Early Decision (ED) Application as a Tactical Move for U.S. College Admissions
In recent years, Early Decision (ED) has become a massive factor in the admissions process, and how to deploy your “Early Decision (ED) card” can be an important component of your overall application strategy. This tactic can ultimately grant you a higher chance in being accepted by those selective colleges, i.e. top 75 U.S. Colleges. Let us explore how ED can possibly benefit you.
The ED application is one of the most powerful tactical tools a student can possess. No other moves will be able to help in increasing your admissions chance more at a college that may be almost beyond your reach. Colleges that offer ED application grant far more favorable acceptance rates to early applicants than to those in the Regular Decision (RD) round. For example, Johns Hopkins University and University of Notre Dame accepted 30% of the ED applicants versus around 10% only of the RD applicants in 2017 admissions season.
Academic research also shows that ED application values about 100 points on the SAT. Actually, it makes sense that elite colleges are competing with each other for the pool of top candidates. Students who apply via ED declare their commitment to the specific one school. Therefore, it can definitely improve the yield rate of the school which causes admissions officers lose their sleep overnight.
The keys to pick the perfect ED school will be the school that you want to attend very much; you can afford; and is an institution where you have a realistic chance to be accepted. If you are having SAT score I the mid-1400s and are in the top 10% of your high school class with strong GPA, those highly selective colleges have every reason to strongly consider you versus those still in the regular decision bush.
The ED application if used thoughtfully can be a decisive advantage in the college admissions process. Unless you are in a special category or your core stats (i.e. super high SAT or ACT score, top 5% of your class and super high GPA, stunning extra-curriculars history) above the mean of accepted applicants, an ED can be a “turnaround” strategy for you to achieve early opportunity to the highly selective colleges and gain a realistic chance for them to say “yes” to you.
Mr. Hubert Ho
Head of Admissions Consulting Services, Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions
Associate Member of IECA, Member of NACAC and AEE
MCom (Finance), UNSW
BCom (Management & Marketing), University of Wollongong
• 10 years+ of experience in education industry
• Proven track record helping students gain admission to US prestigious colleges including Yale University, Stanford University, Cornell University, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, New York University, Boston University
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