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My Advice for Families About Early Decision & Early Action Plans

Understanding Early Decision & Early Action, Part Two

In my last blog, I set out to clarify some areas of confusion that many parents and students have about Early Decision (ED) and Early Action (EA) plans.

In an effort to make it clearer still, here are some of the things I tell my students who are considering applying Early Decision or Early Action.

If you plan to apply early, get a head-start over the summer so that you can ‘hit the ground running’ when senior year starts. Get your essays mostly done, make sure to talk to teachers and counselors early about letters of recommendation, start filling in your Common Application, etc.

• Get information directly from the admissions staff as ED and EA plans vary from college to college.

• If you are thinking of applying for ED, you should thoroughly research colleges, and be sure of what you want, academically and socially. You can do this by reading their websites, taking virtual or in-person tours, speaking to past or present students, admissions representatives, etc.

• Any college you apply to ED should be your dream college! Don’t apply ED just to avoid the stress and the work involved.

• Make sure that you meet the admission profile for the college (most commonly found on colleges’ admissions pages) and that your academic record has been consistently good. Remember that colleges will only see your fall senior year grades if you apply early.

• Before sending in ED and EA applications, make sure that you have a plan for what you will do if you don’t get in. Prepare other applications as you wait for decisions - if you are rejected by the ED college, there are only two weeks left to send in other applications, and you don’t want to be scrambling and doing a rushed job.

Keep working hard and don’t succumb to ‘senioritis’! Colleges may rescind offers of admission if your senior year grades drop.

• ED and EA applicants must take the October SAT in order for these scores to make it to the college in time.

And remember that you can hear back ‘early’ from colleges with rolling admissions. They evaluate applications as they are received, rather than waiting to evaluate all applications after a set deadline. Students applying to these colleges usually hear a decision between four to six weeks.

By Emma Hoffman, Bennett Senior Consultant & College Application Expert.

To see & hear Emma talk more about it all on our porch, please click here.

Bennett International Education Consultancy works directly with hundreds of families each year across the globe. We support families by helping them make informed decisions about the best-fit schools for their children; with our guidance, they secure placement in preschools, private day schools, public/state schools, boarding schools, colleges & universities, including schools with particular programs, such as special needs support.


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