When Applying Early to College Can Pay Off

Julia de Raadt
Julia de Raadt

Julia has dedicated much of her career to education. Since commencing with Empowerly, Julia has looked after the research team which handles student questions on different topics about college admission.

The college admission code isn’t a code that can be cracked easily. In fact, there are no hard and fast rules that apply for all colleges, and the selection criteria aren’t entirely objective. Nonetheless, observing data can provide us with clues into admission chances. Indeed, in some cases, data shows that applying early to college can pay off.

Generally, the difference between the rates of early admission and regular admission are small, suggesting that the timing of your application really doesn’t hold much weight. However, there are some colleges where there is a significant difference between admission rate. In particular, in the case of binding early decision rates (as opposed to a non-binding early application) among mostly liberal arts colleges demonstrates a difference. For example, the early decision rate of American University is more than triple the rate of the regular decision rate.

Consider the Data

Therefore, if you really would love to attend one of the colleges below over any other, read on. If that is the case, then an early application could potentially increase you chances.

CollegeED Admit rateRD Admit rateDifference
American University84.7%25.9%58.8%
Amherst College39.6%13.8%25.8%
Bucknell University59.7%29.9%29.7%
Carleton College56.3%22.6%33.6%
Colby College49.5%29.9%19.6%
Columbia University
20.7%
6.3%
14.4%
Claremont McKenna College
31.9%
9.4%
22.4%
Dickinson College71.0%22.6%48.4%
Grinnell College47.4%22.5%24.9%
Haverford College51.3%21.4%29.9%
Lehigh University59.9%26.1%33.8%
Middlebury College41.9%16.1%25.7%
Northwestern University 33.3%10.7%22.7%
Oberlin College62.6%28.0%34.6%
Trinity College59.3%33.4%25.9%
Washington University in St. Louis37.6%16.5%21.0% 
Wesleyan University38.5%17.8%20.7%

Overall, this data gives students important insight. For example, if you’re weighing your odds, you can consider these statistics. Further, if you are on the fence about one of these schools, you know how to start your research.

As always, proceeding with additional information about the playing field will help you. In fact, some say “knowledge is power”!

In summary, this chart shows the highest difference we saw belongs to American University at nearly 59%. On the other hand, the smallest difference in this particular data set falls to Columbia University at around 14%.

And lastly, as a reminder, these statistics might change from year to year. Therefore, it’s a good idea to brush up as often as possible.

How Empowerly Can Help

Finally, before we go, we’re here to remind you that Empowerly can help with your college admissions. For example, our research team regularly finds data like this article! But yes, we understand that it can be difficult to grasp the numbers on your own. There’s no need, however, to struggle alone. Instead, try working one-on-one with a counselor to ensure your best possible future.

While in-school guidance counselors can help direct you, they might not give the in-depth guidance you’re looking for. In fact, we have found that many students struggling with online learning and limited access to their teachers don’t know where to turn. On the other hand, the Empowerly community works with a full team and digital suite of resources dedicated to your success.

If you are considering applying early but need help with choosing a college to apply early, Empowerly is prepared to help. Similarly. if you need help with college admissions in general, please consider Empowerly’s team! To do so, you can sign up below for a free consultation.

Your Consultation

Wondering how a consultation can help you get started? Firstly, you will meet with an Empowerly team member to learn about our team approach. Secondly, they will ask you a handful of questions about your goals. And of course, based on this information, they will explain the aspects of the program and and how we fit in to your plans. Lastly, you will be able to ask any remaining questions. Most of all, a consultation is a great opportunity to see how we can help you succeed!

Questions? Let us know!