Applying Early for College

by Rachel Coston


Most high school seniors are spending their last year of school having fun and making memories. But it’s important to plan for your future after high school as well. Seniors that plan to attend college the following year might have questions or concerns about applying. When should I apply? What are the deadlines? Should I apply early or can it wait?

When applying for college it is always best to apply earlier rather than later. Early applications are looked at sooner and therefore increase your chances of being accepted. It is important to understand the difference between Early Decision and Early Action when applying. Early Decision plans allow students to apply early with a quick decision, but they are obligated to decide immediately. Early Decision doesn’t allow for students to consider other options; you must decide on the school and be committed to it. Early Action is more flexible and accommodating for students. Early Action plans also allow students to apply early with a quick decision, but you do not have to commit to your decision until later in the year. Both options allow students to apply early, but the options about decision dates differ.

The timelines for applying can also differ depending on which schools you wish to apply at. The majority of early application deadlines are in November of your high school senior year, with decisions typically made from December through February. Applying early allows students to have more options in which school to attend. For most universities the final date to apply is May 1. This means that by applying earlier in the year, you are given a better chance at being accepted. While your classmates are waiting until May to apply, you may already have your acceptance letter by February.

Research the universities you are interested in and see when their early applications are due. If it is the school of your dreams, then applying earlier is in your best interest. If you aren’t exactly sure where you want to go, then applying early can give you some options for when you do decide. Either way, high school seniors should take the time to research application dates and plan their future accordingly.


Source: Early Decision & Early Action