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Is applying for early admissions for colleges, and being tied to one school, really worth it?

I'm curious to hear what people who've applied to universities via early admissions have to say about being committed. I worry about getting a better offer, possibly with more scholarship money offered, that would've been a better choice but I won't be able to accept.
#earlyadmissions #college #scholarships #committed #college-admissions #early-decision

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Kelsey’s Answer

Early admission and committing to a school is worth it if that specific school is your dream school that you want to attend more than any other school. If you do not have your heart set on a specific school, or you decision will be based on financial aid and available scholarships I would not recommend applying for early admission.

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Inali’s Answer

I applied early decision to the university that I ended up attending. My school is highly selective and I chose to apply ED to increase my chances of admission. In that regard I think it was a good decision for me. I spoke to others with similar admissions statistics who did not apply ED and were not offered admission so I do think that it was a significant factor in my offer of admission.

I do somewhat regret applying ED however because it limited my ability to compare the offer from the school I attend with other possible schools. I applied ED primarily because of the reputation of the school. I got hung up on the schools reputation and high ranking and decided to apply primarily because of that, and consequently I do not think that the school I ended up at is a great fit for me and what I want to do in my career.

With regards to the scholarship/financial aid portion of your question: at my school and I believe most other schools the "binding" nature of the ED contract is not actually as binding as they make it out to be. Most schools will let you out of the contract if your financial aid package that you are offered is not in line with what you were expecting/is not something that you can afford. If you are accepted you will have the opportunity to negotiate with the financial aid office about the money you are offered and can still choose to decline based on cost if you need to.

My advice for applying early decision is to be very clear about what you are looking for in a school. Spend a lot of time sitting with the decision and make sure that you are committing because it is what you actually want-- not because of the prestige or a slightly increased chance of admission. This is the time to be very introspective and make a careful decision. If you have doubt in your mind about your fit at a particular school I would not recommend making a binding commitment. But that being said, I think that ending up at a school that is not perfect for you is not the end of the world. Wherever you end up going to college you can choose to take advantage of the resources available and make the most of it.
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Stephanie’s Answer

Your question is a good one as not that many people are aware of the term "early decision in regards to higher education along with the pros and cons of it. I applied ED to Wellesley College after falling in love with it's campus and after spending months of research and going to online info sessions the school hosted, committed ED2 (which was the same as ED1 except had a later deadline).
I ended up being deferred and moved to the regular decision pool, then was accepted there which meant I was no longer binded by the early decision agreement of "having to commit" to the school, but I did anyway and love it here! I will say though that while Early Decision has higher acceptance rates (because colleges love kids who are into them and committed + colleges want high yield rates because high yield rates=the % of people that commit to the school.
Coming from a single mother household with a big family, I knew that if I didn't get good financial aid/a full ride I was basically just gonna go to community college, so I made sure I applied ED to a school that I need would 100% meet my financial needs (which you can also use to filter in or out schools, just search up 100% need met schools and you should be given a list.) I agree on the aspect that applying early decision basically eliminates your ability to compare offers from other schools, and if being able to get a good financial aid package is really important for you and your family then I recommend you choose a school that you know you'll be able to afford/and or meets your needs as I stated above.
I personally know some people who got into amazing schools but had to reject their acceptance since they weren't giving a good deal, but you can always appeal/ask for more aid and your academic/school advisors can help you in that process. Also typing this I realize that you submitted your question a few years ago and so I hope you ended up somewhere good! For anyone else reading this (especially First gen, Low Income kids) don't shy away from early decision. Most of the early decision applicant pool for prestigious schools are predominately white/privlegded since they arent worried about fin. aid and thus are fine with committing without comparing other school's aid packages.
If you're certain this school is right for you (which includes the location, urban/rural/city setting, transportation accessibility, dorms, food, clubs/orgs, research opportunities, class size, research/liberal arts school, etc) and know that you'll be met with the aid that you need, then go for it!!! If not, you can also apply early action to schools which is similar to early decision as you're read ahead of later applicants but has no commitment.
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