Many Students Are Applying Early Decision to Their Top College Choice

Lauren Cunningham, Staff Writer

Approximately 450 colleges nationwide have the option of early admission to students who would like to apply. The most common deadline for these applications is Nov. 1 through Nov. 15, and students receive their admission decision within six to eight weeks after they have submitted their application. Applying under early admission allows for students to compete with less applicants than normal admission. Miramonte seniors applied early admission this year. 

“I am very glad I applied early admission to a few of my schools. It feels like I have some weight off of my shoulders, and I am much less stressed going into the second semester,” senior Sally Peterson said. Peterson applied to University of Virginia, University of Michigan, and University of Boulder, Colorado under early admission. According to the 2019 State of College Admission Report released by the National Association for College Admission Counseling , colleges reported higher acceptance rates for early action and Early Decision applicants compared with those who took the regular decision route.

“All of the materials that you have to submit are the same. It’s just literally moving those deadlines up months in advance,” the Dean of Admission at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts Leykia Nulan said. Common early admissions plans include Early Action (EA) and Early Decision (ED). Early Decision plans are binding, meaning a student who is accepted must attend the college. Early Action plans, however, are non-binding. Students may receive an early response to their application, but they do not have to commit to the college until the normal reply date of May 1. Some colleges use a restrictive early action process, meaning students can be restricted from applying for Early Action or Early Decision elsewhere. 

“The process is very special, especially knowing ED is binding so if I get in I have to go there,” senior Rigby Blair said. Blair applied for an early decision to Villanova University. 

“As a student athlete who is committed, applying early admission differs in the sense that you get a lot of support from the coaching staff of the college and they steer you in the right direction, rather than having to do it all on your own,” senior Kate Rochios said. Rochios is committed to play water polo at Indiana University next year. According to Tier One Athletics, the vast majority of recruited athletes apply during the Early Decision or Early action round, and applying EA or ED shows their commitment to attend. 

Regular decision applications are due between January 1 and February 1, with results coming back in March and April. This later date gives students longer to prepare their applications for admission. According to Peterson’s, an online college search guide, if you are trying to boost your GPA or improve your application, applying under normal admission may be best.