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Don’t Be Haunted by Early Application Deadlines, But Do Enter With Caution!

In what is projected to be the most competitive admissions cycle to date, this application season has been looming large and leaving applicants feeling unhinged.

November 1st submission deadlines are right around the corner, and as we encourage families to keep calm and write on, we recognize that, like some desperate hollowing demons, the reality of selectivity is frightening.

As many families grapple with which admissions plan to choose, we hope to demystify some shadows, providing more light and less fright.

Early Application Plan Options Include:

  • Early Action

  • Restrictive EA or Single-Choice EA

  • Early Decision

  • Early Decision II

  • Rolling

*Not all options are displayed by every college. Students will only see admissions plans that their specific college(s) offer for admissions consideration.

Let’s Start with ED I and ED II

The number of colleges offering ED has noticeably grown in the past several years. More selective colleges are more likely to offer an ED option, but many schools with higher acceptance rates are joining in on the option, too.

Applying ED is often attractive to students as it allows them to receive a decision faster (typically by December). Additionally, some may argue that there is a greater chance for an admissions offer if the academic credentials are there.

ED II is a second chance at an ED application. It’s a less favored admissions plan and is often used when a student was not admitted to their first-choice ED I, a change of heart occurred, or an outside factor prohibited the student from applying to ED I.

All things considered, if a student is absolutely certain that a college is the best fit for them (academically, socially, and financially), ED or ED II may be the best choice for an application plan.

️⚡️ Beware! Regardless of the school, ED apps are binding agreements (a student must attend if accepted), so applicants must take caution!

Early Action Preserves Applicant Choice

Unlike ED, EA is non–binding. This means a student is not obligated to attend if you receive an acceptance letter.

EA is enticing for many students because they can apply EA to multiple colleges; again, the thinking is that the early bird may have a better chance of getting the worm.

️⚡️ Beware, the drawback comes down to the well-known villain of time management. Has the applicant prepared a thoughtfully polished application to submit early?

Approach with Caution: Restrictive EA or Single-Choice EA

These apps prohibit multiple EA applications (to selective universities) and an ED application. However, students do maintain a non-binding option AND the ability (in most cases) to apply EA to public schools.

️⚡️Beware, these are only offered at seven uber-selective universities.

The advantage of EA over ED is the opportunity that Early Action gives you to apply and compare financial aid packages from several schools while still preserving your ability to choose the best fitting school for you.

Rolling Plans Have Quick Turnaround Times

The advantage of Rolling submissions is clear: applicant submits, college downloads, and reviews upon receipt. Rolling decisions are typically returned in 2-8 weeks. Like a fun-filled pumpkin patch, this could offer applicants many choices to pick from, leverage, and compare much earlier than their counterparts.

️Don’t be Haunted by Application Season! Research your options, ask questions, and pay attention to deadlines to avoid the fright.

CBCR wants you to be #CollegeBoundCareerReady!

Contact CBCR for college admissions counseling and essay writing support by submitting a request for a Free Consultation utilizing the Contact Us page on our website. We want to ensure that you, too, are College Bound, Career Ready!

Please take a moment to Like or Follow us on Facebook and Instagram so that you can stay connected with news and updates.

Sarah K. Cook

October 27, 2023


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