So, you’ve fallen in love with a college, done the research, and made the decision to commit to the Early Decision application. When applying for colleges, we believe it’s ideal to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. What can you do to make sure you have your bases covered?

First, it’s important to remember that there are special considerations when placing an Early Decision application. Mainly, you will not be allowed to apply to multiple schools with an Early Decision application and, if accepted, you have to withdraw your applications from all other schools. It is a binding agreement and has serious financial implications if you try to break the contract.

In addition, you’ll have limited financial aid opportunities as you’ll be locked into your school likely before reviewing the financial aid offer. As such, it’s of the utmost importance to make sure you can afford the school before you apply by using a Net Price Calculator for your college of choice.

Other things to take into consideration before you submit an Early Decision application include:

  • You have less time to complete your application.
  • You must ensure that your SAT/ACT scores and GPA meet or exceed the college’s expectations.
  • A sharp drop in GPA can disqualify you from admissions. Ahem, senioritis.
  • You have to stay organized and be vigilant about deadlines. Invest in a good calendar and find an accountability buddy, even if it’s just Mom or Dad.
  • If the school doesn’t offer adequate financial aid, you may be able to make an appeal or opt out of admissions, but it’s not without consequences.
  • Different colleges have different policies. Don’t rely on general information, research the policies of your school.

We’re optimists here at College Shortcuts, but we’re also realists. Unfortunately, not everyone gets into their Number 1 school. So what happens if you can’t afford your college or if they say no? What’s your backup plan?

Even though you’re 100% sure about the college you’ve chosen, have every single to-do item checked off the list, and taken all the above into consideration, we highly encourage you still have a backup plan. You know what they say, an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure. As soon as you submit your Early Decision application, you should be gathering materials to get Regular Decision applications together for your safety schools in case you’re denied admission. 

Our goal is to get you into a school where you can flourish academically and personally. And the truth of the matter is, sometimes you find the perfect college after the Early Decision deadlines have passed or you may change your mind about going to school on the other side of the country. Of course, our college admissions experts are standing by to answer your most pressing questions. Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your application! Those early application deadlines are literally right around the corner; most schools have these deadlines set between November 1-November 15.