top of page

Bind to Your Dream School

Benefits of Applying Early Decision

Photo by Zhanhui Li on Unsplash

Early decision is a binding choice applied to only one college. Students selecting early decision are promising to one school that if accepted, they will attend and will withdraw applications to any other schools. Countless high schools wrestle with the challenge of applying for early decision and wonder if it is beneficial. 

Early decision is best for students who are certain about the college they want to attend. Students who have determined a school is the best fit academically, socially and geographically should apply early decision. An early decision application provides an increased likelihood of acceptance, less stress as a senior and early acceptance certainty. However, the binding nature of this type of application is best for those who are dead set on their dream school. 

Applying early decision could significantly increase the odds of acceptance. For students who are determining a school’s academic programs and social aspects align closely with their interests, an early decision application is best. Universities are likewise seeking that “ideal” fit, looking to accept students who have a strong desire to attend. So, for qualified students, the acceptance rate is much greater if you apply early decision because it demonstrates serious interest. Additionally, for those on the cusp of being qualified, or for which a school is a reach, applying early decision might well boost the chances of acceptance. 

In addition to an increased acceptance, applying early provides a faster notification of acceptance or rejection. Most colleges will let students know of their decision by Dec. 15, during the first half of the year. This can lead to a less stressful senior year, especially for those accepted. This minimizes the stress of waiting for a decision and provides more time to prepare for the transition to a favorite college. Rejection, while not ideal, provides time to reassess and apply to other schools.

Early decision will help you prepare for college ahead of time, and ensure that your transition to college runs smoothly. An early decision acceptance helps ensure that your major is secured. This can be beneficial, especially if you have a high-demand major that fills up quickly. Making sure your major is secured can reduce stress, and set you up for your future. Additionally, you are able to get financial aid clarity early on. Since all students receive the same financial aid consideration, applying early decision can provide you with financial aid clarity early on. If the financial aid you receive doesn’t meet your needs, you are able to be released from the early decision bind. Finally, early decision acceptance provides more time to search for housing options, find a roommate and prepare for college. 

However, applying early is not a great idea for everyone. Although there are many benefits to applying early decision, the decision pressure to pick just one “dream school” can be too much. Many students struggle to identify a clear dream school. Many students have not done enough research to pick their perfect university. For some, applying to a variety of diverse and acceptable colleges is better than applying early decision. Not everyone needs to rush to apply early decision just to end up unhappy in the long run. Early decision is truly meant for the students who know exactly where they want to go. 

Applying early decision provides significant benefits and is a great idea for students with a clear dream school or a reach school. Students who are 1000% sure about where they want to attend should apply early decision. Applying early decision can help students seeking admission to a reach school because the acceptance rate is higher. After being accepted early decision, students will have less stress for their senior year and will have more time to prepare for college. Overall, early decision is most beneficial for those students who know exactly where they want to go.


Follow us on Instagram

Andy Poll

Get involved with Maclay Andalusian by submitting your work as a guest writer!

bottom of page