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Apply Early, Know Early

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Tower Climb Class of 2022

Students from the Class of 2022 meet President Anderson at the top of Murchison Tower for the New Student Orientation Tower Climb.

Early application options give future Tigers a head start

by Jeanna Goodrich Balreira '08

If the early bird gets the worm, the early Tiger applicant gets the acceptance.

Trinity’s Class of 2022 is proof: Future Tigers who apply early will know early if they’ve gotten in, and they’ll have a significant “tail up” against the competition.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report named Trinity one of the top 10 colleges in the nation where early applicants have an edge. According to the ranking, “Early applicants have a significant admissions advantage at some schools” including Trinity. “The conventional wisdom that early applicants are more likely to get acceptance letters than their peers who file applications later is supported by U.S. News data.”

"We find that high school students who begin to thoughtfully craft their college list during their junior year put themselves in a more competitive position for admission as a senior," says Justin Doty, Dean of Admissions. "Early applicants often remark that being notified of admission and merit scholarship before winter break allow them more time to make campus visits and strategically weigh important factors before the looming national candidates reply date of May 1."

Trinity University has two early application options each with two deadlines: Early Decision (ED), which is a binding decision, and Early Action (EA). ED I and EA I applications are due November 1, and ED II and EA II applications are due January 1.

For the first time, 15 percent of the 2018 first-year class applied through ED compared to only five percent of the entering class in 2012. Of the 690 students currently enrolled in the Class of 2022, 628 students—yes, that’s more than 90 percent of the class—were early decision or early action applicants.

"It is truly remarkable to witness this unprecedented surge in early interest among applicants.  We are experiencing the national trends moving in this direction and making adjustments as we engage with prospective students much earlier in the process," Doty said. “Trinity acceptance rates for Early Decision and Early Action plans are often significantly higher than those being considered in the Regular Decision pool."

Across the board, Trinity boasted a landmark year for applications. The University received a record-breaking 8,654 applications and dropped the admit rate to 34 percent. Not sacrificing quality for quantity, the average high school GPAs, SAT, and ACT scores are also on the rise.

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Jeanna Goodrich Balreira '08 is the creative director for Strategic Communications and Marketing and the editor of Trinity magazine. Reach her at jgoodri1 [at] or on Twitter at @jeannabalreira.