Your Final Early Application Checklist

October 28, 2019

If you’re applying Early Decision or Early Action, use this checklist to make sure you’ve properly personalized your application and are adequately prepared for the ED/EA process.

For those applying Early Decision, these are the final few days you have left to put your final touches on your application and to make sure everything is in order. Here’s our checklist to help you get there.

Is all your testing done?

Make sure the major test scores you want your ED/EA school to consider are already done. You have a couple weeks to submit any scores you’re still waiting on or are taking at the last minute, but make sure you are happy with your application as it currently stands, even if for whatever reason you don’t supplement with that final SAT II score you’re waiting on. 

Have your teachers submitted their recommendations?

Although the task is part of your teachers’ To-Do list, making sure all the required materials make it into your application file is your responsibility. Many teachers have multiple recommendation letters to write and also still have lesson planning they have to do (just because college applications take priority in your life doesn’t mean it does for them). So do your part and double check that they’re aware of your deadline so your application isn’t incomplete!

Are your ED/EA essays sufficiently targeted?

It is totally fine and expected to use the same personal statement for most if not all of your target schools. However, it may be worth your time to slightly personalize your personal statement for your ED/EA school if your essay topic is about an academic interest that can be directly matched to a specific program you’re applying for. If your personal statement is more of a personal story, then save your “why I want to attend X school” for the supplemental essays. Either way, though, make sure at least one of your essays explains your early committed interested in that school.

Does the rest of your application support your ED/EA decision?

Whether it’s an art portfolio or research papers, if you’re submitting additional materials to support your application to a specific program, these are not only important for you to include in your application but important for them to get in front of the right people. If you’ve contacted a professor or an advisor in a specific department that you’ve developed a rapport with, it doesn’t hurt to mention that you’ve submitted additional materials as part of your application and you hope they’ll take a look.

Give your regional admissions rep a heads up.

The same goes for any college admissions rep you’ve spoken with or had some sort of correspondence with about applying early to their school. Do not overwhelm this person with a ton of info and definitely do not send your application to him/her. What you can do is send a polite email letting this person know that you’ve made the decision to apply ED/EA as a courtesy thank you.

Trust in the process, and press submit!

If you are planning to apply Regular Decision, this checklist can still be helpful for you! Check back later for more RD content and consider our Class of 2020 premium plan, which can help you with school-specific “Why Us” essays through the entire Regular Decision application process. (Juniors, check out our Class of 2021 plans!)

About The Author

AdmitSee Staff
AdmitSee Staff

​We remember our frustration with applying to college and the lack of information surrounding it. So we created AdmitSee to bring much-needed transparency to the application process! Read more about the team here.

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JHU ‘19

Accepted to JHU, Cornell, Northeastern, Fordham, UMD, Wisconsin, Temple

JHU ‘19, Writing Seminars and English Major, Woodrow Wilson Research Fellow
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Accepted to MIT, CalTech, UChicago, Macaulay Honors

I am a technologically inclined person who likes puzzles, video games, tutoring, late night cramming, and helping others.
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Accepted to Harvard, Yale, MIT, Columbia, UVA

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Accepted to UC Berkeley, USC, UMich, Illinois, UT Austin, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCSD, UCSB, U of Minnesota, Arizona, WVU, Cal Poly, San Jose State

I'm from the SF Bay Area, but I'm betraying my roots by attending The University of Texas at Austin as a chemical engineering major. I like music, science and eating!

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