Students get a second chance at Early Decision | College Connection – My Central Jersey

Students who are anxiously waiting to hear, within the next few weeks, from their Early Decision college, should have a backup plan. 
If they end up being turned down or waitlisted, all hope is not lost. They still have another option, which could bring them exciting news and get them off the college application merry-go-round, early in the new year.
Many colleges offer Early Decision II (ED II), with a January application deadline and notification in February, close to two months prior to the typical April 1college response date. The main advantage of applying Early Decision is that colleges usually accept a much higher percentage of applicants. Because early decision is binding, colleges know that any student they accept will definitely attend – increasing their “yield” (percentage of accepted students who enroll).
For example, the latest early decision acceptance rates, according to U.S. News and World Report, are 87% at American University, 79% at The College of New Jersey and 65% at University of Miami. The overall acceptance rate at these same schools is, respectively, 64%, 62% and 28%.
The main downfall of applying Early Decision is the fact that it is binding, preventing students from comparing different financial aid packages that they might receive from different colleges.
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Students seeking the benefits of ED II need to get their applications, and all supporting materials (SAT scores, transcripts, recommendation letters), submitted promptly. The ED II deadlines for many schools popular with New Jersey students are rapidly approaching. 
The deadline is Jan. 1 at Lehigh University, Northeastern University, University of Miami, University of Richmond and Vanderbilt University. 
Jan. 15 is the ED II deadline at American University, Bucknell University, Franklin & Marshall College, Gettysburg College, Lafayette College, College of the Holy Cross and Case Western Reserve University.
Colleges in New Jersey that offer ED II are NJIT with a Dec. 15 application deadline and Drew University and Stevens Institute of Technology, both with a Jan. 15 deadline.
While it’s great to get good news early, and enticing to get off the college admissions carousel, students should only apply early decision to a college that is truly the college of their dreams.
Susan Alaimo, founder and director of Collegebound Review, offers PSAT/SAT® preparation, essay editing, and private college advising by Ivy League educated instructors. Visit or call 908-369-5362.


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