Early decision stresses out students


Photo courtsey of Max Pixel

Students relax at McKeldin Library at the University of Maryland College Park. While the University of Maryland does not offer Early Decision, many students apply Early Action (non-binding) in order to increase their chances of being admitted.

Early decision is one of the biggest commitments a high schooler can make during the college application process. One click of a mouse and a signature determines that if you get into the school, you’re legally binded to go there; all other applications must be rescinded. The regular college application process is stressful enough: tons of applications to fill out, meetings to go to, schools to visit, it just never ends. But on top of that, making a legally binding decision as to where you’re going to spend your next four years adds to the stress even more.

A student can only apply ED to one school at a time, and if the student is rejected, they can carry on with the application process normally. If they are deferred, they will be lumped in with the regular decision pool and be reevaluated. The student cannot, however, reapply regular decision for that same school year.

For some, they know right when they step on campus that it’s the place they want to spend their next four years. That was me. I took my first college tour; I fell in love and I thought that’s where I wanted to commit. However, after I took my second college trip, I became so confused. I had that same gut feeling, but I just didn’t know which one to pick.

After visiting both of these schools a second time, I still was in the same spot. I wanted both schools so much – but I still didn’t know to which one I wanted to apply ED. I went to countless information sessions and meetings all over the DMV to try to learn as much as I could about the schools, but I just couldn’t make the ED commitment yet.

The main reason people will apply ED is because they simply love the school and couldn’t imagine themselves anywhere else. Another reason many apply ED is to better their chances. The applicant pool is much smaller, and the school knows that you really want to go there.

It sounds easy, right? Just make your decision early, find out early, and know where you are going to spend the next four years of your life. If a student is indecisive like me, early decision just wouldn’t be best thing to do. I was, and still am thinking about all my options, and when I even get close to narrowing it down to one school, I back-pedal because I think about what I would be missing out from at other schools. It’s a mess, let me tell you.

You might be a freshman, thinking you have made up your mind already and are already bleeding the colors of one school. I was the same, but now here I am four years later just as lost as I was when I was navigating the halls of WJ during new student orientation.