Understanding Early Decision and Early Action Admissions

Join former Admissions Officer Joanne Pluff as she delves into the intricacies of Early Decision (ED) and Early Action (EA) admissions processes. Gain a comprehensive understanding of these options to make informed decisions for your college application journey.

Key Learnings:

  • Differentiating Early Decision and Early Action:
  • Understand the fundamental distinctions between Early Decision and Early Action admissions.
  • Explore how each option aligns with your college application strategy.
  • Application Timelines and Deadlines:
  • Gain clarity on crucial application deadlines for ED and EA.
  • Learn about the timeline implications and how early applications can impact your college admissions journey.
  • Strategic Decision-Making:
  • Discover strategies for deciding whether ED or EA is the right fit for you.
  • Evaluate the advantages and considerations associated with each option.
  • Admissions Outcomes and Implications:
  • Uncover the potential outcomes of an ED or EA application.
  • Understand the binding nature of ED and non-binding nature of EA and how they influence your college choices.
  • Impact on Financial Aid and Scholarships:
  • Explore the financial implications of choosing an early admissions option.
  • Learn how early decisions may affect your eligibility for financial aid and scholarships.

This webinar equips you with the knowledge needed to navigate the Early Decision and Early Action admissions landscape, empowering you to make well-informed choices as you embark on your college application journey.

Date 02/20/2024
Duration 43:04

Webinar Transcription

2024-02-20 – Understanding Early Decision and Early Action Admissions

Okay. Hello, everyone. Welcome to, “Understanding Early Decision and Early Action Admissions.” My name is Lydia Hollon, and I will be your moderator tonight. And I am also a senior advisor at CollegeAdvisor. I’ve been with the company for about three years now. And in addition to advising students, I am a proud co-captain of our essay review team, and I’m also a proud graduate of New York university.

In addition to my work with CollegeAdvisor, I am an education consultant who works with schools, government agencies, and nonprofits across the country to make education more accessible. And I’m also a former teacher. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’re going to start off with a presentation, then answer your questions in a live Q&A.

On the sidebar, you can download our slides and you can start submitting questions in the Q&A tab. We will also be recording the session so that you can review the webinar again later. Now let’s meet our presenter, Joanne. Hi, everyone. My name is Joanne Pluff. I am a, uh, admissions officer here at CollegeAdvisor.

Um, I’ve been with the university, the company about two years now. Um, I currently serve as associate vice president for a university here in Washington, D. C. and was a former associate dean of admission and senior associate director of admission as well. So I bring to you about 14 years of experience.

And I’m super excited to tackle this topic today. Awesome. So we’re gonna get the night started with a quick poll before we jump into the presentation for tonight. So I’m gonna go, oh, go ahead and open it up. The question is, what grade are you in? And while I give you all a chance to answer that question, and before we get started with the presentation, I would just like to state that if you are a parent or educator, just go ahead and select that other tab.

And while you all answer the question, Joanne, I was just wondering what was it like for you when you were applying to colleges? What was the experience like? Oh, um, I probably was an advisor’s worst nightmare. Um, I was a recruited athlete, so I was doing the process a little bit early, had a plan, and then, I don’t know, the day before, early decision deadline around November, I decided to go a different route, which didn’t make my parents super happy.

Um, but you know, I was definitely in the early pool of things. So I would say that. Great. Great. I know for me, I was not an athlete. Well, I did sports in high school, but I was not recruited for anything or expecting to be recruited for anything. Um, but I also applied early to as many schools as I could.

So. I just have always been a planner like that. And I wanted to get my results back as soon as I can from as many schools as possible. So I could make my decision. Yes, I agree. Okay, so go ahead and close the poll now. It seems like the vast majority of our participants tonight are in the 11th grade, and then we’ve got a couple who are in 10th grade and a couple in that other category as well.

So I will go ahead and pass it off to you, Joanne, to get us started. Great. So for those who are sitting and watching, it’s It’s awesome that you’re here, but putting the questions directly in the chat is super helpful. I won’t see them, um, as your presenter if you send me direct messages. So I’m super excited to talk about this, um, this topic because I think it’s something that students kind of weigh as soon as they start the college process and it’s important to get started on thinking about what types of applications you’re going to apply to.

So let’s just jump right in. Um, so what are the main admission deadlines? When are they? Um, what do they do? So typically there’s an early decision deadline, early action, and then, um, the regular decision deadline. So those are the three, uh, top things that you’ll hear. Of course, and I’ll talk about this in future slides, there are some variations to early decision, early action that we can chat about.

But what you should know is for Most applications, they’re typically due at some point in that Thanksgiving ish range of your, um, admission cycle. So, around November is when we start to talk to students about those submissions. And then, truly, that, that, that application season for submission kind of closes around the month of February and early March, truly.

So, I always tell my students that I advise there’s always an exception to a rule. So, for those students who are in Florida or Auburn, Those deadlines are typically sometime in early October, even late September. And stranger things have happened. I think the college landscape as a whole is changing across the country.

So we do want to make sure that you know that there is always an exception to a rule. And then some state schools, of course, they could have rolling admissions rather than a set deadline. And what rolling admissions means is that you are able to apply to that school up until the class is full. So let’s say.

You know, it’s August, you attended your intended schools, um, orientation and you decided you didn’t like it. There may be still schools that are accepting applications for their programs, and that is always listed online, typically.

So I alluded to this a little while ago. Um, so early action versus single choice, early action and restrictive versus ed. So early action to me is the, the best option for students. The reason I say that is it’s early notification. The applications are due around Thanksgiving and it’s not binding. So early action means you just really want to know.

So like I said, I was a college counselor’s worst nightmare. I had a plan execute said plan and then deviated from said plan. And because I was applying early, it allowed me to make some of those changes. Single choice, early action, um, and restrictive early action mean that you can only apply to one school early.

So while. You know, it says, yeah, you’re applying early and it’s great. It’s a non binding contract and you still have all the benefits. The only thing is you can only apply to one school, single or restrictive early action, and you cannot apply to any other school EA or ED. Like I said, so single choice and restrictive are quite specific.

You can only apply to those schools early while. Early action means you can apply to as many colleges as you want to. It’s a non binding, and again, it’s that early notification. So what I will tell you, um, with early action is it’s great. So you typically, like I said, submit your applications around that November deadline, and then you know going into the holiday season, so end of December, whether or not you’ve been admitted.

So it’s a great choice for students like me, who I had some, um, a bunch of different options to choose from. Or if you’re just a planner, it’s really, really helpful. So single choice or versus, um, single choice and restrictive early action versus early decision. So they’re pretty similar. Um, but the only difference is it’s non-binding.

So for students who are considering early decision, once you submit an early decision application, you can only apply that at one school. And it’s a binding decision. Meaning if you’re admitted, you do have to attend. Early decision is a pretty heavy decision. And, um, it requires your signature, your guidance counselor signature and your parent signature.

The reason we do that is it is a very serious decision. Colleges are expecting you to attend if you are admitted. It means you love this school. It’s there’s no place you’d rather be. Where single choice is the non binding option. So yes, you’re restricted to that one school or the single school, but you are not required to attend.

Um, so again, when we’re thinking about early decision versus early action, it’s highly recommended to, to apply early if you can. But if you found that school that you love, you should definitely do early decision if it’s something that you can afford. So, um, I get this question all the time. Does applying early affect the students chances of being accepted?

So, yes, um, admission is typically based on a lot of different things. We do what’s called a holistic review, but with those highly selective schools, um, particularly with ED, It means your science you’ll deliver. So in those early decision pools, it’s typically a smaller applicant of students, which means you’re not fighting for as many spots as some that are perhaps a regular decision pool or the early, um, the early action pool.

And again, because the small applicant pool, maybe this choice, this college is a reach, meaning you are slightly lower than the required GPA, but you have. Everything else that they’re looking for in terms of SATs, extracurriculars, major choice. It’s a great, it’s a good idea for students who are kind of on the bubble, meaning they may have four parts of the puzzle and the puzzle is made of five parts.

Um, and truly the early applicants do tend to be stronger. So when you’re in that regular decision pool, for example, at my university, the amount of students that we. looked at an early decision was around 14, 000. While in a regular decision, we were looking at about 20 something thousand students. So you definitely get a bigger push there.

So I would say there are definitely some pros of applying early. If you are looking at a school that measure demonstrated interest. And if you haven’t heard this term, it’s something that will come up. Demonstrated interest means that it is your indication of how much you really want to go to the school.

And it’s something that schools unofficially, I would say measure that measure could be, you know, Um, if you signed up to do an optional interview, additional supplemental essays, um, if you have visited the university, if you, um, have met with them when they’ve come to your school. So demonstrated interest is how we kind of gauge how interested you are in us.

So that’s one of the things is it’s going to show the school that you truly love to be there and want to be there because you really, really did your research. You can afford it and you’re applying because there’s no where else you’d rather be. The other great thing is you’ll get your decision prior to the close of the year.

So most colleges try to ensure that decisions go out around again, that Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa week, um, to ensure that the students truly know. And it’s a way for you to secure your spot in a high demand major. So at my university, biology is the top major. It’s usually oversubscribed and for students who are applying early decision, it means they get a spot almost right away.

Okay. Thank you, Joanne. We’re going to take a quick break and do another poll. So where are you in the college application process? it now. And Joanne, I would love to hear from you. You said that you were a student athlete. So what sport did you play? I was, uh, it’s like a convoluted answer. So I intended to play college soccer and was also being recruited to run track, which added a layer of, you know, decision making, like what sport did I want to play?

Was I going to play both? Again, I don’t highly recommend my college process, but now that I’ve been through it, I know that I can help people and I’m the wiser on the other side. Great, great. Okay, so I’m going to close the poll now. It seems like the majority of the people we’ve got out here tonight are in the process of researching schools.

It’s still pretty early on, um, in that application process, researching schools, and then we’ve got a A couple people who haven’t started, a couple people who are working on their essays, and then just a small handful that are almost done. So majority are in that early stage. Awesome. This is a great time to start playing actually like my favorite.

Time. Um, so cons of applying early decision. So it’s binding, right? You are, again, signed, sealed, delivered. And if you are admitted, you have to attend. So the only exception is a financial hardship. So the reason you’re required to sign is because the schools really want to make sure that you know the financial obligation.

Every college has what’s called a net price calculator. Net price calculator will generate for you a financial aid package. Now we could spend probably the next three hours talking about the situation that is the 2024 25 FAFSA. But on a typical year you can go to the college, google who they are, Go to their website.

Um, and you can input some information and it will generate for you a financial aid package. So they expect you to do this research. You should be looking to see, you know, did your parents save for college? Are you going to have to do loans? Do they meet full need? Do they have merit scholarships to have need based scholarships?

What is the general idea of your need base? So all of that information is super important. Reason being, you have to attend. So if the school generates a financial aid package for you that is totally affordable, you can’t get out of it. It’s what you signed up for and it’s the reason we’re so very serious about the early decision.

The other con is you can only apply to one school early decision. So again, if you are a nosy like me, um, I again, wanted to know. So that choice was not for me because I knew that I had a lot of, I would say, irons in the fire, um, as far as my decisions. and the obligation. So some students think that’s a pretty heavy thing.

So if you are not great at decision making, if you have no idea what you want to do when you grow up, if you are between majors, early decision wouldn’t likely be for you. Um, another huge con that students have to consider is the timeline for submission. So typically students, if you’re juniors, seniors, right now you’re probably, or sorry, juniors and sophomores, you’re thinking about the SATs and ACTs.

So this timeline is Smaller. You only have those, I would say, August, September, October, November to get yourself together. If you are a procrastinator, early decision is not for you. If you can’t make decisions, early decision is not for you. It’s definitely less time to prepare and can put a lot of stress on families, so make sure that you, when you make this decision, are taking it quite seriously.

If SATs or Acts is a problem, or if you wanted to reevaluate, this means you have less time. So sophomores, you should be looking now, um, at SATs and Acts, our juniors, you know, you probably have taken it at least once. Um, thinking about taking that summertime or springtime, SAT/ACT, outside of that, you really will run out of time.

I think there is an early SAT or ACT in September. but you are required to submit those scores to schools sooner rather than later. And the pros of early action, um, my favorite of course, it’s non binding, so you do not have to attend that school. The early notification is also huge, so whether or not you’ve been admitted or denied, You will be, you will know where you stand with that college.

Again, just like early decision, it’s a higher acceptance rates. It’s less stress because you are not signed, sealed, delivered. Extra prep time for college, of course. So when I went to college, because I was an athlete, I had to report at the beginning of August. Um, not everybody was prepared for that. So if you have to do a goodbye tour to your friends and family, and you need all that time, applying regular may not be for you.

And like I was sharing before, I had a very well thought out plan. My parents worked in higher ed or they do now as well. Um, and we had our sights set on certain things in certain places. And I knew, I thought I knew what I was going to do. But when that They came and I was admitted, I didn’t about face and had to reassess.

So luckily I had applied early and I didn’t miss any of those other application deadlines. And then the cons of applying, um, I truly think there are very few. So the early decision, early action deadline is a little bit sooner than most. It’s typically around November 1st to November 15th. So again, you do have less time to prepare your application.

But if we’re talking about it now, and you’re just beginning this process, you should get as organized as you can with those deadlines so that you can submit early. Just like with early decision, you do have less time to take the SATs or ACTs if you’re applying to schools that require them. But for the most part, I would say there are very few cons of applying early action.

And then of course, regular decision for those students who needed a little bit more time and or had some. late to the process. That’s what you get is more time with a regular decision pool. So you are able to retake the SATs. You can probably take it at least once a month throughout your senior year for the fall.

And then it allows you to do more research if you’re getting started late. So the students that we meet with, I always push early action per over a regular decision because we just need more time to deliberate our answer.

So some of the bigger cons that I could come up with, um, for regular decision is later notification. So typically the regular decision deadline, um, or an application release happens at some point during the middle of March to the beginning of April. Ivy Week is usually the week, um, the first week of April.

So for those that don’t know, the National Deposit Deadline Day is May 1st. Now I’ll say that with an asterisk this year because of course the FAFSA, uh, kerfuffle as we’re calling it, um, will likely change some of those deadlines, but traditionally all students across the country have to make their decision by May 1st.

So if you’re admitted, um, in early April, late March, it really only gives you about a month and a couple of weeks to select your college. Typically, colleges do admitted student days and other type of events and activities on campus for students to help with their decision. And if you’re admitted in those late months, again, it only gives you a couple of weeks to kind of figure things out, which is not a bad thing, but you do have to be motivated.

It also applying to regular decision gives you less time to compare your financial aid packages. So if you’re a student where money is a factor, you are, it would be less time for your parents to come up with the money and figure out how you were going to pay. And then something that I think Most students actually don’t consider is the time to prepare to move into college.

So perhaps you are super excited and you’re ready, but you have a few, a couple, few less months. I know for me, when I was applying through the college phases by April, I was focused on prom. Um, I lived in Massachusetts, so I was taking the MCATS, um, not the MCAS, MCAS, I believe. And it was like time kind of ran out.

So if you’re a person that needs time to weigh things out and to prepare, it would provide you with a shorter timeline. And then how students can figure out the best course of action for themselves. So the top thing would be to talk with your family. So college is a family decision. Your average student probably doesn’t have, you know, 50, 000, which is on average the amount that a student would pay to go to a private And this is a big family decision.

So you do have to talk to your family and figure out how you’re going to afford it. Evaluate your testing and be realistic. Every college is going to come up with a class of 2024 profile or 20. Yeah. 24. So after all these admissions decisions and such pass, over the summer they’ll generate the class profile that will tell you the average SAT score, ACT score, GPA, um, the top majors, how competitive, things like that.

So evaluate your testing and be realistic. If their average test score is a 1450 and you only have a 1320, which is not a bad score, um, know that perhaps that’s not a college that you can apply to. And if it is something you want to do, Now would be the time to work on that testing, um, taking into consideration athletic recruitment.

So, like I said, I was a recruited athlete. So, for me, I started this process, uh, the fall of my junior year to see who was going to take me. I truly wanted to play. So I wanted to make sure that there was not many people, um, looking at my position. And again, with athletic recruitment, that timeline is shorter.

And my favorite thing to talk about is your own self discipline. If you are not willing to stick to the tighter timelines of the application schedules, then don’t set yourself up for failure. Senior year is supposed to be fun. We want it to be fun. So if you’re not able to do it, don’t do it. But if you are power to you.

My last advice that I would give to students deciding between early and regular application. So, yeah, I think, like I said, the top thing is to be organized. We support students and I create a massive spreadsheet with my students of all of the colleges that they applied to, the application deadlines, where they’re located, the size of schools.

School, typical financial aid package, um, as much information that I could put on it and then we single-handedly delete and or remove schools through the process. Um, I always try to get my students to apply to every school, at least early action, but if not, try to do one. It’s a good feeling to be admitted to a university to know that someplace will take you.

There’s a college for everybody in America or abroad, if so, if you so choose. So it’s nice to have one good one before you roll into the new year. And then, of course, finances when you are applying to college is important. All colleges, like I said, have the net price calculator, so I recommend if you haven’t done so, go on and do that so that you can help your family figure it out.

Also, with applying early, There are typically more scholarships available for students and, um, that may require an additional process, but at least you know you still have time to do that if you’ve applied early. Okay, great. Thank you so much. So, uh, now we’re going to jump into the Q& A portion of our session for tonight.

That’s the end of our presentation, and I hope that you found the information helpful. And remember, you can download the slides from the link in the handouts tab. So now that we move on to the live Q& A, I’m going to read through the questions that you all submitted in the Q& A tab, and then we’re going to read them out loud for our presenter to give you all of them.

And as a heads up, if your Q& A tab isn’t letting you submit questions, just double check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing page. So let’s go ahead and get started. So our first question is what happens if a student did decide to apply for a decision and then there was an extenuating circumstance that prevented them from being able to attend?

Are there consequences if they go back on that contract that they signed? So typically you have to be released by the university. While other colleges don’t know that you have been admitted early decision, it’s just kind of unlawful. We do talk to each other, so we know when there are moves being made, so you’ll likely have to very much plead your case to the university if you decide not to go there.

Not a great look. Yeah, that makes sense. So, uh, another question that we have is, um, how should a student decide whether to do early decision or early action if they have, if they’re in between two schools that have those two different options and maybe they’re equally interested in both? Is it better for them to just go with the early decision since it tends to have a higher chance of them getting accepted?

Or is early action usually a better option in that kind of case where they don’t have a clear favorite? I think if you don’t have a clear favorite early action Um, is the better option for both. In my opinion, I just worry, uh, with young people. This is the craziest thing. We tell them, Hey, look at these billions of places in the world and make this decision.

It’s a very heavy decision. So if you’re between two, um, applying early action is a better option because. God forbid you applied early decision, admitted, and then you realized you love the other school more, that’s going to be tough to back out of. So early action would be the better vote. And again, you’re still in that early pool.

Makes sense. Another question we’ve got is, are there any common mistakes that you’ve noticed? Working in admissions offices that students make when applying early, that could be easily avoided. Yeah, I think the common misconception is just because you’re applying early decision and or early action that you don’t have to submit like a squeaky clean application.

And there’s just like things that are simple that we are like, this is careless. So you, juniors, sophomores, even, you know, first year students, you can go on and start your Common App profile now. It’s not a requirement, but squeaky clean profile, get started. That’s easy. Um, submitting an application with an essay that’s not well written and, or is written like you text, not great.

So it’s some of those like sloppy mistakes that I think people overlook while early decision is the highest indicator. It definitely doesn’t mean you have the wiggle room to send in a poorly written application. Got it. And are students able to negotiate their financial aid package if they applied early decision and it’s binding they have to go regardless?

So negotiate isn’t the word that I would use. I would say you can call and talk to them. Typically the schools will Entertain your conversation, and I cannot guarantee that they will give you more money, but you are welcome to ask if your early decision and you should try right like it. It’s not going to hurt you, but if you really think that this financial aid package is too much, then you can.

work with them to be released from it if the college agrees. So related to that question, um, would, are there any certain kinds of students that you would say may not be a great fit for applying early decision? I know earlier you said just students that aren’t super confident about what they want to study or what school they want, but anything outside of that?

Yeah, I think it comes down to a lot of finances. Um, so if you are not a super strong athlete or fall outside of the GPA and or SAT/ACT Requirements for merit scholarships. I don’t think it’s a good idea. Um, if my cousin is one that she’s got triplets, so she had three young people applying to college early and when they did the net price calculator she was like we can’t do this early without seeing how much we can pay because just because the college says that you should be able to afford it doesn’t mean dollars to donuts that you can’t afford it.

Um, so I don’t recommend I don’t recommend for students where cost is a factor like my triplet cousins applying early because if you can’t afford it, you know, one triplet is going to be going and the others are kind of kind of be left out finances are the number one thing that we talk about at our university when it comes to the early decision students so that net price calculator should be everybody’s best friend.

Even if you. You know, have a 504 of a million dollars and you can afford to go and and send money. Um, that’s fine. You should still know what you’re signing up for. And would you say that applies even for students who are applying to a school that says that they meet full financial need? As well to still consider.

Yeah. So meeting full financial need is great, but sometimes they also include loans. So just be okay with that. Um, I don’t think that students recognize that you do have to sometimes with full need, do have to take out those loans and you do have to be comfortable with it. So if you’re okay with that, great.

Awesome. Um, you should be okay, but know that sometimes with full need, it does require you to take out like a subsidized or unsubsidized loan. Um, and another question related to finances, do schools ever factor in early decision early and early decision decisions, um, with students who they know they can’t meet their full financial need.

Is financial need ever a part of their consideration in deciding who is admitted? Yeah, so it depends on how the school reads their applications. There are the schools whose Admissions offices are need blind, meaning you sit down to review the applications on the computer and you have no idea what the family’s financial situation is.

And then there are other schools that are need aware. So this application reader sits down and there are, you know, You know, all of your family’s financial info. So when you’re reviewing, you’re looking for need blind or need aware, need blind means they have no idea when they’re considering application need aware means they know, so they know that you could have 5, 15, 50.

Another question we’ve got is what should a student do if they are waitlisted after applying early? Yeah, so typically for those early decision, early action rounds, a lot of schools will do what’s called deferring or waitlisting. Deferred means that you will get your application reviewed waitlist is just general waitlist.

So waitlisted students should contact the school and submit what’s called a letter of continued interest. It’s not something that’s required. Some schools will allow you to automatically upload it onto a portal or send it directly to an admissions officer. And basically the letter should say, Why you really want to be there and be as specific as possible.

You should not call the school every single day. You should continue to read emails and check things out. Um, the only way for you to know if you’re being, um, continued to view is they’ll do what’s called a, uh, survey, you know, just to see if you’re still interested. So schools can release their wait lists at any time.

It could be. April 1st, it could be July 1st, it could be August 1st. So just continuing to read those emails from the university is also important. But outside of submitting that letter of continued interest, there’s not too much for you. And then know that if you are waitlisted, you will likely be required to submit your mid year reports, and that will be very important for a student in that case.

I’m just going to take a quick break from the Q& A. We will come back to it. Just to let you all know that CollegeAdvisors team of over 300 former admissions officers and admissions experts, just like Joanne, are ready to help you and your family navigate the college admissions process in one on one advising sessions.

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Increase your odds and take the next step in your college admissions journey by signing up for a free 45 to 60 minute strategy session with an admissions specialist on our team using the QR code that you see on the screen. During this meeting, we’ll review your current extracurricular list in application strategy, discuss how they align with your college list, and outline the tools you need to stand out in a competitive admissions world.

Now we’re going to go back to the Q& A and this QR code is still available if you’re interested in scheduling one of those appointments. So, um, our next question that we have is what is your advice for students who are not sure about taking standardized tests or do not perform very well? on standardized tests.

Is early decision a good option for them in order to increase their chances of getting admitted? Yeah. Yep. Um, it definitely is. If you are applying to a school that is test optional or doesn’t require SATs or ACTs, it’s definitely a great indicator. Um, I don’t think that, I would say some schools are going back to it.

I think Dartmouth was. Some are, you know, coming back around, but there are so many new options with SATs and ACTs that students can take it so much. Um, if testing is a factor, you’re looking for schools that are test optional, unfortunately. So it might cross some universities off of your list, but that’s okay.

Like I keep saying, there are so many colleges in the world. the country in the world, that there has to be a spot for you. But if you are applying to a school that you, um, that you don’t have the SAT or ACT, but you’re able to submit anyway, early decision is a great way to boost your application if you don’t have the score.

Another attendee is asking how important are senior year grades and activities for people who apply early since colleges will see less of your senior year performance? Oh, I mean, yeah, yes, we do see less, right? So when you sit down to review the application, it’s likely if you’re applying early decision that, you know, most colleges aren’t reaching out to the schools to see if we can get any kind of grades from them.

Now, by the time you are in your end of your senior year, we will get a mid year report, and we will also get your final high school transcript. There have been times in my, um, higher educational career where we admitted an all A student who did excellent, right? Great SATs, great GPA, and then they got Cs and Ds.

the end of their senior year and we rescinded our, um, offer of admission to that student because they didn’t finish the job. We admitted based on you working your tush off and crushing it at your AP classes. We did not admit based off of the C’s and D’s. So it is very important. You cannot coast. I get it.

We’ve all been there. The end of any kind of, you know, grad program or senior year, it’s tough, but you do and should continue to receive high grades because we will see those grades at some point. Okay. So another question that we’ve got is. based on the early decision and restricted early action. So the fact that that is choosing one school that you’re going to apply to early and the student asks, how would you suggest pasting the rest of your application?

Should you already have some regular decision colleges applications ready just in case you aren’t admitted? Or should you only focus on that once you have gotten your decision on your early decision or early action application? Yeah, I would still have backup plans, not to say that you won’t get admitted or that it’s bad luck, but just because everybody always needs a plan.

Because if you don’t get admitted, And then you don’t know where you’re going to apply and or have applications prepared. You’re not in great shape and it’s just too stressful. So have your plan and then have a backup plan for the plan.

And another question we’ve got is, how do colleges ensure that there is fairness and equity in evaluating applicants? Early decision applicants, since like you said earlier, they tend to have a little bit more flexibility financially because they can incur whatever financial aid package they get. How do we do equitable admissions review?

I mean, I think everybody at the back, at the end of your day, you have to realize this is a people process, right? So we are, we read all 37,000 applications that come. Every decision that is, On, um, a student. I haven’t seen at least once, you know, for many schools, those rounds of reviews, they are 10-12 rounds of reviews.

So it’s not just one person that is seeing the student’s application. It’s a check, a double check, a triple check, quadruple double check and all of those things. So we try to be as equitable as we can, but also recognizing that we are people, you know, so we may go into it saying we need You know, 47 males from North Dakota to be admitted to our chemical engineering program because we need more students in that major.

And we may not need as many students from South Central LA that study biology because of class capacities, because of you know, residence halls. It’s so many things that go into our decisions that we try to be as fair as possible. And people think that when you sit down to read an application, it’s just, okay, you’re good.

This person’s good. No, we’re looking at how many seats are in the biology classes. There’s a construction management lab. How many people can go to that lab? Okay, great. There’s 37, you know, a hundred admitted incoming students. How many, First year English classes do we have to have? So the equity comes in the checks and balances of the university and it’s just not do we think you’re a good applicant?

It’s how do you fit into the microcosm of this school? So know that it’s not something that’s taken lightly. Like I said, there are checks, double checks, quadruple checks and Everybody kind of has a hand on the students application from the admissions office to make sure that we’re not making a poor decision.

And again, we do not take it lightly at all. And the final question that I have for you tonight, Joanne, is Are there any trends that you’ve noticed in early admissions in the past years? For example, changes in acceptance rate between early applicants versus regular decision, changes in applicant demographics, or just the overall number of students that tend to apply early in an admission cycle?

I think one of the big things is the number of students that are applying early is going up. Um, I think because, you know, your phone is a computer and you can research anything you want on it at any given time. I think students are starting the college admissions process sooner and because of that they are applying earlier.

We know for a fact based on population and census that the college age going students number of them is is going lower. And because of that, I think universities have really done a lot more marketing to recruit and build their incoming classes, which then gives more access to students all over the country.

And then speaking of access, with a lot of universities going Um, test optional. It opens the doors for students who have a perfect GPA but just could not squeak it out on the SAT or ACT and I think it’s great. I think it levels the playing field because a lot for a lot of students. Sometimes there’s success with SATs and ACTs. Does it just have to do with test prep? Not every student has a parent who can pay for, you know, 600 an hour testing SAT Testing, um, to get them into the university. And now this level is the playing field. I also think that students are really taking costs into consideration. So applying early, like I said, does give them the opportunity to look at financial aid packages sooner.

So when you apply early, you know early and you can start again. It’s all about having a plan. So they’re starting to formulate that plan. Great. Thank you. So that concludes our webinar for tonight. We had a really great time talking to you all about early decision and early action admissions. Thank you specifically to Joanne, our presenter, for speaking to us about this and sharing your wealth of knowledge.

So this is our February webinars. We would love for you all to join us again to just learn more about the college application process. And we are here to support you here at CollegeAdvisor. Thank you all for coming out and have a great night. Good night, everybody.