If you applied Early Decision to a college or university and have been accepted, congratulations! It’s also great if you’ve received offers from colleges to which you’ve applied through the Early Action or priority options. Perhaps you’re ready to accept one of these offers. You also know that these schools must hold a slot for you until as late as May 1. But what if a particular school to which you were planning to apply Regular Decision might now be “the one”? If that school offers an option called Early Decision 2, you might want to explore that possibility. ED2 is your chance to apply to a school to which you’re now willing to commit if accepted. ED2 has become increasingly popular in the past few years because it gives you a second chance to use an Early Decision option
Here are some things to consider about the ED2 option:
1. Approximately 75 colleges and universities offer the ED2 option, which usually is due on the same date as Regular Decision.
2. You may apply ED2 to only one school, but you’ll receive a response by February.
3. Like ED1, ED2 is a binding offer which you can reject only if the college’s financial aid offer does not meet your financial needs.
4. If you’ve already applied to a school Regular Decision, you may be able to switch your application option to ED2. Call Admissions and find out what you need to do.
5. You can’t re-apply ED2 to a school that has rejected or deferred your ED1 application.
6. If you’ve been deferred from an Early Action or ED1 program, you may not find out until April whether you’ve been accepted. So if you’re accepted ED2, you must withdraw your applications to any other schools.
7. If you decide to apply ED2, you do have somewhat of an advantage if you’ve had a good first semester during senior year of high school because the colleges will review those grades when they’re considering your application.
8. You’ll also have the opportunity to list new awards or leadership positions, to revise your personal statement or to take advantage of optional opportunities like the Additional Information essay on the Common App.
9. You may also submit more recent ACT and SAT scores if you’ve re-taken the tests.
10. You may have gotten to know a senior year teacher well enough to request an additional letter of recommendation. Don’t be afraid to ask!
Even if you are not ready to commit to a school through ED 2, you still can take advantage of the options to update or enhance your application. Keep in mind that many schools continue to admit students until their upcoming class slots are filled. There’s still time to visit, do research, and apply to schools that offer rolling and regular decision. You’d be surprised at how willing admissions officers will be to answer your questions and to respond to your demonstrated interest. So don’t give up! You’ve still got time to invest time and energy into your college future.