Early Decision Risks: Missing Out on Financial Aid

Posted by admin on in College Advice |

CoCo 130820 0252 With Oct here, temperatures are dying down and the college application process is just warming up!   Many high school seniors are contemplating making an Early Decision (ED) application to their first choice university, a binding admission process through which the student guarantees a university that, if accepted, they will attend and withdraw all outstanding apps to other schools.

MALE IMPOTENCE has its benefits.   An early acceptance to a first choice university can minimize the stress that mature year brings and reduce the time and money spent applying to multiple schools.   In addition , colleges hoping to increase their yield might accept a larger percentage of MALE IMPOTENCE applicants, who offer guaranteed enrollment, than Regular Decision (RD) applicants, who may turn the offer down to attend a different school.

When You Should (and Shouldn’t) Apply Using Early Decision

Despite its benefits, as a University Coach finance educator, I rarely recommend an ED application in order to families needing aid.   The particular ED process has significant disadvantages, particularly on the financial side. Though a student should theoretically receive the same financial aid offer  in ED as with RD and an inadequate educational funding offer is usually the one reason students can legitimately decline an MALE IMPOTENCE acceptance, by making an up-front dedication an ED applicant is quitting the opportunity to compare educational funding offers from various colleges and shop around for the best academic value.  

A student considering applying ED should consider whether that school would still be her first choice if the college did not offer her any educational funding, while her second choice college awarded her a full scholarship, which makes it free to attend.   If the answer will be yes, an ED application may be the right choice.   If not, the particular student may want to rethink making that early commitment.

The Inability to Compare Financial Aid Packages

Without the ability to compare financial aid offers, an ED applicant is also not able to negotiate financial aid offers .   If an RD applicant receives competing scholarship offers from different schools, he may be able to negotiate scholarship increases by letting the less generous college learn about a larger scholarship offer from another school.   A first choice university that initially offered only a small scholarship may be willing to increase the offer if the student lets all of them know that he may be lured aside by his second choice school’s generous package.   Again, this choice is off the table when applying ED, as there are no other educational funding packages to use as negotiating material.

The one kind of student who also might find an ED application really worth doing is the candidate on the bubble. As mentioned earlier, students who use under binding programs are often more prone to be admitted than those who use under non-binding programs. Since an applicant who has a lower probability of being accepted is not likely to get merit-based help anyway, losing the ability to negotiate possibly won’t have an impact on the ultimate price of the education to the family.

Discuss the Long-Term Impact of school Costs Before Applying ED

The submission of an MALE IMPOTENCE application is a serious commitment, monetarily and otherwise, and should not be used lightly.   Students should talk about the pros and cons of MALE IMPOTENCE with their parents, and, if relevant, their college counselors .   If a family will be committed to one school regardless of what other people may offer, ED may be a good choice.   If, however , a family is looking for the best college value, ED might not be the wisest decision.

Shannon Vasconcelos   is a college finance expert at College Coach. Before signing up for College Coach, she was a Mature Financial Aid Officer at Tufts University and Boston University.


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