Is early decision important for international students?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

Is early decision important for international students?

Karen Ekman-Baur
Director of College Counseling Leysin American School

Early Decision for International Students

Just as for all students, Early Decision can be important if a student is absolutely certain that the Early Decision choice is his/her first choice. If not, students should plan to apply Regular Decision. There is no real difference in this regard between International and Domestic applicants

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

Is early decision important for international students?

International students have the same option of applying to early decision and early action admissions procedures as U.S. students. Most colleges will tell you that applying early has little or no bearing on your admissions chances. However, it is definitely true that you will be competing for a fewer number of open spots during regular enrollment -- so you do the math! If you do plan on applying through an early decision or early action program, be sure that you understand the details of each program. Many early programs are restrictive which means that you can only apply to ONE school through an early progress. In addition, if you applying through an early DECISION program -- you should understand that you are contractually bound to accept an offer of admissions.

Nicholas Umphrey

Is early decision important for international students?

Personally, I don't like the idea of early decision. I feel like it makes this process more stressful for kids and parents than it needs to be. It is a practice most often used by admissions offices in competitive schools where it is considered an honor to be merely accepted into these schools. I think early decision is like the new stereo system in a brand new Ferrari. Without the new stereo system, the car is still a Ferrari. Without early decision, there is still regular decision.

Heather McCowen
Post Secondary Counselor The Chicago HS for the Arts

Early Decision and International Students

International students can benefit from early decision as it gives them more time to secure visas and student paperwork. As with any student, the school should be a great fit for the student and the student should understand that they have the resources and interest in attending that school.

Allen Hill
School Counselor Antelope Union High School

Early Decision

Applying early to schools is a must because the sooner you know that the school will accept you, you can then begin finacial aid, scholarships, housing and other items that need to be done. For International students the requirements are different than for other student thus the earlier you get the decision the easier it is to start planning.

Joseph Freeman
Dean and College Counselor Randolph School

International Students and Early Decision

For an international applicant, an Early Decision application can improve his or her chances of admission, but the applicant must be aware of certain stipulations. First, the applicant must keep in mind that an Early Decision is (in all likelihood) binding, meaning that the student must be prepared to attend that school next fall. If the school is not a clear first choice, then the student should not apply ED. Secondly, the applicant must have a good sense of cost in mind. Even "need-blind" schools are often need aware with international applicants, and financial aid can be much more challenging when a student cannot qualify for Pell Grants or Stafford Loans. If the international applicant is in a position to pay full tuition, then an ED plan can work well. If the applicant needs aid, then he or she must contact the financial aid office to see what works. Keep in mind that an applicant CAN be released from a binding Early Decision in the event of financial strain.

Ted Skowron
Counselor Brophy College Preparatory

If your first choice...or...consider Early Action

Early decision is great option if the university that you apply to is your first choice. With Early Decision, you agree to attend that institution if admitted. Early Action, however, is not binding and may be a better alternative if you want to be admitted early.

Don Tamminga

Is early decision important for international students?

As long as a student is sure that is the school they want to attend. Often early decision means you must commit to a school and if you are unsure, then it is better to wait. However, early decision can be extremely helpful to give an international student the extra time to prepare and get all the necessary paper work done in order to go to another country.

Trevor Creeden
Director of College and Career Counseling Delaware County Christian School

Is early decision important for international students?

International students are normally going to have to pay full price for their education here in the United States so reason of not applying early decision for financial reasons is out of the question. For this reason I think it is important for international students to apply early decision because the percentages of getting accepted to a highly competitive school are greater in early decision and you are making that school aware that they are your first choice by applying early.

Brad Jackson
Director of College Counseling San Domenico School

Is early decision important for international students?

International students come in all shapes and sizes. Early decision is a way of applying that allows a student to state a clear preference for a college and in most cases will give the applicant a small advantage over students applying regular decision. Some international students have had enough exposure to US schools to know what their clear first choice is, others have not. Unless you are very knowledgeable about the college and willing to commit to that college, you should not apply early decision.