Is Applying ‘Early Decision’ a Golden Ticket?


College admissions takes plenty of planning. Getting into a ivy league school requires not just planning, and good grades, but also some strategic decisions: like how many colleges to apply? and whether to apply for early decision!

  • Fun Fact: 9% of the 2020 class at Duke applied Early Decision!

For high school students it’s important to understand what ‘Early Decision’ means. Basically it means that you are indicating to one college that your going to apply earlier (*November), and the college will give you an answer earlier than the traditional enrollments date (December,* see Harvard extract below). Applying early decision to a college does not mean that you have to commit to studying there if you do get an offer, and you can still apply to enrol at other colleges. But what it shows to the college is that you are indicating your interest in one particular college, and this could play into your favour!

Read this next! Harvard Guide

If you have good grades and think your application is really strong, you should really consider applying ‘Early Decision’ to the college you like the most, it could be a golden ticket!

***The Harvard website says this about  it’s Early Action/ Early Decision option***:

Early applicants apply by the November 1 deadline and hear from us by mid-December.

Regular Decision offers important practical advantages in the later application deadline (January 1).If you apply to Harvard under our Early Action program, you may also apply at the same time to any public college/university or to foreign universities but you are restricted from applying to other private universities’ Early Action and Early Decision programs.

If your record and accomplishments have been consistently strong over time, Early Action may be an attractive choice. You don’t have to commit to coming to Harvard, but you will learn earlier if it is an option for you.


Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a professional college planning expert before making any decisions based on this article. See our disclaimer page.


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