Early Decision: Is it Right for You?

Elon’s Early Decision (ED) deadline is a little more than a week away.   If you have decided Elon University is where you will attend if accepted, then you may want to seriously consider submitting an ED application on or before November 1.

A lot has been written about ED over the years and I would never recommend the program to anyone who hasn’t either inquired or previously decided that Elon is for them.  Each year, approximately 425 students apply ED to Elon.  Much of the controversy over ED has focussed on the percentage of students who fill a class before other applicants can apply.  Most people cannot commit to a school so far in advance (and I’d probably be one of them).  The concern then, is that ED disadvantages other students.  At Elon, ED candidates typically comprise just 25% of the class so there’s little reason for concern.

You should not apply ED if your decision to attend Elon is contingent on something else.  For example, students seeking admission to a BFA program requiring an audition or portfilio review should not apply ED.  If attending Elon is dependent on whether or not you make one of our athletics teams, you should not apply ED.  Finally, if your financial aid package will determine your ability to attend Elon, then ED is not your best option.

The spirit of ED is that you will attend Elon if admitted.  It is binding.  You and your parents/guardians sign an agreement stating that if accepted, you will withdraw applications from other schools, pay your $500 non refundable deposit and enroll.

In rare circumstances, we’ll receive withdrawals from ED candidates.  This is problematic because it immediately tells us the applicant did not withdraw applications from other schools.   When this occurs, we’ll call that school and leave to them the decision to rescind the admissions offer.

Of course, in exchange for committing early through a binding agreement like ED, Elon applicants receive priority course selection for fall and housing selection for the freshman year.  You also receive an early financial aid estimate. 

The good news at Elon is that unlike many schools, we also offer an Early Action program.  The deadline for EA is November 10 and you will hear from us on December 18.  In both ED and EA we will offer admission to students, defer candidates for mid year grades or decline applications, depending on the academic profile and pool.

Regardless of whether you choose to apply ED, EA or Final Deadline (FD), we are excited to have you so interested in Elon.  It’s an amazing place, believe me.  After all, I’m an alumnus myself!


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