Should you Apply for College Early?

By: Mariah Cunningham

Applying to college can be an arduous task. Often times it causes a great deal of stress and anxiety. Making the decision of where you are going to continue on in pursuit of a higher education can be very difficult, especially when most students in high school are still undecided when it comes to what they want to do with their lives.
Senior year is hard enough, having to worry about whether or not you get accepted into the university of your choice just adds to the heavy load. A way to easily relieve yourself of some of the unwanted tension is to simply apply early. There are a few things that you need to be aware of, first, there is what is called early decision and early action, they are not the same.
Early decision plans are binding. A student who applies early and is accepted as a early decisions applicant must attend that university.  Early action plans are not binding. In this case, students receive an early response from the university but do not have to commit to it.
It is important to understand the distinction between the two.  Being an early action applicant has many benefits. It reduces stress by eliminating some of the time a student might spend waiting for a decision. It can save students money, by not having to submit other applications. If denied acceptance it gives students more time to figure out other options.
“The early application process was really easy. It just asked basic questions. It took all of fifteen minutes. The easiest part was filling out my name. The hardest part for me, was having to pay the $50.00 online fee.” Kate Pederson, a senior at McNary, said. “I decided to apply early so that I would know early on. I did not want to have to worry about it. I just wanted to get it over with.” Pederson also said. I would recommend applying early to everyone that wants to go to college. “It gives you more confidence throughout the year, knowing that you’ve been accepted.” Pederson is very excited for college, “I can’t wait to get out of high school and move to Portland.”
“overall it wasn’t a difficult process at all; however, most applications are online. With that being said, I ran into a lot of technical problems and I ended up having to turn in a paper application.” Said Davida McCauley, a senior at McNary High School,who applied early to Portland State University.
The reason McCauley chose to apply for early acceptance was because she wanted to know if she could get accepted sooner than later. ” I needed to be financially ready. I wanted everything to be secured for next year” McCauley stated.
She is very glad that she applied early. “Now I know, worst case scenario, I have been accepted into at least one university. The pressure is off and I feel less stressed. I feel like I belong somewhere. Now I just have to worry about finishing off my senior year strong.”
McCauley would recommend applying to college early to everyone. ” Overall, it takes the stress off of you for the rest of the year. It’s no longer a distraction and you can plan ahead. Your future is more secure and prepared.”

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