Seniors Finish Early Applications
by Rebecca Chernick on Friday, November 8th, 2013
This year, the College Office predicts that over 80% of the Class of 2014 will have applied early to college—a statistic that will surpass that of last year’s senior class. Despite the binding agreement of Early Decision applications, applying early has evidently become a growing trend at Milton.
Early Decision applications force students to sign a binding agreement that ensure that, if accepted, a student will matriculate to the given school the following school year. On the other hand, Early Action applications are non-binding but still allow students to receive a decision by mid-December. Another option available for applying students is the non-binding Rolling Admission, which allows students to receive a response within a few weeks of submitting their applications.
Victoria Parker (I) said, “I decided to apply Early Decision to my school of choice. It has been my dream school since sophomore year, because it has the best early childhood education program I have ever seen!” She added, “I applied EA to my next two choices, because I want to know as soon as possible if I am going somewhere I love.” Rosamond Carr (I) voiced similar reasons for applying early, saying, “I like my ED school the best.”
While some students such as these have a clear first choice, others are undecided. Many who are unsure of their top choice choose to apply Early Action. One Milton senior expressed, “I was going to apply ED, but I eventually decided that I wanted to keep my options open. Instead, I’m applying to one school early action. For me, applying early has relieved stress, especially because my early school is not my top choice.”
Certain schools accept a higher percentage of applicants early, thus enticing many students to apply in November. For instance, Columbia University has a 20% early acceptance rate, while its overall acceptance rate is a mere 6%. Emily Spencer (I) said, “I am applying early action to hopefully better my chances at some schools.” She added, “I also want to receive a decision sooner to get a sense of my range of schools. My early applications will determine my hopes for the rest of the schools to which I apply.”
However, not all Milton students are applying to schools likes Emily’s. Johnnie Gilmore (I) explained, “In my case, [applying early] doesn’t improve my chances all that much, but if I’m accepted early at my top choice, I’m done, and if I’m accepted at my other early school, a [possible] school, I at least do not have to apply to any likelies.” For Milton students, colleges are categorized into double reaches, reaches, possibles, and likelies by Milton’s College Office to predict the possibility of a student’s acceptance on different schools.
Many students stated that cutting down on the workload was a motivation for applying early. Alastair Bastain (I) said, “I am applying EA to get my applications done early.” Haley Dougherty (I) agreed, stating, “I thought I would have to decide on a school at some point, so I might as well try to do it early rather than dragging the whole thing out… it was more like a why not?”
Although there are many positives of applying early, some students decided against it. Alex Mann (I) mentioned, “I’m not applying early; however, I have submitted a couple of applications to schools who do not require essays or anything labor-intensive, just to get them out of the way. I did not apply early because I have not yet figured out what my plan is for next year.” Another senior said, “There is not one school that I really want to go to more than the others. In fact, I am still pretty undecided about where I want to go.”
Many students have experienced difficulties with the Common App this fall. Alastair said, “The site has not saved some of my entries, and has been down many times when I have wanted to access it.” Emily commented, “When I copy and paste my essay into the Common App, the spacing is off.” Another student stated, “I was having lots of problems with the Common App a couple weeks ago. Every time I tried to change/add information, I was brought to an error page. It is working fine now though.” These technical difficulties have added stress to an already hectic time.
Although the pressure to complete applications by early November adds anxiety to the college process, many believe it will pay off in the end. As Alastair stated, “Applying early adds stress now, but I think it will relieve stress later when regular apps are due.”
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