The saying “when you know, you know” may seem romantic in reference to finding a university, but the reality is more along the lines of “when you know, it will be because you have done the research and weighed your options.”
In other words, decision-making that is based on a ‘gut feel’ is haphazard when it comes to choosing a college.
There is truth to a university needing to feel right, but the ‘feeling’ should be informed by financial aid options, academic requirements, location, and application timeframe.
Having an understanding of these things is especially important when deciding whether to apply for early decision (ED).
Depending on where students read about this process, early decision can seem like a controversial option.
Critics of ED have brought up concerns around limited financial aid options and students missing opportunities because they rush the application process.
The reality is that if a student does their research and stays organized, deciding to do early decision can be a rewarding path.
Schools like Northeastern make the early decision process more accessible than some universities.
They offer two early decision deadlines and have several programs that students can enter through that allows students to build their experience and academic record even before entering their first official semester.
In addition, the university tries to live up to its Northeastern Promise to provide students with financial aid packages that cover all expenses during a student’s undergraduate career.
Students will have access to internal scholarships and grants and can utilize tools like MyinTuition Quick College Cost Estimator and net cost calculators to get an idea of what their aid and expenses will look like.
As mentioned above, the research process isn’t something that a student should be doing with only a month away from the deadline. Ideally, whether a student is in high school or has been out of school for some time, they should start researching at least 6 months before the actual deadline.
An example of this process can be found through the website College Board. Students should access their great calendar reference that shows how to plan out the early decision process if they are still in high school.
According to College Board’s timeline, students should start planning their application in their junior year.
The process of choosing a college is overwhelming, but deciding about early decision can be even more overwhelming without the proper time and research.
Thankfully, students can begin their research process by referencing the information below on Northeastern’s early decision process. To learn more, students should visit Northeastern’s admissions page.
Northeastern Early Decision Acceptance Rate
The difference in rates between the two deadlines supports the fact that early decision applicants can often have higher acceptance rates (depending on the university).
That said, higher doesn’t mean easier. Higher acceptance for early decision is more reflective of the likelihood that these applications are already highly competitive and because students are entering the application process with the mindset that they will be committing themselves to the university upon acceptance.
Committing to Northeastern through early decision comes with some attractive benefits.
Students who are accepted under early decision are eligible for the NU Accelerate Scholarship.
This scholarship grants early decision students the chance to earn college credit in the semesters leading up to their official entry date in Fall.
Northeastern Early Decision Deadline
The deadline for early decision I is November 1st.
Applying this early means it is vital to have a thought-out plan well in advance of the application deadline.
Students who are still attending high school will need to be especially vigilant when it comes to recording their grades for early decision.
The application is due before all grades are in so students will need to update the school with their first term grades as soon as they get them.
Another concern that comes up with early decision is financial aid. Students won’t always know what their award package is before acceptance, which can make the binding quality of early decision intimidating.
Students can take comfort in The Northeastern Promise that the university provides as many resources as it can to help students cover the cost of attendance.
In order for Northeastern to provide these resources, students need to make sure they have their FAFSA and CSS Profile completed by the priority deadline. For early decision I, the priority deadline is November 15th.
Northeastern ED Decision Date
For early decision I, students will be notified if they have been accepted by December 15th.
Students can track the status of their application by setting up an Application Status Account. The information to set up this account will be sent to a student once Northeastern has received all of the required application documents.
If students are worried that they won’t be able to produce a strong enough application by the November 1st deadline, they are in luck because the university has a second early decision option.
Does Northeastern Have Early Decision 2?
Northeastern offers an early decision II option. The deadline to apply for ED II is January 1st, with final decisions being released on February 15th.
The main difference between ED I and ED II is time.
Students who choose to do ED II may opt for it because they need more time to prepare, because they have been denied early decision at another university, or simply because they came to the process too late to do early decision I.
No matter the reason a student opts for early decision II, they need to demonstrate the same commitment to Northeastern as they would for early decision I because both are binding.
Northeastern ED Deferral Rate
Northeastern doesn’t provide information on the ED deferral rate, but one of the options for students who aren’t accepted for ED is deferral to the Regular Decision.
In addition to deferral, students can be admitted to a number of special programs. These include NU Bound and NU Immerse.
Deferral can also be a choice on the student’s part if they are granted acceptance.
In most cases, accepted students can defer their acceptance up to one year if they aren’t able to attend due to circumstances like medical, military, or family reasons.
The exception to this is students who are accepted to the NU Bound and NU Immerse programs.
Students who need to defer their acceptance will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Those who are granted the deferral will need to pay a fee to secure their spot for the following year.
How to Apply to Northeastern for Early Decision
The process for applying to Northeastern is the same as the other decision options, but it comes with a binding requirement. Binding means that a student agrees to withdraw from all other college applications and to attend Northeastern if they are accepted.
The application process begins with completing either the Common Application or the Coalition Application. The $75 application fee that is required can be paid or waived through either of these applications.
In addition to the completed application, students will need to send their transcripts, a letter of recommendation from a teacher, a letter of recommendation from a school counselor, and proof of English proficiency.
Like many universities during the pandemic, Northeastern has temporarily made SAT/ACT test scores optional. Students who plan to attend after the 2022-2023 Academic Year should check with the admissions office to see how the policy moves forward.
Students may have to submit additional materials related to degree path and high school experience. If a student is looking to pursue the College of Arts, Media and Design they will need to submit a portfolio through Slide Room.
Students who have been homeschooled will need to complete the Homeschool Application Form, submit an academic portfolio, and include a grading rubric along with their transcript.
Students who fall under this category should visit the homeschooling information page to learn more.
The financial aid requirements for Northeastern are another part of the application that students need to be aware of, especially because the university requires a CSS Profile and the FAFSA.
The CSS profile is used to determine a student’s need and eligibility for internal university aid.
To complete the CSS profile, students should create an account through CollegeBoard and fill in the same information about income that they have to input into the FAFSA application. For more information, students can reference the CollegeBoard CSS checklist.
Hearing back from Northeastern can look very different for each student. The process can result in students being offered acceptance, waitlisted, deferred, or granted entrance through one of the university’s unique programs.
Students should take the time to learn more about these special entry programs Northeastern offers to see if they would be a good fit. These programs include study abroad, an accelerated degree path, and a first-year immersive experience.