Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Our Two Application Deadlines

As in past years, we have two deadlines for first-year applications. This time of year we get a lot of questions about our two application deadlines: What’s the difference? Which should I do? Will applying early give me a better chance?

One of the most important things to know is that applying early does not commit you to a binding decision. You may apply elsewhere for binding or other early admission programs. We want to give you more options, rather than less.

Why do we offer two deadlines?
We find it makes the whole experience much more pleasant. For you and for us. You can choose whichever deadline is most convenient for you, and best fits your schedule. And we don't have to read all 20,000+ applications at one go. Just thinking about that makes me shudder. I don't think it would be humanly possible. Last year, of the approximately 21,500 applications we received, 11,300 applied first deadline and 10,200 applied second deadline.

Although we have two deadlines, we evaluate each application against our entire pool of applicants. For this reason, there is no inherent advantage in applying first vs second deadline. The only advantage for one over the other lies in which deadline allows you to submit the best application you can.

Why apply first deadline?
  • A stress-free spring semester. Enjoy your senior year a little bit more. (Not too much, of course. You will still have to submit all final grades for your senior year. Beware senioritis.)
  • Have more time to make a thoughtful decision about which college is the right fit for you. You’ll have more time in the spring to visit schools, talk to students, and consider what you need for a successful college experience.
  • Spread the work of applications over a longer span of time. If you are applying to multiple schools, you can get your Carolina application out of the way early, and be less stressed while completing the others.

Why apply second deadline?
  • Be able to submit first semester grades. If your junior year grades are not as high as you’d like, it might be a good idea to apply second deadline, so that we will be able to see the first semester grades of your senior year.
  • Take the SAT/ACT one more time. For second deadline, you can take the tests in December and the results will still reach us in time.
  • Have more time to submit the best application you can. Take extra time with your essays and get thoughtful recommendations for your teacher and counselor.

Make sense? Good. You decide when you want to submit your application, and we’ll be delighted to read it. And if you have any further questions, as always feel free to leave a comment below.