ic S/general/checkmark circled Thanks for subscribing! Be on the lookout for our next newsletter.
ic S/general/checkmark circled Saved to Favorites.
Articles / Applying to College / Advantages of EARLY Early-Decision Application?

Oct. 12, 2021

Advantages of EARLY Early-Decision Application?

Should I Submit My Early Decision App In Before the Deadline?

Question: I'm applying Early Decision to an Ivy League school. Is there any advantage for me to send in the application materials very early, besides the fact that I can expedite my interview opportunity?

There's no real advantage in getting an application in way early unless a college offers Rolling Admissions. However, you're right when you say that an earlier submission can expedite the alum-interview process at those colleges that maintain a "Don't call us, we'll call you" policy for interview scheduling.

In addition, should your application be incomplete, the sooner you send it, the more time you will have to track down missing components. Remember, even if YOUR part is complete, you may find that submissions from your school, teachers, etc. did not arrive. It is always YOUR responsibility to make sure that all application components reach their destination and to follow up, if they didn't. If teacher references (etc.) show up SLIGHTLY after the ED deadline, you won't be penalized. But if they're VERY late, then you will probably be pushed into the Regular Decision pool. So sometimes taking care of your part of the application on the early side can help assure that you receive timely notification about missing materials.

Good luck with your verdict.

A version of this article previously appeared in 2007.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

More on Applying to College

Can I Reapply After Early Decision or Early Action Rejection?

Can I Reapply After Early Decision or Early Action Rejection?

Question: If I apply to a college through Early Decision or Early Action, but I am not accepted, can I apply again through Regula…

38547127311_5463cc8dd3_w.jpg

How To Get Into Penn in 2022

There's no doubt that the University of Pennsylvania is extremely difficult to get into. In 2021, the ivy league school in P…

Early Decision or Early Action?

Early Decision or Early Action?

Question: Why should I consider an Early Decision or Early Action college application? What's the difference?

Your level of d…

Can I Apply Early Twice?

Can I Apply Early Twice?

Question: I am planning on applying early decision to my first-choice college. I will be notified of my status by December 31st. …

brett-jordan-2a24_pZeXq8-unsplash.jpg

Good Game, Frank: Sample College Essay

Essay prompt:

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impac…

A-Z College Forums

Browse the College Forums
C1E9D4E7-C4C9-4B28-8946-8F441A6D62B3

Find Your Best Fit

Find your best fit college and track your favorite colleges.