Early action and early decision applications create new opportunities


Nicole Yeo

Senior Nick Mattas works on his laptop in the College and Career Center during lunch.

Nicole Yeo, Staff Writer

High school seniors are scrambling to finish early action and early decision applications for college.

Many early action and early decision college applications were due on Nov. 1.

“Sometimes colleges say you have to apply early action [if you’re applying for scholarships],” Carlmont’s College and Career Assistant, Nina Rasor, said.

Early action and early decision are two different types of applications that allow students to get an earlier response to their college applications. Students are usually notified of these responses in December.

“Early action is noncommittal, so it’s kind of like regular action but instead you apply a little bit earlier, and you hear back earlier. However, [for] early decision, if you get in you have to sign a contract so that you are committed to going to that school, and you have to withdraw your other applications,” said Jade Margolis, a senior who is doing both early action and early decision.

There are many reasons why someone would or would not choose to apply for early action or early decision.

Margolis is applying for early action to two schools and early decision to one school.

“I chose to apply early because I was sure that I would want to attend my top choice college if I got in. It’s nice to get applications in for schools you’re sure about, and receiving the acceptance letters early takes off a lot of stress and can save time from writing more applications,” Margolis said.

On the other hand, Carlmont senior Aliyah Wachob chose not to apply for early action or early decision.

“There aren’t any schools that I’m passionate enough about, and also I don’t think that I could write a good enough application by that deadline. I’m gonna give myself more time to do better work,” Wachob said.

Similarly to Wachob, Victor Lu also decided to only apply for regular decision.

“I don’t want to decide [what college to attend] right away, so I might as well wait until later and decide when I have all my options set,” Lu said.

According to Rasor, applying for early decision may not affect your chances of getting accepted into a certain college.

“For most colleges, it’s not a huge difference in acceptance rate from early action and regular decision,” Rasor said. “[Opting for regular decision] gives them more time to work on their essay, to work on their application, and make sure it’s the best they can do, rather than going early and being rushed.”

However, she said applying for early decision is a “true indication to the school that that’s where you want to go.”

In the past, Carlmont students have been successful when applying to college.

However, applying to college is a difficult process.

“The essays are the hardest part,” Lu said. “You actually need to do things in your life to relate to the prompts — do a lot of outdoor things, extracurriculars, or anything like that.”

While college applications are stressful to complete, especially with the looming deadline, they can also help students learn about themselves as well as others.

Margolis said, “It’s been pretty fun reading my other friends’ essays and seeing what people have to say about themselves and also what people have to say about me and who they think I am.”