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Early Decision - does it effect financial aid?


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Hello all! :) 

I am a bit early, but I am beginning to put together my list of schools to apply for in the fall for my Masters in Social Work! 

My top choice is USC.


I feel that since this is my top and favored choice, I should simply apply early decision, and find out if I got in before I waste more time and money applying to other schools that I might not favor as much. 


However, might this effect my financial aid package? 


Have any of you applied early decision? What was the outcome?


Thank you for your input. It's much appreciated! 


- Daniela 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I applied to USC's MSW program by the early decision deadline and did not get my acceptance until February. If you wait to hear back before applying to other schools, you should definitely at least get started on those applications before your decision comes in. Also, other schools might have rolling admission, so spots may be taken up at other schools as you wait to hear back from USC. This admission process is something you'd want to research of any other schools you're interested in to see if that's the case.


The only way in which your financial aid would be affected is if you didn't list any schools besides USC on your FAFSA, because then only they would get your information and be able to come up with a package for you. But, if you plan to list multiple schools, then your financial aid will not be affected because you applied to multiple schools.

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Applying early will you give the chances of receiving a good financial aid package. This is when programs have most of their discretionary funds still available. As the admissions cycle advances, most of that money will be awarded, leaving few dollars for those who apply later on in the process. -Admissions Advice Online

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