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What are the pros and cons of applying early action/decision?

goldendoorgoldendoor Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
edited June 2013 in College Admissions
What will colleges NOT see if I apply early? Are my chances better for certain schools?
Post edited by goldendoor on

Replies to: What are the pros and cons of applying early action/decision?

  • T26E4T26E4 Registered User Posts: 24,274 Senior Member
    They won't see your seventh semester grades and any later SAT/ACT sittings.

    For schools who are trying to attract better candidates away from some more renown competition, EA and ED can be a higher admit rate. It requires more research on your part

    A PRO for you: if admitted, you're done before Christmas
  • sallygardnersallygardner Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    At some colleges, ED/EA acceptance rates are nearly double those of RD. Colleges will tell you that this is because ED applicants are just generally more competitive, and while this is true, applying early definitely better your chances to some extent.
  • vivendiumvivendium Registered User Posts: 332 Member
    Applying EA/ED almost certainly gives you an advantage. Admit rates are higher, so if you think your stats are good enough, you have a higher chance of being accepted. Some colleges outright say that applying early has an advantage; others don't.
    However, they won't see your first semester grades for senior year. So if your grades haven't been great in the past, they won't get to see you potentially improve.
  • SikorskySikorsky Registered User Posts: 5,851 Senior Member
    Another disadvantage (of ED in particular): you can't comparison shop. If you are applying for need-based aid, and you get an early-decision offer of admission from University X that comes with an aid package that makes Univ. X affordable, you're going there. But if you apply regular decision, you can compare the aid offered with University X with the aid packages offered by Universities Y and Z. You may find that your second-choice university, which you like pretty well, will offer you a package that would cost tens of thousands of dollars less over four years. But if you apply early decision, you can't compare aid packages.

    In addition, I have a hypothesis that colleges and universities that offer merit aid have less incentive to offer it to early-decision applicants than to regular-decision applicants. By and large, colleges and universities use merit aid to attract highly qualified applicants who they think would otherwise go elsewhere. But if you apply early, they know you'll go there if admitted. So why should they offer merit aid to you when they could offer it to some other student whom they might otherwise lose to Princeton?
This discussion has been closed.