Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines
Posted on October 5, 2015
If you are applying to college for Early Decision or Early Action or some form of either of the two, you are probably almost done preparing your application(s) for these early deadlines and will submit before November 1. You are finalizing your essays, have requested test scores, transcripts and recommendations to be sent, fulfilled any other requirements and know exactly what are your priorities.
There are many conflicting theories about whether it is best to apply early or wait until regular deadlines. You could drive yourself crazy trying to decide. There is benefit to either choice, so don’t over think the deadlines that you choose. Colleges are looking to admit students that they know will attend if they are admitted. That’s one of the benefits to them of offering early decision. If you don’t get in early and are not deferred, you probably wouldn’t have been admitted at the regular deadline. If you wait until the regular deadline and have a strong application, then you will be evaluated on your merits, not the deadline that you chose.
If you are applying for Early Decision, you are confident that you are a desirable applicant and know that this school is absolutely your first choice. If you need to raise test scores or show an upward trend in grades, then your decision to wait until the regular deadline is a good one.
Here are some general reminders:
- If you apply for Early Decision, you can only do so at one school and it is binding. If you get in, you will go to that school.
- The only reason that you can ethically break the commitment of Early Decision is if your financial aid award is not high enough and you can’t afford to go to the school.
- If you are applying for Early Action so that you can hopefully enjoy your winter break knowing that you have been accepted to at least one college that is top on your list, please double check if it is Restrictive Early Action that only allows you to apply to one school. You must follow the guidelines.
- Don’t wait until you find out the results of any early application submissions in December to start your applications for any 2016 deadlines. You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute if you were deferred or not admitted.
- If you prepare all of your applications by mid December for any deadlines that are in January, you can enjoy your winter break without deadline stress hanging over your head.
University of California and California State University application filing periods are early:
- UC filing period is from November 1-30. Don’t wait until the end of the month. If there are any technical difficulties you will not have time to address them.
- Cal State filing period is from October 1–November 30. Once again, don’t wait until the end of the filing period to submit your application. If there are any technical difficulties you will not have time to address them.
For more information on pros and cons of Early Action and Early Decision, check out this information from the College Board.