Is applying ‘Early’ right for you?

By November 20, 2019 Applying Abroad

Is applying ‘Early’ right for you?

Applying abroad | November 20, 2019

It is college application time and the most common topic of discussion among students applying abroad is whether to apply early and which ones to apply to. Depending on which part of the world the student is applying to, meaning of applying early would be different.

Universities which have ‘Early Application’ deadline, suggest that students can submit their application earlier and get it screened by the committee before the regular applications are assessed. Applying early implies that the student has thoroughly researched the programs and has keen interest in the program applied to. The acceptance criteria of the program and the university are not different for early applicants. However, there can be a minute difference in the acceptance rate between applying early or regular. Some colleges take significantly higher percentage of ‘early applicants’, while other take only a handful more. Statistics on the percentage of applicants a certain school took in early are usually available on their website. In case the admission committee is unable to come to any decision about a student who has applied early, the decision is kept on hold and made along with regular applications. The decision made by the university is not binding, hence applicant can accept or decline the offer without any consequences. This also means a student can apply early to more than one university.

Applying Early enables the student to know his/her standing vis-a-vis other applicants and if felt necessary make changes to the other applications. For example, if a student was confident on an offer from a college applied early to, but got deferred, then he/she may change the strategy of applying to other colleges.

Some universities offer ‘Early Decision’ plan. Unlike the previous one, it is binding for the student. A student can apply to only one early decision college and if the college accepts him/her, it is binding to accept the offer. Student can apply to multiple colleges through regular admission process but if accepted in early decision, then he/she would have to withdraw applications from other colleges or decline their offers. Early decision gives a better boost to your application towards acceptance than an early application or a regular one. But since the agreement is binding, it is not to be taken lightly. Dishonoring the agreement of offer due to any reason would reflect very poorly on the student’s intentions and might hurt future applications as most colleges, counselors and the admission committee adhere to the NACAC code for applicants.

Hence, if a student is sure of his/her best-fit college and is very keen to attend it, then applying early decision is definitely advantageous. But if uncertain about the university, then should keep the options open with either early action or regular deadline.

Pauravi Varde

Author Pauravi Varde

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