By definition, Early Decision (ED) is an application option at many colleges that enables you to apply for admission and receive a decision in advance of the Regular admission process. In order to apply ED, you must declare your intent to enroll if accepted. Should you be accepted, you also promise to immediately withdraw any other applications for regular admission that you may have submitted to other colleges.
The Early Decision or ED option is very popular among students who are prepared to forego potential opportunities at other institutions in favor of an early—and binding—commitment to one. If they are dead certain of that commitment, choosing to apply ED can statistically make a difference.
If you have found a clear favorite on your short list of colleges, you might be considering an ED application yourself. This is serious stuff, though. ED embodies a commitment—kind of like taking the “big” step in a relationship. Before moving forward, you need to be absolutely, beyond a shadow-of-a-doubt certain you are ready to do it.
I recommend a visit to the campus when you can immerse yourself in college life. Stay overnight (not Friday or Saturday nights!) Attend classes. Talk with professors and students. See what they have to say about their respective experiences. Just as in a relationship, there are lots of factors to consider. And there is no better way to do it than getting up close and personal.Peter Van Buskirk is an author, consultant, speaker and creator of the Best College Fit™ Resources. Visit www.TheAdmissionGame.com to learn more about Peter and his student-centered approach to college planning.