Early Decision - College Experts

College Admissions Expert Forum

Early Decision

One of the most perplexing issues facing both colleges and college-bound students is Early Decision. We posed these questions to our panel of college experts:
What are the advantages and disadvantages of applying Early Decision?
Who should and shouldn't apply ED?
What effect does the ED application have on financial aid packages?

Read our Roundtable Experts' comments:

Sally Rubenstone, (Senior College Counselor and Contributing Editor,, and Admission Counselor, Smith College).

Having a first-choice college isn't always a prerequisite for an Early Decision application... Most admission experts are quick to insist that students should apply via Early Decision only if one college stands head and shoulders above the rest. They advise against the increasingly prevalent tendency to proclaim, "I'm applying early . somewhere." For years I endorsed this conventional wisdom myself. (In fact, I said exactly that in a book that won't even hit store shelves until September.) But lately, I've had a change of heart.
Read more Early Decision comments from Sally Rubenstone

Seth Allen, Director of Admissions, Dickinson College

Early Decision is often maligned by its critics and misunderstood by the public. At the one extreme, Early Decision is seen by students as a strategy to make themselves more competitive for admission at reach schools. At the other, as a ploy by colleges to unfairly lock-in students and avoid market economics. Granted, both extremes exist, perhaps increasingly so, but it's also true that Early Decision remains the purest form of admission...
Read more Early Decision comments from Seth Allen

Do you have an idea for a discussion topic for our College Experts Roundtable? Are YOU an expert who has an opinion? Contact College Confidential by e-mail!