Coffee, Noodles, College?
What do coffee, noodles and college admissions all have in common? They can be ready in an instant! You’ve probably heard of Early Decision and Early Action, but Instant Decision (or ID) isn’t something every college or university offers. If they do, however, it can be a great opportunity to get all your college applications tasks done in one weekend. You can take a tour, meet a student, interview with an admissions officer, and sometimes even get a merit aid offer, all in one day.
For those who are living abroad right now, ID Days may not be the easiest way to apply, but schools like to time ID weekends around Thanksgiving and Winter Break, so you may already planning to visit the US.
What’s important to know about ID?
1. Generally, ID is Non-Binding. They’ll make you an offer of admission, and possibly of merit aid, but you’ll still have until the deposit deadline to decide what school you want. They’ll send your need-based aid seperately, after they review your FAFSA and other financial aid forms. You can also freely apply to other schools in the Regular or Early Decision/Action cycles. If you want, you can even go to other ID weekends and compare the offers.
2. ID shows you have significant interest in the school. There is a much higher rate of acceptance at ID events than in Regular Admission.
3. You can meet prospective friends and roommates at the ID Day events.
4. You’ll get a chance to taste the actual cafeteria food, and possibly stay in an actual dorm room, if the ID event includes an overnight.
5. You don’t have to “dress up.” The dress code for most ID is “student.” Dress comfortably, neither too sloppy nor too formally. Be natural. The school is looking to see if you’re a good fit, after all, so fit in with the other students.
6. ID is increasingly popular for transfer students. Both schools and transfers know what they want, and ID has been a great way for both to get that, without all the months of sending forms back and forth.
7. Bring Everything. Look at what the school requires before you go, and bring it with you. It’s much harder to scrape up a transcript when you’re on campus than when you were back at your high school college counselor’s office!
8. It’s FAST. It is literally in an instant. If you’re a fan of Live Tweeting, or throwing up hundreds of SnapChat pics, this is the admissions cycle for you. At your ID interview, you will know within 15 minutes whether the school is making you an offer. The rest of the time, you are there to see whether you want to accept it.
9. Some schools even offer ID at college fairs. If you’ve already toured the campus, you won’t even have to drive very far to get the admissions decision you want. .
10. Hundreds of colleges and universities are offering ID Days, including schools popular with expat families, like UVA and VA Tech. Search “Instant Decision” and the names of some of the schools you’re interested in to find out when these events are!
If you’re thinking ID might be the right path for you, check out