Do’s and Don’ts of Applying Early Decision to College

How To: Apply Early Decision

By: Caroline Koppelman

DO: Consider all of your options. It’s common to overlook schools when considering where to apply ED because you feel the pressure of only being able to choose one school. When you’re considering applying ED, be sure to actually imagine yourself at the school because your potential admission is binding.

DON’T: Apply early to a school strictly because you think it is prestigious and applying ED will give you a better chance. It won’t.

DO: Apply early if you’re indifferent between three schools and one of them has a slightly higher acceptance rate. If you know you’ll love any of the schools that you’re considering then you might as well choose the one you’re most likely to be accepted to.

DON’T: Apply somewhere that has you listed as a student that is within or below the 25th percentile of scores. That number is deceiving and represents students that get in for reasons other than academics and extracurriculars.

DO: Consider location, climate, and social life. Sometimes you get caught up in the name of the school and forget what it means to be spending your next four years there. There’s more to college than academics, so you have to be sure you can see yourself thriving in all aspects of college life.

DON’T: Let College Board statistics dissuade you from applying somewhere. Although it might seem as if College Board knows all, there are a lot of factors that go into your application and you shouldn’t let numbers stop you from applying somewhere. But, you do have to be realistic.

DO: Be prepared for both outcomes. There is always the chance that you will be rejected and this is something that you have to be aware of. Even if it seems like you are a “guaranteed” accepted student, you can never be sure. Start prepping your supplements for regular decision just in case the outcome is not the one you anticipated.