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Articles / Applying to College / Switch to Early Decision After Applying?

Nov. 29, 2016

Switch to Early Decision After Applying?

Question: My son wasn't positive about applying early decision prior to the November 1 deadline, but has become more committed since. How would a school look upon requesting to change a regular decision application filed early to an early decision II application? Thank you.


The college folks will be thrilled that they've hooked another sure-thing candidate so your son shouldn't hesitate to change his application to ED II, if that's what he wants to do. Note, however, that—depending on where he is applying—he may need ED commitment forms with parent and counselor signatures and it is probably too late to send these electronically. So when your son contacts the college (via phone or email) to ask to switch his decision plan, he should also ask which forms he needs to submit and how to send them. Once he's sent everything in, if he gets no acknowledgement from the college that the forms were received, he should wait a week or so and then email his regional rep to confirm that the commitment forms did indeed arrive and that his decision plan has been amended.

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.

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