You’ve visited all the schools on your list, maybe you’ve even interviewed at a couple. You’ve narrowed down your options and have identified your top choice. But now what?
Choosing to attend college and the journey of finding the right school for you is no small feat. For many of us, it will mean hours of researching, list writing, interviewing, and even a little soul-searching. But every so often, you may come across a college that you know is “the one:” The campus felt like home, you connected with current students and faculty, your interview with an admissions counselor felt more like a good conversation, and everything seemed to fall into place. Most importantly, you can envision yourself spending the next four years of your life on that campus. This was my experience with Gettysburg College.
Early on in my senior year of high school, I had completed my college search process. With Gettysburg as my first choice, I decided to apply Early Decision, because I knew it would afford me several important advantages:
#1: ED empowered me to express interest in my top-choice school
Applying Early Decision is a great way to express committed interest in the school at the top of your list. After having finished touring all the colleges on my list and making sure that any outstanding questions I had were answered, it became clear to me that, for all the reasons above, Gettysburg was the standout. I wanted to show that I was interested in Gettysburg and applying Early Decision allowed me to do just that. I was also able to express my interest by going on a tour of the campus and interviewing with an admissions counselor. Although due to the circumstances this year you may not be able to visit campus there are virtual opportunities for you to express your interest in Gettysburg such as registering for a virtual information session, and virtual interview. Remember, schools want students who want to be there!
#2: ED allowed me to start planning earlier
Having an acceptance decision sooner, and my corresponding financial aid package sooner, allowed me and my family to begin planning for the next four years (and beyond) much sooner, as well. Along with being able to plan for the more practical aspects of going to college, deciding to apply Early Decision allowed me to get excited about being part of a new community, and start connecting with that community, much sooner than the rest of my peers. Once I was an accepted member of the Gettysburg College community, I could begin reaching out to clubs and organizations on campus that I was interested in getting involved with, to see what types of events and programming they helped organize each year. I remember being able to connect with both the Eisenhower Institute and the choirs in the Conservatory well before I moved onto campus, even having the opportunity to set up a visit to the Eisenhower Institute’s D.C. Office, while on a trip with my family.
#3: ED afforded me peace of mind
Not only was it a relief to have found a school that I knew I would love (and four years later still do), but committing to a school so early also gave me a real sense of security. This allowed me to relax and enjoy the holiday season (which was in full swing) with my family, and the remainder of my senior year with my friends. Since I realized early on in my senior year that I was ready to move on to the next chapter in my life, applying Early Decision to Gettysburg, and being accepted, gave me that last boost I needed to finish out my senior year strong and begin looking forward to the next four-year journey ahead.
For all these reasons, applying Early Decision was the right decision for me. And now, four years later, I am so glad I did. I knew that attending Gettysburg, as a school of the liberal arts and sciences, would provide me a well-rounded and interdisciplinary education. But I never could have guessed that Gettysburg College would have given me the chance to explore so many of my academic interests and find meaningful connections among seemingly divergent academic fields.
A piece of advice I would offer to students applying to Gettysburg College: consider applying Early Decision! If you have finished conducting your college search process and found Gettysburg to be the top choice for you, applying Early Decision is a great option that offers many benefits for future Gettysburgians!
Learn how you can apply Early Decision to Gettysburg College.
By Logan Grubb ’21
Photos by Miranda Harple and Shawna Sherrell