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For high school seniors who choose to attend a college or university, admission season represents an important milestone in their education. Before students start college applications, they must weigh their options but it does not come without challenges. With different options to choose from, making a choice can quickly become a hassle.
Colleges take students’ indecisiveness as an opportunity to advertise what they offer in well-worded emails that promise “benefits” like free applications, no requirement to turn in test scores, essays or references. These offers may appeal to students who scored below the college average on college entrance exams or do not have time to write good essays. But to receive these benefits, students must apply early through priority admission. In the end, it saves time for other college applications but adds early application stress with earlier deadlines.
Priority applications also benefit colleges by increasing their pool of applicants. For more competitive colleges, they can fulfill their rejection rates and keep their acceptance rates low. This seems like a con for priority admission applicants, but applying early can also help their chance of acceptance, especially with low test scores. The higher chance for acceptance into a competitive college compensates for the increased rejection rates. If a student applies early they receive an answer earlier. An early response allows students to know their standing and whether they should stop or keep applying to colleges.
College applicants often look over priority admissions and look at alternatives like early action and early decision, but these options also have disadvantages that priority admissions cover. When students apply through early action, they receive their decision early like they would when they complete a priority application, but they must complete the whole application to be considered. With an early decision application, applicants can only apply to one early decision college, If accepted they must go to that college. On the other hand, priority applications allow students to apply to multiple colleges without a bind to those colleges.
In all, the benefits from priority admissions outweigh the cons since it provides students with unique opportunities to attend their dream colleges and offers more benefits than other types of applications. As long as students apply early.