Pros and Cons for Early Admission to College
Congratulations! You just received your letter – you’re in!
Or are you?
More and more colleges are issuing what is called an early decision (a promise of a slot), providing your student meets certain criteria.
The Wikipedia definition of early decision is: “…a common early admission policy used in college admissions in the United States for admitting freshmen to undergraduate programs. It is used to indicate to the University or College that the candidate considers that institution to be his or her top choice.”
These are often tactics to avoid slacking and/or senioritis – colleges want their students coming in on the same track that led to acceptance in the first place.
Not to mention, if your student slacks off their senior year in grades, this could make a negative impact in the way it effects the college admissions selection process.
That is leading many colleges to early admission – which often means a GPA requirement. University of California schools, for instance, demand at least a 3.0 GPA throughout senior year, with no Ds or Fs.
Still, other schools are requiring that certain prerequisite courses are passed before college begins. This is especially common for students entering with majors already chosen, or going into a special track within a university (like pre-med, or even history).
Other schools – like Clemson – are encouraging juniors to send in SAT scores and essays and then offering early admission – providing the GPA you submit is satisfactory.
How Early Admissions Can Backfire
This is obvious, but bears stating: Early admission can be rescinded!
But that’s not the worst of it. If you make plans on an early admission that you subsequently lose, you could find yourself in one of the worst positions possible.
Most notices of rescinded admissions occur in July or August the summer before school starts. In other words, after acceptance deadlines for your other schools have passed.
Should you lose your spot, not only will you not be attending your top choice – every other choice will have disappeared as well! You can try to finagle a spot somewhere, but your options could be very limited at this point.
That’s why, if you decide you want to go to a school that practices early decision, make sure you don’t slack off with your grades and performance. Know what the requirements are and ensure that you meet them.
Of course, schools will make allowances for extenuating circumstances. If you suffer a prolonged illness or a death in the family, you’ll likely get a pass – or at least an opportunity to make up the work.
But anything short of a major catastrophe, and you could be out of luck. The lesson is simple: If you’re early admissions, take that very seriously. You still have to earn your place.
A Unique Opportunity
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(It’s important to recognize that individual circumstances and efforts can significantly impact outcomes. Engagement and commitment from both the family and student are indeed crucial factors in achieving positive results. The advice and direction provided by CPN (College Planning Network) and CPF (College Planning Fresno) can serve as valuable guidance, but ultimately, it’s up to the individuals involved to actively participate and implement the recommendations effectively.)