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Three Reasons to Write Your Regular Decision Application Essays Immediately

Ivy Divider
common app prompt typewriterEvery year, we work with students who pour their blood, sweat, and tears (okay, maybe not blood) into their Early Action and Early Decision application essays and, once November 1 rolls around, they are ready for a well-deserved break. We could not be more on board!

But that well-deserved break should last one week only because, odds are, they still have a lot (and we mean a lot) of work to do for their Regular Decision applications!

Many students want to wait until mid-December to find out whether they’ve gained admission to their Early Admissions colleges before writing any more essays, but strongly advise against that strategy! 0/10. Do not recommend!

Here’s why: Every year, we receive panicked calls from students (and parents) who did not receive the news they were hoping for and now have just fourteen or so days to write the Regular Decision essays for all five (ten? fifteen?!) of the remaining schools on their lists! AHH!!

To combat this kind of last-minute panic, we offer:

Three Reasons to Write Your Regular Decision Application Essays Immediately

1) You Cannot Bank on an Early Decision or Early Action Acceptance


Let’s look at the data. Acceptance rates have been shrinking for years, which means your odds of being rejected or deferred are likely higher than your odds of being accepted (much higher if you’re applying to Top 30 schools). Thus, it’s in your best interest to use November and early December to prepare your Regular Decision applications because, odds are, you’ll need to submit them.

2) You Will Not Be in an Essay-Writing Mood Post-Rejection


Few things are less inspiring than rejection. Having your dreams crushed does not inspire impactful essays about why you want to attend that school or something that brings you joy. Brainstorming when you are grieving a dream and making peace with a new reality can be incredibly difficult, so take advantage of your blissful window of not knowing by getting these assignments out of the way! Even jotting down some thoughtful notes or creating an outline will set your future self up for success down the line. Think of it as self-care.

3) Late Notifications Won’t Give You Enough Time to Finish Before the Holidays


Late notifications mean end-of-year scrambling. We remember the good ole’ days when top schools in the U.S. would send out their Early Decision and Early Action announcements in early December, sometimes before the first weekend of the month. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Last year, many notifications came out in mid-December, and some even hit inboxes on Christmas Eve! (Woof.) This means that waiting to write your Regular Decision essays until Early Admissions notifications roll out can leave you in a real bind with as few as eight days to draft multiple nuanced essays (and maybe even revisit your Common App personal statement)! No one wants to write essays on Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Don’t do that to yourself (or us!).

In closing, we know you’re tired, but take it from some experts who have twenty years of experience under their belts: preparing your Regular Decision application essays now will save you from a grief-panic snowball experience in December. Take a short break and jump back in.

If you do end up gaining acceptance to your top-choice school, we promise, you’ll be too busy celebrating to care how you spent the last few weeks—and, bonus, you’ll have spent some time honing your writing skills!

We are, of course, rooting for you, but if you don’t end up gaining acceptance to your top-choice school, however, you will be thanking yourself for taking the time to alleviate some of the pressure of submitting stellar college applications during the holiday season. Enjoying a second helping of mashed potatoes > dragging yourself to your room to woo your backup school(s).

As always, if you are looking for a qualified expert to help you with your admissions essay submissions, you know where to find us

Not sure how many essays you need to write?
Ivy Divider

Our Supplemental Essay Guide can help with that!

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