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Early Decision: Helpful or hurtful?

Early+Decision%3A+Helpful+or+hurtful%3F

In recent years, I’ve noticed a growing trend in the world of college admissions: the prevalence of early-decision programs. At first glance, these programs seem like a convenient way for both students and institutions to streamline the application process. However, as I looked deeper into the matter, I couldn’t help but become concerned about the troubling issues associated with early-decision admissions.

First, early decision admissions can be incredibly biased in favor of the privileged few. These programs often require applicants to commit to a particular school before they can fully compare financial aid packages from other institutions. This puts students from low-income backgrounds at a significant disadvantage, forcing them into a corner where they must accept an offer without knowing the full financial implications. It’s essentially a system that caters to those who can afford to take such a risk, leaving many others behind.

Mansi Indarapu

Additionally, early decision programs tend to result in a lack of diversity on college campuses. Those who apply through early decision are more likely to be well-off and well-connected, as they have the resources and support necessary throughout the application process. This leads to a lack of socioeconomic diversity and exacerbates existing inequalities in higher education.

I’ve also observed that early decision applications can lead to a rushed and stressful process for high school seniors. The pressure to meet the early decision deadline adds an unnecessary layer of stress to an already overwhelming time in their lives. Many students are forced to make life-altering decisions within a matter of weeks, leaving little room for thoughtful reflection and careful consideration.

Moreover, the pressure to apply early decision to a school can sometimes result in an excess of “safety school” applications. Students apply to less-desirable schools to ensure they have other options in case their first-choice school rejects them. This not only adds to the stress but also creates a wasteful process in terms of time, money and resources for both students and institutions.

Early decision admissions create an unfair, inequitable, overly stressful system that ultimately disadvantages students and undermines the goals of higher education. It’s high time we reevaluate the role of early decision applications in our educational system and strive for a more just and accessible approach to college admissions. Let’s work toward a system that offers equal opportunities and support to all students, regardless of their socioeconomic background, and one that truly fosters diversity on college campuses.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Saahas Kandru at [email protected].

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