Seniors: You don't have to jump on the early bandwagon

In October of senior year, it may seem like everyone is jumping on the early admission bandwagon. Students report a lot of pressure to apply early. It comes from peers, parents, newspaper headlines— and sometimes it comes from oneself. But there is nothing wrong with sitting out this round and opting for more time and the greater choice it allows. There are distinct advantages to waiting and applying regular decision. Before you jump on the early bandwagon, seriously consider whether it's right for you.  That depends on a number of factors. Most important are the plans offered at the colleges on your list, especially the ones that have emerged as your top choices. Other factors that you must consider include your own goals, your grades and test scores, and your family’s need for financial aid.


For more information about early programs, including a list of questions to help you figure out whether an early program is right for you, see Chapter 15, "Decision Plans," in College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step.

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