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How soon can a rising senior start submitting applications? Now??

scritchscritch 12 replies4 threads Junior Member
Hi there,

From what I've read, it may be possible to apply earlier than August 1st (when the common ap opens) to schools if they have their own applications. Has anyone done this? Pros and cons?

DS has all his ducks in a row... 4.0 unweighted GPA, mid-1500 SAT, many AP classes, activities, awards, finished essay & letters of recommendation(written in December for a summer program). This summer he is participating(virtually) in our state's Governor's School of Engineering. He also has a very long list of schools he wants to apply to. I'm thinking that if it's possible to get some over and done with at the beginning of the summer, that would be beneficial. I don't see campus visits happening any time soon, so there is nothing really to wait for, and no way to whittle his list down any further at this point.

I haven't started going through the list of schools to see if any open their applications before August 1st, but before I do, I thought I'd ask here for people's opinions. Are there any disadvantages to using a school's own application instead of the common ap, if it means an application can be turned in pre-August 1st? Any experiences?

TIA!!
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Replies to: How soon can a rising senior start submitting applications? Now??

  • JanieWalkerJanieWalker 680 replies19 threads Member
    I don’t know your answer for sure. All I can say is that D21 plans on submitting her apps as soon as the Common App opens in August. Except for wanting a better SAT score, her ducks are in a row too. She is writing all the “Why X” essays now figuring those prompts won’t change much, and she’ll tackle any changes in essay questions as soon as the new prompts are released. She has already interviewed at half her schools and has most her other appointments lined up.

    I don’t see why it would be a disadvantage to apply as soon as you can. Depending on the college, they might not get to your application until they read everyone else’s as well, but I understand the desire to want to get everything done now anyway. D21 has a heavy senior courseload and a ton of ECs and has more time to get things done now than she will later.

    I too am interested to see if anyone has any reasons NOT to apply as soon as you can (provided your application is solid).
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5377 replies91 threads Senior Member
    Some schools typically make their own application available before August 1, such as U Alabama and Wake Forest. You will just have to go to each school’s site and find out when the app opens. There is no disadvantage to using a school’s own app.

    A limiting factor may be getting your teacher and counselor rec letters by then, as well as having your HS send the official 6 semester transcript. Not all HSs do those things during the summer.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10211 replies119 threads Senior Member
    In our experience there was great benefit to getting applications in early. For schools with rolling admission it can mean acceptance letters in hand in September. Psychological super helpful.

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  • scritchscritch 12 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Thanks! I hadn't thought about the high school having to send out the official transcript - I will have to look into that. Going through our list, it looks like there are only a few schools with their own applications, and they don't say when they open for rising seniors... looks like we'll have to ask.
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  • PrdMomto1PrdMomto1 562 replies7 threads Member
    Even if he can't submit applications, he can still get a lot done. Essays take the most time so he can, and probably should, really start nailing down his common app essay and start working on other essays as they are announced.

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  • HMom16HMom16 799 replies19 threads Member
    What happens if you submit early (EA or RD) and then later decide to apply somewhere ED?
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7904 replies84 threads Senior Member
    edited June 1
    The promise is that if you are accepted ED you will pull all other applications. Note that usually can't have an SCEA (Single Choice) or REA (Restricted) application and also apply ED.
    edited June 1
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5377 replies91 threads Senior Member
    edited June 1
    HMom16 wrote: »
    What happens if you submit early (EA or RD) and then later decide to apply somewhere ED?

    You pull your apps, and any acceptances you have already received, *if* you are accepted somewhere ED. You don't have to do anything when you apply ED, just if and when accepted. It's not uncommon that students admitted ED have already been accepted to another school(s) in EA or rolling admissions rounds.
    edited June 1
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2281 replies36 threads Senior Member
    As long as it’s in by the due date, being early doesn’t matter. With the possible exception of rolling admissions schools and applying at the latest deadline.

    But June, August, September won’t make a difference to the school.

    But sending them in and getting it off the To Do list is a great feeling. My D had most of hers in before senior year started and it was nice to know it was done. She was even accepted into 3 schools by mid-October even though their “we will notify you on or before” date was much later.
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  • DashingMaxDashingMax 4 replies0 threads New Member
    There are several universities that do not use common app. For example: University of New Mexico. Look for those universities and if interested he can apply right now. No need to wait til August.
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  • CCEdit_SurajCCEdit_Suraj 89 replies162 threads Editor
    @scritch You might have already gotten some of your answers. Just to give you a broader understanding of the common app, College Confidential covered the topic in an article that may help answer your question. Read more here: https://insights.collegeconfidential.com/check-the-expert-answers-to-these-6-common-app-faqs
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  • NYC2018nycNYC2018nyc 374 replies16 threads Member
    Wake Forest opens really early. It might already be open.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7904 replies84 threads Senior Member
    the only caveat I would add to the above is: don't do the essays for the ones he is *really* interested in the first round, for two reasons. First the essays tend to get better after the first few - most kids don't have a lot of experience writing personal essays and doing a few sharpens the writing. Second, the *process* of thinking through 'why do I want this college' 'why does X really matter to me' etc on the early ones helps to mature and clarify the thinking, leading to a stronger essay. Of course, don't do so many that burn-out is setting in!
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  • TigerInWinterTigerInWinter 111 replies0 threads Junior Member
    the only caveat I would add to the above is: don't do the essays for the ones he is *really* interested in the first round

    I second this advice. My kids worked on their supplemental (i.e., college-specific) essays off and on between June and December, and the quality of the essays definitely improved as the kids gained experience and figured out the best ways to express themselves. Fortunately they were able to go back and rework some of the initial essays (except those for a few schools with early deadlines).

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