for waiting the last day to apply. The place I applied too isn't Ivy, but it's top 5 for my major. My scores match for the university.
So my parents are screaming at me lol, saying that everyone applied much earlier than me, and the admission people won't even get to my application and that all the spaces will be filled.

They are wrong right? Do admissions people go by order applied and make a decision for each one? Or do they give each application a score and then after reviewing all the apps they make a decision. Thanks
edited November 2012
5 replies
Post edited by somedood12345678 on
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Replies to: How do colleges make their decisions (early action)

  • entomomentomom 22547 replies1111 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 23,658 Senior Member
    If a school has rolling admissions, it is beneficial to get it in earlier.

    If there is a deadline, it doesn't make a difference when you submit as long as it's before the deadline.
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  • drusbadrusba 9561 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 9,581 Senior Member
    If you are talking about a school with an early action deadline of Nov 1 which sends out decisions mid-Dec, the order the files get reviewed varies. Usually nothing will be reviewed by anyone capable of making a decision until your file is "complete," meaning the college has received all required materials such as the app, your transcript and test scores.

    Some colleges don't start reviewing for determining admission until after Nov 1 and order of receipt means nothing. However, others will actually start review and make at least tentative decisions on completed files beginning as early as October 1 before the app deadline (Yale is one that has mentioned doing so). So your parents may be correct although even if the college starts review early, it will likely not have any adverse impact on your file which arrives at end of the app period. The one thing that is certain is that your parents are likely incorrect to assume "everyone" applied much earlier. It is typical for many colleges that 50% or more of the applications (Caltech actually once reported 90%) arrive during the last several days before the early action or early decision deadline.
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  • OperaDadOperaDad 2404 replies72 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,476 Senior Member
    and that all the spaces will be filled.

    If that were true, then no one would be admitted RD.
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  • 89wahoo89wahoo 1073 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,090 Senior Member
    My understanding is EA is for kids who have the best possible package ready to go prior to the deadline. That means test scores you won't likely be able to improve, all tests required taken (not leaving the SAT II for November or December, for instance), GPA unlikely to improve markedly through the end of the first semester in January, essays well-written and also not likely to be better if you hold off. In other words, if your application will not get noticeably stronger by January, then submit it now. If your grades could use a senior year boost, or if you've increased the rigor of your classes this year and are doing well, hold off. You can be accepted, deferred (and reviewed with RD kids) or denied.
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  • DAlvarezssDAlvarezss 22 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 27 New Member
    Don't worry, my parents are the same way. Good luck!
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