Why Early Decision Is A College Admission Mistake

It’s a good strategic move to apply early to college, but not at the cost of surrendering your soul.

But that’s the advice you can find in an article that strongly suggests your student apply Early Decision, which means you’re required to go to that college and forgo any possibility of receiving financial aid. Does this smell already?

Well, maybe not.Here’s how to justify applying Early Decision with the combination of the following factors:

  • You are from a wealthy family with no need for financial aid;
  • You are a talented athlete;
  • You are a legacy (child of a graduate of that school);
  • You‘re near or at the top of your class;
  • You think applying Early Decision increases your odds of getting into an Ivy League school whose rejection rate hovers around 92 percent (read: you’re a glutton for punishment); and
  • You would crawl on broken glass for 20 miles to attend that college (read: you really are a glutton for punishment).

Where my information package helps students get into the right-fit colleges, this article further suggests that if you end up at the wrong college “it’s not the end of the world” if you have to drop out. What?! Will anyone else suggest such insensitive responses to what can be a very stressful experience when a student is applying for an early admission?
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Please write a comment below.
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I suggest you apply
early, but apply on an Early Action basis. There’s no commitment to attend if you’re accepted, and if you aren’t accepted early, you’ll be placed in the regular decision pool for consideration later.

AND…you’ve increased your chances for admission and perhaps more financial aid because, as the authors state in their book,  The Early Admission Game, (p. 137) “applying early provides a significant admissions advantage, approximately equivalent to the effect of a jump of 100 points in SAT-1 score.”

The strategy for early admission is to apply early action, which is applying on your terms without the thought of broken glass beneath you.
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Visit my website on how to get free videos on the remedy to the the perils of college planning.

IT’S YOUR TURN. What do you think? Please write a comment below.

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4 Responses to “Why Early Decision Is A College Admission Mistake”

  1. Keith D. McElwain III Says:

    Interesting concepts. Sounds like the one who holds their cards the longest will have the biggest benefit in the end, whether its more financial aid or acceptance!

  2. suzanneshaffer Says:

    In my opinion, early decision is RARELY an option. I agree with you that early action is a student’s BEST choice if they have their heart set on one college. It’s amazing to see how a student’s feelings can change in just a few short months. Keeping their options open is the best advice any college advisor can give. And you are always about helping students leverage their options.

    • Paul Hemphill Says:

      When a student has a choice of just under 3,000 four-year colleges, that alone is hard to justify placing their heart and soul into one college. It’s not even natural. Then again, I’ve known people to marry their grade school sweetheart without ever dating anyone else. That was probably a terrible example. :^)

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