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The (Dis)advantage of Being First to Submit A College Application

When should you submit your college application? Is it more advantageous to be the first or last student to apply?

The answer: It often does not matter. Many seniors and their families believe a student should submit their application as soon as possible—giving the college more time to review the application to increase the likeliness of acceptance. This belief is false, and it causes many high school seniors to needlessly rush through the college admissions process.

Recently, I reported to the Huffington Post the truth of the application review process. Most top colleges do not review any applications until after their deadline for four primary reasons: College admissions officers are busy traveling throughout the fall to recruit students (and are therefore out of the office). Colleges need to see the entire applicant pool, first, before they are able to evaluate a student’s competitiveness. Admissions officers often review applications in alphabetical order, and they are unaware of when a student applied. And lastly, colleges strive to set fair evaluation procedures—”giving no student, no matter how early, an additional advantage.”

Rather than hastily completing college applications (and risking mistakes), high school seniors should take their time to complete strong, thoughtful applications for the greatest chance of acceptance.

To learn more about the timeline of the application review process, you may read my Huffington Post article here.



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