College admissions have become more competitive than ever over the last generation. It seems students and their parents will do just about anything to increase their chances of getting into their top choice. Pre-college summer programs , internships, and extracurricular activities are in high demand. Many students are also preparing for early college admissions.

What Is Early College Admission?

Early college admission takes two primary forms and is meant to let students know if they will be accepted into their college of choice several months prior to the traditional deadline. The two types of early admission are “early action” and “early decision”. Both will give you the information on whether or not you are accepted, but each one has certain stipulations that must be considered. While colleges will normally send out acceptance letters towards the end of the school year, early action and early decision admission applications will give you an answer up to ten months in advance.

Early action will give you the answers you need without forcing you to make a solid commitment to attend the school. Early decision is the second early college admissions strategy that can be used. The main difference between early action and early decision is commitment. If you choose an early decision, it means that they will let you know up to ten months in advance if you are accepted. The catch is that you must complete a letter of intent to ensure the school that you will be enrolling if you are accepted.

Is Early College Worth It?

Early college admissions have many pros and cons, but in the end, it is up to you if it’s worth it or not. For most, the knowledge that they have been accepted will put a lot of their fears to rest and give them the peace of mind they need to get through the next few months of school. Knowing that you have been accepted to the school of your choice will give you an opportunity to commit fully to your studies. The need to continue applying to schools is over and you know what your future holds.

Placing value on your education is a personal thing. Early college admissions, whether it be early action or early decision, is worth it to many simply because it gives them a glimpse of their future. It’s an extremely valuable tool that you can use if you want to ensure your future educational path. Knowing where you will be attending school is the best way to start planning for your freshman year. Knowing in advance allows you to start preparing much sooner.

What Are the Advantages of Early College Admissions Plans?

The advantage of early admissions is knowing where you will be attending school much sooner than having to wait until the end of the school year. It also gives you options if you have applied to more than one. Preparing for college takes time. The more time you have the easier it will be to get settled in once you arrive. It also allows you more time to learn about your campus and where things are.

One of the biggest advantages is that the stress is over and you can continue to commit yourself to your studies. Stressing over whether or not you will be admitted to your first school of choice can distract you and cause your final set of scores to be less than stellar. By knowing up to ten months in advance, the stress is wiped away and you are able to devote your time completely to not only your studies but also to self-care, as well.

What Are the Disadvantages of Early College Admissions Plans?

Even though there are many advantages to early admissions plans, there are also disadvantages for some. In some cases, early college action plans only allow you to use the plan one time. Many students will use their opportunity to find out if they are accepted by their first college choice. If they aren’t, they may have to wait until the end of the school year to find out if they are accepted or not. Another stressful aspect of the early college action plan is that once you know that you are accepted, you have to work twice as hard to maintain or surpass the expectations you have in terms of grades and college activities.

The biggest disadvantage of the early decision plan is that in order to receive the acceptance information, you must commit to the college. Committing to the college means that you are guaranteeing that you will attend the college in the fall and continue your education at that institution. While this may seem like the biggest disadvantage, it may not be for some. Those who use the early decision plan, in most cases, have already made the decision to enroll in the college as soon as they have the opportunity to do so.

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