Vital Tips If You Fit Into A Certain Category: Applying For Early Decision

If getting money to help you pay the college bill is important to you, then I have only one recommendation when it comes to applying for Early Decision to a college:

Don’t do it!

If your child gets accepted to a college using early decision, he or she must go to that college, even if they offer you a horrible financial aid package.

Essentially, when you apply early decision, you are telling the college “If you say yes, I am coming to your school no matter what the financial aid offer looks like.”

The college knows this and it gives them incentive to “under-award” you.

Now, there’s one instance when Early Decision is in your best interest: Applying to one of the eight Ivy League schools or an Ivy-Type that does not offer scholarships. These colleges work with families who have a financial aid need. And, if you don’t have a financial aid need at these schools, they were never going to offer you aid anyway, so you won’t “lose” anything. Applying early decision in this one exception will give you your best opportunity to get in.

My client, Janet, was considering Early Decision. One of her colleges was really trying to “sell her” on applying Early Decision. Even going so far as to say it gave her a better chance to get a scholarship. However, thanks to her smart plan for college, she knew that the college wanted her to apply early decision because it was to their benefit, not hers. She applied regular decision to the college. Not only was she accepted, she was offered a $15,000 scholarship, guaranteed for four years. Guess she had a better chance for a scholarship – in spite of what the admissions rep tried to tell her — even without Early Decision, wouldn’t you say?

Now if you’re looking for a way to make sure you don’t pay one dollar more for college than is absolutely necessary, there are ways to make it happen. However, in all likelihood, with one notable exception to the rule, Early Decision will not be one of them.

If you’re the parent of a high school freshman, sophomore or junior and want to learn more advanced strategies that will help you create the right college plan for your situation and take the right action so you can get more money to help you pay for college, then schedule your college plan review today!

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