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Only Apply Early Decision If You Are Absolutely Sure

Only Apply Early Decision If You Are Absolutely Sure

At Pitzer, we grapple with how many students to admit early every year.  While we want to leave enough room for students who find Pitzer through the Regular Decision process, we do find that there are significant benefits to admitting students through Early Decision.

Our institutional research at Pitzer shows that students who apply to Pitzer through Early Decision (thus telling us it is their first choice) retain at a higher rate than those students who come through the Regular Decision program.  These students are excited to be on campus and they have a very positive impact on our community.

However, we are ever so cognizant of the fact that many students want to compare their options (including financial aid options) and need to apply Regular Decision.  We also know that there may be students for whom Pitzer is the first choice, but they do not learn about us until it’s too late to apply Early Decision.  We review these student’s applications in a thoughtful, holistic, and personalized way and make sure that every single person that applies is given full consideration.

The message I would like to convey to students is this – only apply to a college early decision if you absolutely know that it is the right choice for you.  If you have done your research, perhaps visited campuses, and have fallen in love with a particular institution, then Early Decision is right for you.  You are entering into a contractual agreement with a school if you apply Early Decision.  You are telling us “if you admit me, I will attend.”  This is a very strong statement t make at such an early point in your senior year of high school.  Early decision is not right for everyone, so consider all the pros and cons before applying.

By Angel B. Perez, Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Pitzer College

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The fundamental role of independent educational consultants is to help students explore college opportunities and find the right place for them to succeed academically and socially. IECs don’t get students admitted—they help students demonstrate why they deserve to be admitted at appropriately chosen schools. They help students find colleges they might not have heard of—often out of their region—and they help students put their best foot forward.

Here are 5 things families should consider when looking to hire an IEC:

  1. Does the IEC belong to a professional association such as IECA with established and rigorous standards for membership?
  2. Do not trust any offers of guaranteed admission to a school or a certain minimum dollar value in scholarships.
  3. Ensure that the IEC adheres to the ethical guidelines for private counseling established by IECA.
  4. Find an IEC that visits college, school, and program campuses and meets with admissions representatives regularly in order to keep up with new trends, academic changes and evolving campus cultures.
  5. Do they attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes in the law?