The Early Bird Gets the Acceptance Letter

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Abby English, Staff Writer

To most of State High, the first of November means the ending of the first marking period is near. However, to many seniors at State High and across the country, this date is a looming deadline. Early decision (ED) college applications are due on November 1st. Defined by CollegeBoard, early decision plans “are binding – a student who is accepted as an early decision  applicant must attend the college”. This means that students can only apply early decision to one school, but can apply regularly to other schools in the event that they do not get accepted into their ED college.

Senior Alex Burka decided that an early decision application to the University of Chicago was best for him, after initially choosing early application to Yale. Burka stated, “Over time, I realized I knew what was best for myself, and so I selected UChicago for ED around late September”. Not many students are ready to make the commitment to one school, but counselor Susan Marshall believes there are many advantages to ED applications. “They can be an emotional relief, a financial relief, and an academic relief in that it frees up time since there are no more college apps to complete,” said Marshall. Marshall also stated that early decision sometimes gave students an edge in acceptance compared to those applying regular decision.

This edge was a big factor when Casey Snyder, senior, decided to apply early decision to Brown University. “I toured it, I researched it, I know I would love it there if given the chance. So I used early decision to give myself any advantage I could,” said Snyder. Another senior, Needhi Sharma, decided to apply early decision to Columbia simply because of her love for the school. Sharma stated, “The academics are very high quality with well renowned professors and also the opportunities for me as a pre-med student in terms of research are great.” The decision to apply early decision is a big one, but ultimately has a large payoff for students who are accepted.

Despite the fact that acceptance through early decision is legally binding, it’s not pivotal if students are not accepted, as long as they have applied regular decision to other schools. “I”m very optimistic about my chances. And, even if I don’t get accepted, I’ll still have a shot at other top institutions and PSU Schreyer; that is, it won’t be the end of the world,” said Burka. With that said, there are still concerns for students who have put so much thought into the choice to apply ED. “It’s possible there’s something about [Brown] that I would hate once I got there, and then the legal obligation to attend would be really unfortunate,” said Snyder. Before concerns about the actual school itself can come, students applying early decision must first focus on finishing the application by the first of November. “At this point it is just stressful finishing up the application and getting all the requirements in on time,” said Sharma, of her fears about applying early decision.

While most State High students have their eyes on November 3rd, as it’s the end of the first marking period, Burka, Snyder, Sharma, and many other seniors at State High have November 1st marked on their calendars. All early decision applications must be completed and submitted by that day. After that day, it becomes a waiting game for seniors across the country to find out whether or not their dream school has accepted them or not.

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