Why apply early?

Blog Header: Why Apply Early?

Already hard at work on college applications? You’re not alone. More and more students are opting to apply early.

At CSU, we call this early action. All freshmen who submit a complete application by December 1 are considered early action applicants.

Early action offers big benefits. Follow along as we share some of the best reasons to apply early.

#1: Get an admission decision sooner.

If you apply by December 1, you are guaranteed to receive an admission decision by the end of December. We’ll also let you know if you qualify for an automatic merit scholarship.

Sometimes students hold off on applying until after the fall semester in order to improve their test scores or GPA for admission or scholarship consideration. If you’re within our typical admission range, don’t wait to apply. You can submit new test scores and an updated transcript by February 1 to improve scholarship eligibility.

If your GPA is below 3.0 and your SAT is below 1100 or ACT is below 22, talk to your counselor to see if early action is right for you. (We will not require test scores for students graduating high school in 2021 and intending to attend CSU starting in Fall 2021.)

#2: Grab your spot in competitive majors.

Two of our competitive majors, biomedical sciences and mechanical engineering, have limits on how many new students they can accept each year. These majors may reach their limits before February 1.

If you’re considering either one of these programs, apply early. It will give you a stronger chance of being placed into the major before it reaches its limit.

#3: Move onto important next steps.

By taking early action, you can turn your attention to next steps sooner, like:

Financial aid

You can spend more time completing the FAFSA and searching for scholarships. This will help you understand the amount of financial aid you can expect and decide if CSU fits you financially.

On-campus housing

Have your sights set on a particular residence hall? Interested in a residential learning community? The sooner you complete your housing application, the better chance you’ll have of getting your top choices.

Additional visit options

Early action will give you access to visit options for admitted students only. You’ll have more time to take a deep dive into all aspects of CSU and can schedule meetings with faculty or researchers from your chosen major.

#4: Focus in on academic opportunities.

Early action allows you to turn your focus to leadership and academic options sooner. Some of our most popular programs include:

University Honors

Our Honors Program is a competitive, academically focused community. Honors students receive a scholarship, work with faculty members closely, take seminar-style Honors courses, and have the option to live with other Honors students on-campus.

Honors requires an application and is competitive in acceptance, so the earlier you apply the better.

Presidential Leadership Program (PLP)

If you’re looking for leadership experience, look no further than PLP. This three-year, 14-credit program allows you to build your resume from the moment you step foot onto campus. You’ll receive leadership training and experience alongside equally driven classmates.

PLP requires an application and is competitive in acceptance, so applying early is a smart strategy.

Key Communities

Come together with students who identify with you in many ways by joining one of our six Key Communities. You’ll get leadership and academic experience, staff support, and can live on-campus with your Key classmates.

As with Honors and PLP, Key Communities requires an application. And the earlier you apply, the better.

Is it right for you?

There’s no doubt that early action can help to set you up for success at CSU. And although it’s a great option for many, it might not fit your needs — and that’s ok.

If you’re still not sure if applying early is the right move for you, our counselors are here to help. Contact your counselor and get their advice.

Jill Baylis

Jill was a staff member in the Office of Admissions until 2019 when she moved to Denver. As a first-generation college student, she focused on simplifying the college admissions process and helping future Rams find community on campus.