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Early Decision Applications- Pros and Cons

student pondering and thinkiing

Last year's application cycle confirmed that many schools want to shore up their incoming rosters early. We saw many schools accept 50% or greater of their students through Early Decision. What are the pros and cons of considering an Early Decision contract?

Pros - Some students have had a longer runway while researching schools and know that a particular school is the best fit. Below are reasons to consider an Early Decision contract:

  • The student's academic profile and application content are in great shape and ready to go by the ED deadline.

  • The student is eager to learn of a decision by December.

  • The parents and student have run the school's net price calculator and are comfortable with the pricing.

  • The student has used virtual and in-person resources to thoroughly research the school's academics, campus, and educational culture, residential life, extracurricular activities, and student resources.

Cons - There is much growth between the Fall and Spring of the Senior Year. Many students need that time to develop before locking into a school. Be careful when the following may be the case:

  • The school's selectivity is a major factor in the student's consideration of an ED contract.

  • The parents are not comfortable with the results of the net price calculator and are concerned about loans and affordability.

  • The student has not had time to thoroughly research the school both in person if possible or virtually.

  • The student is still considering different programs of study and regions of the country.

There is no right or wrong application path. The student that has had time to research schools through the lens of their "must-have" and "would be nice" criteria can benefit from an early decision, but oftentimes a student needs time to mature before signing on the dotted line. See this list of schools that boost admission probability over 50% for early decision contracts. Need more info? Schedule a chat with us today.


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