What are you committing to if you apply early to Bethlehem College & Seminary? The answer is: “nothing.” Our “Early Action Admissions” program is really just a gift to you.
AdmissionsConsultants claim that “it’s hard to think of any aspect of college admissions that is more confusing than that of early admissions policies.” What do you make of the multiple terms (“Early Decision, “Early Action,” “Single Choice Early Action”)? Additionally, each school defines the terms in their own way. If you apply early, have you signed your life away?
Further, College Board claims that “Early decision (ED) and early action (EA) plans can be beneficial to students — but only to those who have thought through their college options carefully and have a clear preference for one institution.” Is that really the case? Should a student only apply early to Bethlehem College & Seminary if they have “thought through their options carefully” and “have a clear preference for Bethlehem”?
The answer is “no.”
Early Decision programs commit a student in a legally binding fashion to the school they’ve applied to. Our program is Early Action, not Early Decision.
Single Choice Early Action is less restrictive, but limits a student from applying early anywhere else. That’s not what we’re offering either.
Bethlehem’s Early Action program is simple: you apply early, and in return we waive the $25 application fee, get you an early admissions decision from us, and we’ll even send you some free Bethlehem swag.
There is no binding commitment on you, and your deposit deadline is May 1, just like everyone else.
So what does Bethlehem get out of the deal?
One, we get an early sense of what next year’s cohort might look like. Every year, we admit a limited number of students into our freshman class. Students who apply early and also make their deposit early can guarantee their spot in the cohort before it fills up.
Two, it helps us distribute the admissions load. If everyone waited until the end of April to finish their application, it would create an impossible log-jam on our end. Early admissions helps us work steadily through the year, instead of all at once.
Finally, most students who apply early in the process end up deciding to come to Bethlehem. We’ve found that students who see for themselves the kind of education we’re offering here are drawn to us without the need for binding legal arrangements.
The deadline is December 1. There’s still time to apply early.