Applying early decision to a school is a big commitment, as you know. Being accepted, however, can be an equally big relief. Now there’s no more wondering or stressing — you know where you’re going to college next year, and can just focus on finishing up and getting there.
With that said, you’re not completely done yet. There are still some things you need to do.
Withdraw Other Applications
Because early decision applications are binding, you no longer have the option of attending anywhere else. You may not have submitted other applications yet, but if you have, you’ll need to withdraw them.
You should contact each college and ask them how they want you to withdraw your application. Some may be able to do so immediately during this conversation. Others may request an email or a mailed letter.
This should go without saying, but you also need to cancel any plans to apply to any other colleges. If your plan for the first half of your winter break was to spend it on these applications, congratulations: now you’re free!
Keep Your Grades Up
Just because you’ve already been accepted doesn’t mean you can completely succumb to the temptation of senioritis. Colleges tend to include fine print saying that your admission offer is conditional based on your completion of high school to the same standards as those shown in your application. In other words, if you go from straight A’s to C’s and D’s, the college could revoke your acceptance.
In reality, this doesn’t occur all that often, and minor issues such as getting a B+ when all previous grades have been A’s will generally not be an issue. However, it’s not an idle threat either; colleges do actually withdraw offers to students whose performance has suffered dramatically.
Especially when you’re admitted through an Early Decision application, it’s incredibly important to avoid this situation. Regular Decision applicants would have other options, but since you had to withdraw all other applications, you’re pretty much stuck for this year if your ED school will no longer accept you.
Can I Change My Mind Now That I’ve Been Admitted as ED?
Legally, yes. The college in question isn’t going to try to sue you for breaking your commitment to go there if you’re accepted.
That said, applying Early Decision is a commitment, and there are consequences for breaking it.
The school in question will very likely contact your guidance counselor at high school, as well as any other colleges you’ve applied to. These colleges will then likely either cancel your application or withdraw their own acceptance offers, leaving you with no college options for this year.
If you pursue this route, you’ll probably need to take a gap year between high school and college, and reapply next year.