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The Perks of Applying Early

I applied to one college. Yes, only one. From the offset this sounds fool-hardy (of course everybody told me that,) but through early decision this was possible. I wouldn’t suggest only applying one place to anyone because if you don’t get in there’s a lot of stress, but for me it worked. If I hadn’t gotten in to my early decision school I would have still had two weeks to complete my other applications, but luckily for me I didn’t have to exhaust that option. I know where I am going. I knew where I was going on December 12th, only a little over a month after I submitted my application. So while many of my friends are waiting for their acceptance letters in March or April and deciding where to go, I am stress free.

There are some things to think about before applying early decision. For one, early decision is binding which means you absolutely must apply to your first choice school or you are forced to go somewhere that isn’t your first choice. Another issue to consider before applying early decision is financial aid as you will not have competing offers to compare. If that doesn’t work for you some schools have early action which is not binding, but you also get notified early.

However if you are sure of your top choice school and you are ready to commit early decision is definitely the way to go. Besides just the dates of knowing whether you are in or not the numbers are in your favor. ?
The school I am attending next year, Barnard College of Columbia University, accepted around forty percent of their early decision applicants which is double their usual overall acceptance rate of twenty percent. With their early decision acceptances they filled forty-five percent of their class.

This is no where near the most shocking of the statistics. Harvard, renowned for it’s minuscule acceptance rates hovering around six percent, accepted twenty-one percent of their early action applicants. If you crunch the numbers of that they will have to accept only about 3.4 percent of their regular decision applicants if they receive numbers corresponding with previous year. Many colleges fill over half of their class with early decision or early action applicants although there are less students who apply at that time. One example is Princeton which filled fifty-five percent of its freshman class with early action applicants.

These amazing numbers should be enough to make many skeptics jump on the bandwagon of early decision. Each year the number of people who apply and are accepted early decision increases. It is doubtful that this trend will change, so I say if you can, apply early.

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