How do you indicate to a school that they are your first choose besides early decision?

College Search

Our counselors answered:

How do you indicate to a school that they are your first choose besides early decision?

Eric Furda
Dean of Admissions University of Pennsylvania

How do you indicate to a school that they are your first choose besides early decision?

Here is my video response to the question.

็Ž‹ๆ–‡ๅ› June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

Counselor's role play

it is one of the most important task for me in the past to indicate the student's choice for college to admissions office. most international students are not qualify for early decision and it is the best interests of the college to manage their yield successfully. with less than 50% yield, you have to believe that early committment is the key for any schools to manage their yield.\ it is not so effective for the stduent to indicate such committment for reasons other than legal perspective and impact made for admissions results.

Tam Warner Minton
Consultant College Adventures

First choice school

If you have a first choice school and don't want to apply early decision, there are other ways to let the admission committee know. You can tell them in an interview that it is your first choice college, you can put it in your application in some cases, or you can start emailing your counselor at xxx college to introduce yourself, then eventually tell them it is your first choice. Even if you don't apply ED, applying early is always a good idea.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

Do not be a stealth candidate!

Visit, request and complete an interview if available, ask specific questions about programs or ask to be connected to a professor through the admissions office, ask to be connected to a student ambassador if possible. Show the school how interested you actually are.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Top Pick

School's love to hear that you really see yourself on their campus. You can demonstrate this by visiting, interviewing, making reference in your application, staying in touch via email, etc. Students who apply early, whether it is rolling, EA or ED admissions; are sending a message to the school that they are seriously interested in attending that institution. It's a 2-way street: students want the school to want them, but schools likewise want to know that students have made them their first choice.

Michelle Aronoff
Guidance Counselor

Essays and Interviews

You could address it in the essay you submit with your application for that school. Explain why you want to go there and why it would be a natural fit for you. You can also call and arrange an interview with either an admissions counselor or an alumni. This is always recommended when you have a deep interest because they get to know the real you, not just the person on paper.

Benjamin Caldarelli
Partner Princeton College Consulting, LLC

How do you indicate to a school that they are your first choose besides early decision?

Many schools ask students to write a supplemental essay that effectively asks "why us?" Students can use this essay to describe how and why the school best matches what he or she is looking for and how they plan to contribute the school.

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

How do you indicate to a school that they are your first choose besides early decision?

Tell them! While applying early decision is the easiest official way to indicate your interest and desire, sometimes financial considerations preclude that approach given uncertainty about aid and scholarships at that point in the process. Nevertheless, it is still possible to communicate directly and let a school know. Each school will treat that information in its own way, and of course in the end your desire to attend only goes so far, but it never hurts to let the school know. They want student on their campuses who want to be there.

Karen Ekman-Baur
Director of College Counseling Leysin American School

How do you indicate to a school that they are your first choose besides early decision?

If you are writing an essay that would just be going to that one first-choice school, you could perhaps include that information in your essay somehow. You could also ask your Guidance Counselor to include your preference in the recommendation letter he/she writes for you. Care should, of course, be taken to ensure that that comment is only included on the letter going to your first-choice school! If you're indicating a first choice, it would be beneficial to indicate a reason/reasons why you feel that way. Some reasons would obviously not be very convincing - "All my friends are going there", "I've always wanted to go to an Ivy League school", "My boyfriend/girlfriend is going there", etc. Your reasons should have to do with what you know about what the school offers and how you would fit into that environment.

Mark Gathercole
University Advisor Independent University Advising

How do you indicate to a school that they are your first choose besides early decision?

Tell them sincerely that they are your first choice. If a school is indeed your first choice, then you've done good research and know a lot about it - ask questions and make comments that demonstrate that you know the school and have solid reasons for applying there. Visit the school if at all possible. Maintain a continuing relationship with the admissions person who will read your application. Above all be sincere and honest about it.