The Top Ten Reasons to Apply Early Action
As the fall season begins to get crazy, it may seem overwhelming to even think about getting your admission application submitted by November 1. However, applying Early Action was one of the best decisions I made in my college application process. Here are the top 10 reasons why Early Action was the right decision for me:
- It’s out of the way!
Getting your application in early means you have officially checked the biggest box off your list! The sooner you get your applications in, the sooner you can focus on other things—including keeping your senior year grades up!
- You get your decision ASAP
Because of the early application date, you get your decision in late December! You can take your winter break to think through your acceptance and plan your next steps.
- You have more time to decide
Early decision response means more time to think about your options. Your college decision is probably the first big decision that you are making for yourself. It’s tough! Getting a decision in the winter gives you the entire spring to think everything through.
- You can revisit the schools
If you aren’t quite sure which school is the right place for you, you have time to take a second look! Many schools have admitted student days that are designed for you to see the school from a more in-depth perspective. If you can’t make an admitted student day, go on a regular tour with the fresh eyes of an admitted student, and see if the campus feels like home!
- You can speak to the heads of the departments you may be interested in
Now is the time to explore the many programs each school has to offer! If you’re interested in Education, contact the Chair of the Education Department. If you’re interested in Accounting, get in touch with the Chair of the Accounting Department. Explore the opportunities the majors on campus offer and take the spring to decide which programs are best suited to fit your needs.
- You can speak to current students
Students love to talk about a school they love! After your decision you have time to reach out to student leaders, pick your tour guide’s brain, and see what the students on campus have to say about their school; their enthusiasm may help you to figure out the right place for you.
- You have the chance to speak to other admitted students
Plug in! Many schools will have an opportunity for you to meet in social media groups with other students that have been accepted into the college or university that you are considering. Early applications mean that you may be added to these pages in December, allowing for plenty of time to get to know your future classmates and friends.
- You get to see the decision in conjunction with financial aid
At Saint Joseph’s University, any merit-based scholarship money you may be awarded is included with your decision letter. However, your need-based federal and institutional aid package (based on the FAFSA) will be returned to you around the middle of January. Applying early allows you to see your need-based aid in conjunction with your merit-based aid to see if the school is a good financial fit for you and your family!
- Scholarship applications become your main focus
Just when you think applications are done! Applications for scholarships are available, and some have early deadlines or require additional materials that may take time to put together. Getting your admission application in early and seeing your aid package allows you to take a look at what scholarships you can/want to apply for. If your college applications are completed early, you can focus your full attention on scholarship applications to create the most successful financial aid package for your college decision.
- You can enjoy senior year!
This is your last year of high school! You will never get this time back, you should be enjoying it! Applying early allows you to truly be present and take in the excitement of senior year. With so many senior events, banquets, prom, and graduation on the horizon, being able to make your college decision sooner rather than later means you can enjoy all of those events without the stress of the college search looming over you. You can have fun!
–Maggie McGill ’20