When it comes to sending in college applications, there are two types of students: those who have all their materials prepared well in advance, waiting to be sent off, and those who wait till the last moment and then scramble to send in their applications. If you are a part of the latter category, then this article is addressed to you in a bid to outline why you should send in your applications at least a week before the deadline.
Your great application won’t matter if there is no vacancy in the program.
One of the biggest mistakes students make, and one that is often brought up when admissions officers are asked, is sending in their applications at the very last moment. With the amount of applications universities and colleges receive, admissions advisors recommend again and again to send in your application as early as you can, or there is a chance of a winning application to lose out on their opportunity due to a lack of positions. Remember, just because there is a deadline for a program doesn’t mean that they are not accepting students who send in their applications early. In fact, for programs that admit students on a rolling basis, the positions might fill up before you even get a chance to apply.
The smartest students are those who apply early. Their essays get read when the admissions process is just starting and the officers have a fresh mind, and receive their acceptance earlier. So, it is best to have your college materials prepared and on hand before college admissions start, or at least well before the deadline or there is a chance that a good application might go to waste because of a lack of time management.
You might get lost in a sea of applications.
College essay advisors say that you should ideally start working on your essay and short listing colleges when your senior year starts, and some students even start applying early. The best college application writing advice says to have shortlisted your choice of colleges well before application season begins and research them thoroughly to make sure you send in an application that is as desirable to them as possible. This doesn’t mean that you should be stressed if you haven’t planned yet; just make sure that you don’t wait until the date of the deadline and you will be fine.
This is important because the final days and moments before the deadline are when a lot of students wake up and get around to sending their applications, causing an influx of essays, resumes, and recommendation letters that will all reach the admissions committee at the same time. Would you really want your application to be looked at in the rush of final selections? Or would you want to be one of the shortlisted candidates whose essays had been read and application had been appreciated when the people judging these applications weren’t overwhelmed?
While admission committees are meant to avoid as much bias as possible, it is human nature to become indifferent to the same type of content if read enough times. So it is best that you avoid this last-minute rush and get your application in as early as possible.
Sending your application on the last day might reflect badly on you.
Apart from the practical standpoint, another reason you should send in your application as early as you can is that the admissions officers might not positively look on your tardiness, despite you having made it in the deadline. Those who apply early are viewed as high performers and dedicated academics, and thus have a better chance of being accepted than those who applied later. And the admissions team can usually see when the application was sent in, and so would be able to take that factor into consideration. Also, you might seem uninterested to the committee, as candidates who are eager to join a program would naturally want to apply as early as they can.
So, if the choice was between two equally good applications, the decision might fall down to what is their perception of the candidate, a huge factor of which is their time management skills and how much they care about the program they’re applying to.
Set your deadline a little early
If you are a procrastinator, it is easy to fall prey to your usual habits and think of the deadline as the goal to achieve. In such a case, try setting your deadline early and ignore the one given by the college so that you will be able to finish your essays on time and might even have time for revision.