The college admission fever that both students and parents experience during the admissions season is palpable. Colleges most students dream of are highly selective and demand much more than just good grades. So, what is the solution?
If you have been following WritersQi, you will know that we are strong advocates of preparedness. The only way to ease college admission anxiety is to clearly know what your preferred college is expecting to see in the new batch and how to approach the college by putting your best foot forward.
In this post, we will deep dive into the early decision application process and understand what makes it different from the regular process. We will discuss how the early decision application increases your chances of admission to the Ivy League.
Early decision (ED1 & ED2) vs Regular decision: Understanding the difference
For starters, the difference between early and regular decision processes lies in the deadlines.
Ø Early decision applications are accepted and reviewed in two rounds- ED 1 and ED2.
The deadline for the first round of early decision applications (ED1) is approximately 2 months earlier than regular decision applications.
Deadline for ED1- 1st November
The admission decision is announced by mid-December
But, the ED2 deadline falls around the same time as regular decision applications.
Deadline for ED2- 1st January
The admission decision is announced by mid-February
Ø An early decision is a binding agreement between you and the college of your choice. That is, if the college accepts your application, you are committed to attending. Every year a significant percentage of meritorious and determined students commit to their dream college by applying in the early decision round.
Early decision application: Is it a good idea?
Ø While it may sound intense to commit to a school well before your peers, applying early decision significantly improves your chances of getting selected. Many Ivy League colleges take early decision applications seriously. So if you are 100% sure about a certain college that offers an early decision admission process, it’s a good idea to apply well before your peers in the early decision round.
Ø One of the greatest benefits of applying early is that by beating the regular application rush, you give the admission officers enough time to go through your application. The number of applicants taking the early decision route is significantly lesser than the number of regular applicants because of the binding agreement the process demands. Therefore, the applicants applying early get the undivided attention of the admissions committee. Give your best shot, prepare your essays with utmost care and make the most of this golden opportunity.
Ø As mentioned earlier, great colleges that have a reputation for producing icons accept students based on a number of criteria, not just the scores. They access students based on virtues like decisiveness, preparedness, organization skills and foresight. Just by applying early decision, you demonstrate all these virtues and more. Committing to a college in a binding agreement shows your decisiveness. Also, applying more than a month earlier than the rest of the world means you have to start preparing your application early, be proactive in arranging for recommendation letters, statement of purpose (SOP), your essays and more. If you do it right, the college admissions committee will see your perseverance and organization skills increasing your chances of acceptance.
Ø And finally, imagine holding the acceptance letter from a college before other applicants even start their application process! The stressful waiting time will be shorter for early-decision applicants. If you get into your favorite college early, you get enough time to sort out other important factors like travel and accommodation.
The deadline for ED2 application submission is around the corner.
Not all colleges offer ED2, however, just like ED1, ED2 applications have significantly higher admit rates than the regular decision.
Students who missed the ED1 deadline for some reason, or got their application deferred or rejected, can catch up with ED2. But please note, you can't apply to the same college for both ED1 and ED2. ED2 is a great option if you have a second favorite college or you missed the bus for the most favorite.
So, if applying early decision is on your mind, we suggest you buck up. Make sure your essays are perfect without a single grammatical mistake. Start compiling your letters of recommendation and filling out your paperwork.
We help both early decision and regular-round applicants get into top universities.
Book a consultation with Writersqi to understand more about applying early and ease the application process with our consultants.