College Admissions: Early Decisions

Seniors navigate college admission plans

Important deadlines have come and gone for seniors as they navigate the college admissions process. The final date to turn in an early decision application was Nov. 1-2 for many schools. The early decision process means that students receive a response from colleges much earlier than regular decisions: often in mid-December.

Students must complete their applications earlier which requires some extra effort earlier on in the process.

“It just means more frontloading of work, which can be a bit stressful,” one student said.

Half of the seniors who completed the survey chose to send in an early decision application. Common schools to apply to were schools with lower acceptance rates such as: Pomona, Loyola Marymount, Pitzer, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Miami and Duke.

It’s overwhelmingly stressful — most of the stress being caused by myself or parents– but at the end of the day I’m not worried. Every school on my list will give me an education I’ll love.”

— Anonymous Student

Seniors chose to apply to such schools for a common reason; early decision applications tend to boost one’s acceptance rate.

“The schools that I like are very selective; ED gives the best chance at being accepted,” another student said.

One of the main controversies with the early decision process is the fact that it is legally binding. If a student is accepted to their early decision school, they must go, with the only exception being if the school does not meet the student’s financial need.

Another option for many of these students is the early action process. This process is more lenient for students while also granting an earlier acceptance.

“Because it allowed me to be finished with most of my college applications earlier, have a better chance of getting in and get my results back sooner,” one student said. 

Common early action schools were schools with higher acceptance rates that students wanted a response from earlier. Schools such as: Oregon State University, University of Puget Sound, Willamette University, University of Oregon, Seattle University, and many others.

Many seniors feel stressed about the college process but happy to hear that their results are coming to them soon. 

“It’s overwhelmingly stressful — most of the stress being caused by myself or parents– but at the end of the day I’m not worried,” one student said. “Every school on my list will give me an education I’ll love.”