Should you apply early to college? It could affect your odds of acceptance but also your financial aid


Factors to consider before applying for early admission In some cases, early action does not make a difference. Early decision can, however, “help someone’s chances of admission.” While it is possible to improve your chances of being accepted, there are many According to Rick Castellano, spokesman for Sallie Mae Early decision applicants are not allowed to compare offers or negotiate with other schools. The FAFSA application season for the 2024-2025 academic year will The FAFSA will open in December 2024-2025, two months “

The net price calculators on college websites may also not be up to date with the FAFSA’s new formula, Vasconcelos added, which was the best tool families had to compare college costs and determine what their price is likely to be if they get in.

If the school cannot meet the student’s needs, it can be possible to walk away from an early acceptance.

Eric Greenberg

president of Greenberg Educational Group

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For students who apply early without this key piece of information, there is a concession: Some colleges may let you off the hook if your early decision offer falls short of your financial aid needs. Some colleges may give you a concession if your early decision offer falls Greenberg: “If the school is unable to meet the needs of I think that is very fair. “

Still “very few people” know about Check with the financial aid or admissions offices for the application year. This “

Early applicants tend to be less ‘price sensitive’

More often, it’s college-bound seniors with assistance from expert college counseling who are using early decision to better their chances of getting in. That implies they have the means and access to navigate this route, Franek noted.

“Students who are applying early are likely not as price-sensitive,” he said.

Although most families do not have this same level of support, books, webinars and the online tools on can help level the playing field. “Look for the free resources that are out there,” Vasconcelos said.

For colleges, early decision is a win-win

For schools, offering students an option to apply early has clear advantages.

For starters, increasing the likelihood that a student will say yes improves a college’s yield — or

the percent of students who choose to enroll after being admitted — which is an important statistic for schools.

In addition, getting a head start on the makeup of the freshman class helps admissions officers balance out enrollment needs with financial aid requests.

Jeff Greenberg | Getty Images

More schools — especially selective private colleges — now offer an early application, and those institutions accept more students ahead of the regular decision deadline, Franek said.

Of the schools on The Princeton Review’s Best Colleges list, 282 out of the 389 have an early action or early decision option in the beginning of November. Some schools offer an Early Decision II option that is due in January. Some students may benefit from spending more time on choosing a college or improving If you are not ready, then it is best to wait.