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a month ago
Admissions Advice

Should I apply early decision or regular decision to dream school
Answered

I am currently a junior and would really like to attend Northwestern next year, it's only an hour away from home, very prestigious, and has one of the best journalism programs in the country. However, with the school being my top choice I feel like if I apply early decision, I will get rejected because I don't think my stats are good enough and will be better compared to other applicants. Plus if another university offers me more money and that school has equal to or even more prestige than Northwestern, I might go there instead. Should I apply regular decision instead because I think I have a better chance at getting in or should I stick with my plan and apply early decision to Northwestern.

11th
prestige
2022
financial-aid
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5 answers

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Accepted Answer
a month ago

Your best chances of getting into NW are if you apply ED because their acceptance rate is 3X higher than applying RD. The worst thing that could happen is that you get deferred or rejected, and then you can apply to as many schools as you like. If you get a really bad financial aid package you can either have college vine negotiate it for you or try to do that yourself.

Good Luck

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a month ago

This is a difficult question that a lot of students wrestle with as they begin their college journeys, so thank you for bringing it to the table. Right off the bat, I want to say that neither I nor anyone else can make this choice for you -- it is intensely personal and has to do with how you weight and prioritize many factors. What I will do, however, is outline some of the questions you might want to consider in making your decision.

First, there tends to be something of a boost in admissions chances for people who apply Early Decision. This boost attenuates significantly for EA and disappears altogether for RD. Thus, your chances will not be "better" if you apply regular decision; in fact, we find that the opposite is generally true! Further, schools do not reject people ED who they would ultimately take RD -- if you are a strong candidate but not someone they intend to admit ED, they will defer your application to the RD round rather than reject you.

Second, consider if you would go to Northwestern over any other school you were accepted to. It sounds like this is already on your mind, but if there is nowhere else you'd rather go no matter what, your best bet is to demonstrate that commitment to them by applying ED!

Something else we always advise people to consider is the money. If you are accepted ED to a school, you have very little bargaining power when it comes to financial aid -- you generally have to take what you get no matter what you're offered elsewhere. If this is going to be a point of issue for you or your family, ED may not be the right path for you.

This article on the CollegeVine blog walks through some possible thought processes for people in your situation, so I hope you find it helpful: https://blog.collegevine.com/is-applying-early-decision-right-for-you/

Wishing you the best of luck in making this decision and the rest of the college process!

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a month ago

I’d apply early decision. What I’ve been hearing is that they’ve been accepting more students from early than regular. Check the college vine website to see what your chances are right now!

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a month ago

i'd say early action. if it's your dream school and you'll def. go there if accepted, then go for it. also make sure if its restrictive early action or regular, bc with restrictive you are legally bounded to go there if accepted. but if this isn't an issue, then your chances of acceptance will be higher w/early decision

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a month ago

I would say it depends on your financial situation. You could love the school but if you don't have the finances to pay for it full price applying early decision is a little bit risky. That is because colleges don't always give you as much money as you expect. If you're well off financially and you can afford to pay most of the tuition then you should definitely apply early decision but if you're not very cautious about it. If your middle class you're probably not gonna get as much money as you want.

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