Early Decision Versus Regular Decision


Let's face it--applying early decision is not for everyone. It requires making a binding commitment just a few months into your senior year. It's more like proposing marriage than asking someone out on a date. Have you thought things through? Is ED right for you? For a quick reality check, read the following dramatizations and think about which student sounds most like you.

The Early Decider

I love Oberlin! I don't want to go anywhere else, this is the perfect place for me! I am not just ready to commit, I'm wildly enthusiastic about it! I want to be done with the college admissions process as early as possible, because I don't need any more information to make my decision. I've figured out my priorities, done all my research, visited campus, and definitively labeled Oberlin as my first-choice college. I'm not concerned about the cost of attending, either because I have the financial resources or because I'm comfortable with the early aid estimate I received from Oberlin. I want to be done with the college selection process in December, and skip over applying to all those Second Choice Schools. I'm ready to apply, and I'm encouraged by the higher acceptance rate for ED applicants. Please let me in, because I'd love to come!

The Regular Decider

I love Oberlin, I think I love Oberlin, or I think I might love Oberlin. Actually, I might change my mind or decide that I can be perfectly happy somewhere else. Maybe I secretly harbor a desire to go to one of those Other Schools. Maybe Oberlin is my first choice after all. Either way, I'd like to keep my options open, and have the option to compare financial aid packages. I don't see any need to rush into a binding decision at this point--it's not like I'm going to be at a disadvantage for applying in January. Sure, it means I have to apply to a few more schools, but they all take the Common App, right? Why are you asking me all these questions, anyway? I don't need to justify my decision to apply regular decision--it's the regular thing to do!

Blog Entries Related To This Topic:

All Roads Lead to Oberlin... Eventually

posted by Lilah Drafts-Johnson '18 | My Oberlin waitlist experience.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

posted by Tom Cline '18 | Come for the albino squirrels and story of how I came to Oberlin, stay for the pug and goat photos at the end of this post! (Or just skip down to the pug photos!)

How I Ended Up At Oberlin, Not Hogwarts

posted by Kameron Dunbar '19 | My decision to spend my undergraduate years at Oberlin wasn't quite the storybook tale, but it did end with a happily ever after.

Finding Oberlin

posted by Kira Findling '19 | I was officially sold when the tour guide described Oberlin as a place where being weird is celebrated and loved.

Bring on Reading Season! (And a note on Early Decision)

posted by Tanya Aydelott, Admissions | Once Halloween passes and stores start stocking their oranges-and-browns or reds-and-greens, my mind turns to the crisp promise of a newly opened application.

Early decisions with an Ecuadorian Twist

posted by Charles Grim, Admissions | To assure that we have great diversity when we are done with the final crafting of our international class and that we have also chosen the individual applicants who are most likely to thrive, we use a three-decision process for early decision applicants.

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