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Reed Johnson: Early is on time

Early is on time. On time is late. Late is unacceptable. I've heard this saying multiple times throughout my life and now I am finding more and more truth in it. Deadlines are important, being past a deadline is unacceptable. This couldn't be any...

Early is on time. On time is late. Late is unacceptable.
I’ve heard this saying multiple times throughout my life and now I am finding more and more truth in it. Deadlines are important, being past a deadline is unacceptable. This couldn’t be any more evident when dealing with college applications.
It is advantageous for students to apply to their college of choice, scholarship or program as soon as it opens up. There are several reasons for this. For one, it shows dedication and commitment to that school, scholarship or other application.
If a student applies the day a school’s admissions open or the day a scholarship opens, colleges may look at that favorably. This is because they value a student that knows when things first open. It shows that the student has done his research and looked into the program, and got an idea of what is needed to apply. It shows the student has their ducks in a row, as the popular adage goes.
Collegeview.com, a leading college preparatory site, puts it this way: “These programs can benefit you as much as they benefit the school. For you, it means knowing if you are admitted to a school early in your senior year. You can enjoy the rest of the year without worrying about keeping applications and deadlines straight or waiting anxiously for decisions. For the school, it means locking in students who are interested in their school early in the admissions process. This helps schools better estimate their incoming class.”
Staying stress-free about deadlines is a good thing, but there is an even better advantage to applying early. Some colleges have an admission board that meets at the same time every month to select students. These colleges have a large window to submit an application, usually ranging over six months. It would be advantageous to apply early because you will have more chances to have your application reviewed by the admission board.
If a student were to apply in August of his senior year, but the deadline isn’t until Dec. 31, with all results given in April, that student could have up to nine academic board meetings -nine chances -to be looked at and accepted. Similarly, if a student chooses to apply at the end of December, he would only have five chances to get accepted. The extra time you invest at the beginning of the application process will pay off.
“Applying early can sometimes give you an advantage. At some schools, a higher percentage of early applicants are accepted. And if you do get early acceptance, you can skip a couple of months of stress and uncertainty. You also can get a head start preparing for your freshman year,” according to studentaid.ed.gov.
Even if your ACT or SAT scores aren’t what you want them to be, or your GPA isn’t sublime, you should still apply early. Schools will be happy to take your updated scores and transcripts after you submit your initial application. Showing interest early will be to your advantage.
The easiest way to go about doing this is to fill out the “Common App.” The common app is a standard application that over 500 universities worldwide use and accept. In the 2013-14 school year, 813,069 students filled out the common app. North Dakota schools do not accept Common App. A student would have to apply to each university individually.
When applying for schools, know your deadlines, know the day it opens up and know what the requirements are. Being timely is a must for any student applying to college. You don’t want to apply at the last minute and have your application be at the bottom of the pile.
Remember Thomas Jefferson’s words: “Never put off ‘till tomorrow what you can do today.”

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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