College Application

A few questions about applying… Now, I know there’s an Early Action for most U.S. colleges, but the form I have also has “Early Decision” marked as an option beside it. What’s the difference? What kind of things should I put on the recommended essays (don’t guess, please only respond if you <i>actually</i> have a good idea of what profs look for)? Some colleges ask for (a) résumé(s). Should I put academic/sports/leadership achievements from gr. 9 on onto the résumé, or go back earlier? Any advice for an interview? Hell, who’s <i>doing</i> this kind of thing right now?

basically…they dont want anything earlier than 9th, and you hafta show to them that youve excelled in what you put your mind to…um i didnt hafta do an essay so i cant help ya there, but yeah sports, extracurricullar(wow i doubt severly i spelled that one right) activites, jobs, echievements, honors, they like…proffesors are people…and not dumb people so dont whore yourself out…cuz they’ll know trust me i have an english prof for a friend…and having a really good reference helps alot…but yay for me being accepted :victoly:

Early decision means if they accept you, you have to go there, OR ELSE! I think, also, it means you’re not allowed to apply anywhere else (until you get rejected?).

Early Decision makes it if you get in, which you’ll know MONTHS in advance, you have to cancel all other applications. Early decision lists get around. Early action is like early decision but you aren’t forced to go there.

As for your personal essay, be yourself. What’s something you’re proud of that you’ve done. What defines you as a person. Most important are things you’ve done that show who you are. A lot of people present a picture which they think people are looking for. Obviously, if you’re really weird and like to burn things for fun, you don’t talk about that. There are limits to your own self expression. Odds are though, if you have something unique and constructive and interesting, its better for you. And Crino, I’m amazed you got in anywhere that had standards :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, yeah, start grade 9 and up. The more recent or the more commitment, the better. Don’t talk about everything, talk about what mattered to you, esp what made an impact on you and/or what you made an impact on.

I’ll answer what I can:

Early Action is, always, a good choice. You have an improved chance of acceptance with no obligation to attend. Early Decision gives you an even better chance of acceptance, but it binds you to attend if you’re accepted. If you apply Early Decision to one university, you’re not allowed to apply Early (Action or Decision) anywhere else. In general, only use Early Decision if you’re deadset on one university.

Your essay should be relevant to the question asked. It’d be unwise to write one generic essay about yourself, and then modify it slightly per each question (as I did). I recommend you pick something unique about yourself that matters, and build it up like it’s a thesis. Do that, and you’ll be ahead of probably 95% of the competition. Beyond that, don’t worry too much about the essay. It’s rarely a deciding factor.

The resumé should stick to high school, particularly junior and senior years, unless you did something outstanding in grade school. For the interview, just be ready for anything. Some interviewers care about personality, others about intellect; treat the interview like any really, really important conversation.

Good luck. Where are you applying?

Its not easier applying by Early Decision. Its harder.

Thanks for the info XWing. I’m applying to Yale, if you want to know.

From what I’ve heard about Early Decision, you basically get two chances at the college - once, in the early acceptance time frame, and even if you’re not accepted <i>then</i>, you have a second chance of being accepted in a regular admission evaluation. I could be wrong on this. If I can get accepted into Yale (providing that I get some financial aid by the school) I’m sure as hell not going anywhere else.

To get accepted? No, it’s always easier. Not only is your application considered early, while the university is less pressured to reject students; it’s considered again during regular admissions, under no penalty. It’s virtually impossible for Early Decision to hinder admission. This is true of all schools that participate in the Early Decision program.

Early Decision doesn’t hinder admission, but you have to be the caliber student the university takes. They won’t let you in if you’re not up to par with who they’d accept under normal circumstances. The only way this makes anything easier is how it simplifies the rest of your application process.

Early Decision does have the caveat that you can back out of attending said college if you do not possess the financial means to pay for it. But, you have to prove that, obviously.

Also, good luck with Yale. I didn’t apply to any Ivy League schools mostly because I knew my family was in a situation where they could not pay for any college like that but made too much money to get any sort of non-loan based financial aid (basically, we refused to go into debt for undergraduate. After that, sure, debt time if needed). So, I ended up applying to 4 schools based largely on the amount of scholarships offered.

Naturally, early applicants below the required caliber will still be rejected. I didn’t mean to delude anyone. A school like Yale, though, receives enough high-caliber applicants that it can afford to reject some–particularly late in the applications process, after the excess of good applicants becomes clear. Applying early forces the school to guess whether it can afford to reject you, which may turn out well or poorly; it’s a moot point, since you’re considered again during regular admissions. Early application always improves your chances.

To Cless, good luck with Yale. You should try applying to a few other Ivy League schools too. The Common Application facilitates that.

I agree completely. While it can be easy for some to get in by early decision because they are strong applicants, it doesn’t mean early decision is easy since strong applicants aren’t the norm.

Impressive, I’m sure you have what it takes to get into an Ivy League school. Best of luck Klez.

The problem with Ivy Leagues is their price tag. As 984 pointed out, undergrad tuition added to grad tuition is just…painful.

I know, I know…

Thanks guys. If I’m going for Early Decision, though, I will not be able to apply to any other schools for Early anything. I assume the Common Application for regular time should be handed in at a later date? I’m thinking of MIT or Harvard as a second choice and then Toronto as a third choice. Better get started on that resumé, then…

Woah Cless, what’s your GPA?

Uh, I don’t know. Canadian school system.

Early action has no restrictions. Early decision does. You can have as many early actions as you want, just one early decision. If you’re accepted, you have to cancel all other applications. Usually if you get shot down early decision, you have to apply again later. Its a little late for early decision now I think. I might be wrong though. Anyway, there is nothing stopping you from applying competitively through the normal process if you get shot down.

What’s your first choice?

Well, actually, Yale or Harvard is my second choice, and MIT my first, but MIT doesn’t have an early application for Canadian students, and I can only choose one school to do Early Decision. I’m essentially going with my second choice first.