Explaining Early Decision*
Approximately 450 colleges have Early Decision deadline options, and Grove City College has always provided Early Decision as an option for admission. As a result, we want to debunk the myths and misconceptions that may arise from looking at a college that offers this admission deadline. What follows are basic principles of Early Decision (ED), who should consider applying ED, and what you should keep in mind if you decide to apply ED.
The basics of applying Early Decision:
1. Apply early
2. Receive an admission decision from the college well in advance of the usual notification date (usually December)
3. Agree to attend the college if accepted
4. If you are accepted through Early Decision, withdraw your applications from other schools
5. Send a non-refundable deposit far in advance of May 1 (usually in January, or February if applying ED II)
Grove City College Dates for Early Decision:
Early Decision I:
Apply by November 1
Notification is sent on December 15
Deposit is due by January 15
Early Decision II:
Apply by December 1
Notification is sent on January 15
Deposit is due by February 1
Be aware that both Early Decision I and II are binding, meaning you are making an early commitment to the college.
You should apply Early Decision if you…
- Have researched colleges extensively
- Are absolutely sure that the college is your first choice
- Have found that the college is a strong match academically, socially, spiritually, and geographically
- Meet or exceed the college’s admission standards for SAT/ACT scores, GPA, and extracurricular involvement
- Have an academic record that has been consistently solid throughout high school
What are the benefits of applying Early Decision?
- Reduces stress by cutting time spent waiting for a decision
- Saves the time and expense of submitting multiple applications
- Allows you more time, once accepted, to prepare for college
- Gives you time to reassess your options and apply elsewhere if you are not accepted
- Gives you a potential advantage over the competition, if you meet the college’s admission standards, as more students will typically apply Regular Decision
Keep in mind…
Colleges will ask you to sign off on an agreement that you understand the legalities of the “binding” decision you are about to make. By signing, you are promising to withdraw any other college applications once you submit your deposit to Grove City College. We, as an institution take this very seriously as we traditionally accept half of our class through the Early Decision process. If Financial Aid is a factor, please start that conversation immediately to ensure that you can make an informed decision by January 15 or February 15.
* Excerpts taken from CollegeBoard.org