Why apply early?

Rec center in fall

Already hard at work on college applications? You’re not alone. More and more students are opting to apply early. At CSU, we call this “early action.” All first-year students who submit a complete application by December 1 are considered early-action applicants.

Early action is non-binding, which means you’re not committing yourself to CSU by applying early. And it offers big benefits. Follow along as we share some of the best reasons to apply early.

#1. Get an admission decision sooner.

Applying as a freshman/first-year student to start classes in the fall? If you apply by December 1, you are guaranteed to receive an admission decision by the end of December. We’ll also let you know if you qualify for an automatic merit scholarship.

If you are applying as a transfer student for a fall start, submit your application and all support documents by February 1 to receive early admission consideration and full scholarship consideration, including access to the CSUSA.

Sometimes students hold off on applying in order to improve their GPA for admission or scholarship consideration. If you’re within our typical admission range, don’t wait to apply. You can submit an updated transcript by February 1 (for freshman/first-year applicants) or June 1 (for transfer applicants) to improve scholarship eligibility.

If your GPA is below 3.0, talk to your counselor to see if early action is right for you.

#2. Move onto important next steps.

By taking early action, you can turn your attention to next steps sooner, like:

Financial aid

You can spend more time completing the FAFSA and searching for scholarships. This will help you understand the amount of financial aid you can expect and decide if CSU fits you financially.

On-campus housing

Have your sights set on a particular residence hall? Interested in a residential learning community? The sooner you complete your housing application, the better chance you’ll have of getting your top choices.

Additional event options

Early action will give you access to event options for admitted students only. You’ll have more time to take a deep dive into all aspects of CSU and can schedule meetings with faculty or researchers from your chosen major.

#3. Focus on academic opportunities

Early action allows you to turn your focus to leadership and academic options sooner. Some of our most-popular programs include:

University Honors

Our Honors Program is a competitive, academically focused community. Honors students receive a scholarship, work with faculty members closely, take seminar-style courses, and have the option to live with other honors students on campus. Honors requires an application and is competitive in acceptance, so the earlier you apply the better.

Presidential Leadership Program

If you’re looking for leadership experience, look no further than CSU’s Presidential Leadership Program. This three-year, 14-credit program allows you to build your resume from the moment you step foot onto campus. You’ll receive leadership training and experience alongside equally driven classmates. This program requires an application and is competitive in acceptance, so applying early is a smart strategy.

Key Communities

Come together with students who identify with you in many ways by joining one of our Key Communities. You’ll get leadership and academic experience, staff support, and can live on campus with your classmates. Key Communities requires you to submit an interest form, and the earlier you submit it, the more likely space will be available in the community.

Still not sure if applying early is the right move for you?

Your counselor is here to help.