University Students On CampusThe number of students applying Early Action and Early Decision has increased dramatically. These students can apply to multiple colleges Early Action — increasing their chances of both admission and financial aid at selective colleges. They are completing their applications and submitting them before the majority students have even gotten started.

Applying Early Action doesn’t need to be a hassle. With the November 1st deadline having just passed (some Early deadlines are later in November, so check the each college’s website), there’s still some time to be a savvy college consumer and increase your chances by applying EA:

Here are 3 steps to get the work done now:

• Research colleges online: Look for colleges that have the programs you are interested in, are a good match for you (your grades and test scores are in the top 50% of admitted students), and ideally are colleges that don’t require supplemental essays.

• For your Personal Statement on the Common App, use Essay Question #1: This is the question colleges say works best for most students. There’s no right or wrong answer; describe a moment when you changed, learned, took action, or made a difference.

• Use supplements to “build a bridge” between what you’ve done and what you plan to do: For colleges that have supplemental essays, use each essay to reveal a different part of your character. Show how you will contribute to their community by sharing stories of what you’ve already done.

—Written by Carol Barash, PhD, founder and CEO of Story2.

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