College for High School Seniors

26 Oct

College Admission – October 26, 2012

Fall is the midst of college application season for high school seniors. Do you know colleges have three different deadlines? They are Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular Decision. I want to clarify the confusion of this admission process and hope to give you insight.

Early Decision

You can apply for only one college as Early Decision. Early Decision is binding contract between college and a student. If you are accepted by a college through the Early Decision, you must go to the college. You need to make 200% sure that the college you identified is the ONE. Then go ahead and apply Early Decision. College likes Early Decision because they can lock Early Decision students and then concentrate on admission for the rest of application process. Good side is that it is easier to get in a college through Early Decision compared to Regular Decision. And you will know your fate by December. But at age of 17 or 18, the majority of high school students don’t know what they even want to study at college. I would normally not recommend Early Decision for the most cases. But if you know yourself and the college inside out, and your family doesn’t need to shop around  financing college, then Go for It!

Early Action

You can apply for multiple colleges through Early Action. Early Action is not binding but the good part is that you can compare what financial offers you might receive and compare them. Let’s say if you applied for 3 colleges you like to go to. Suppose you are accepted into all three colleges. College A gives you scholarship to cover whole year of college tuition. College B promises you to give you scholarship to pay 70% of first year tuition. College C offers you to scholarship to pay first year tuition and half of Room and Board. Depending on your financial situation and academic courses, and other factors, you can pick and choose one. I personally recommend Early Action. You need to apply early, way earlier than Regular Decision, but you have better chance to get in through Early Action than Regular Decision. Apply ASAP if you haven’t!

Regular Decision

If you like to procrastinate applying for college, then Regular Decision is way to go. Or if you didn’t get in as Early Decision or Action applicant, then you have no choice but apply for Regular Decision.

I know senior year is busy time but I highly recommend putting together everything you need and apply as Early Action applicant. Good Luck!

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