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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.


On paper, I am by no means a perfect student. However, thanks to my Application Positioning, I was able to maximize the strengths that I bring to a college to compensate for other factors. Thanks to The Ivy Dean Team, I will be attending Princeton University, my dream school, in the fall.

Douglas R. – Princeton University

Dee provided excellent advice and guidance throughout the application process. Her overall expertise in admissions, professionalism and warmth made the experience a great one. I was thrilled that I was accepted to several of the most selective colleges in the country and will be attending Stanford in the fall.”

Laurel P. – Stanford University
It's my pleasure to inform you that I've been admitted to my first choice college: the University of Southern California. My dream is becoming reality! I am thrilled to get the chance to belong to the USC and to start a new adventure there. It is also thanks to your great help that I've been accepted, I'm very grateful! Thank you so much for everything.
Sonia G. – From Switzerland
Our son and daughter wanted to go to colleges in the same city but they had different interests and different strengths. She matched them each with their ideal college, one Columbia University and the other NYU, and worked to get them admitted. We couldn't have been more pleased.
Niki and Roger S.
I was a serious student but also wanted a university where I could continue competitive cycling. There weren't many schools that met my needs and fit my personality. From her experience, she was able to hone right in on what became my first choice school. I graduated last year and the entire college experience was awesome.
Colin J.
My parents and I didn't know how helpful it could be to have someone who understood things from the inside working with us. Ms. Blackman was able to identify just what would make me the most attractive candidate to colleges.
Bob M. – Harvard University