Admissions offices at many of the small, selective liberal arts colleges in the northeast are seeing more and more students make the decision to commit to their college by applying Early Decision (ED). Applying Early Decision is the strongest way for applicants to demonstrate their interest in Trinity, according to Director of Admissions Anthony Berry. “It is a really wonderful opportunity for students—who have done their research and feel confident that Trinity is the right fit for them—to express their desire to be part of our community,” Berry said. Submitting an Early Decision application “can also alleviate the stress of the college application process and help students focus more on academics during their senior year,” he said.
Another attractive aspect of applying ED is the opportunity to become part of the Trinity community right away. “Those who are admitted Early Decision have the advantage of building their campus network and forming relationships with faculty, staff, and students months in advance. Forming these early relationships eases students’ transition from high school to college life,” added Berry.
Last year, 42 percent of students in Trinity’s Class of 2025 applied Early Decision. This is a trend that can be seen at many NESCAC institutions, some of which may see as much as half of their first-year class enroll through an Early Decision application round.
At Trinity, applying Early Decision does not affect a student’s financial aid award or consideration for a merit based scholarship, Berry said. “Students who apply early are reviewed the same way as students who apply through regular decision,” he said. Trinity College is among a group of highly selective institutions that meet the full, demonstrated need for all admitted students. Fifty-three percent of the admitted ED students in the Class of 2025 received financial aid, and the Admissions Office named three ED students as Presidential Scholars, a merit-based scholarship that covers a student’s full tuition.
In an unprecedented year in which nearly all colleges and universities went test-optional in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 88 percent of the Class of 2025’s ED admits chose to not submit standardized test scores. Trinity has been a test-optional institution since 2015 and has seen an increase in the percentage of students who prefer not to submit standardized test scores every year.
Trinity has two rounds of Early Decision. Early Decision 1 applications are due November 15 and students are notified of their admissions decision in mid-December. Early Decision 2 applications are due January 14 and students are notified of their admissions decision in mid-February.
Below, hear from current Trinity students about why they applied Early Decision:
Abby Nick ’24
Hometown: Pepperell, Massachusetts
Majors: Human Rights; Political Science; minor in Community Action
“The first time I stepped foot on Trinity’s beautiful campus, I knew it was the right place for me. I decided to apply Early Decision because Trinity’s open liberal arts curriculum would allow me to build my own academic path. Trinity’s flexible major requirements allow students to explore various fields and classes outside their major. In addition, I decided to apply Early Decision because of the Trinity community as a whole. Due to the small size of the campus, the Trinity community is extremely interconnected and supportive. I knew the environment and discussion-based curriculum would foster close relationships with my professors and peers. In every friend group, you will find athletes and artists, STEM majors, and English majors, all of whom are encouraging each other to succeed in their endeavors.
“In my last year and a half at Trinity, I’ve never once regretted my decision. I have found lifelong friends and mentors who support and enable me to reach my goals. I have been provided with endless opportunities in amazing classes, on-campus jobs, and work with various community groups in the Hartford area. I am so happy that I found my place at Trinity. I cannot wait to see what the next few years hold for me. I encourage others to apply Early Decision and find their own place at Trinity.”
Jackson Weisman ’24
Hometown: Fairfield, Connecticut
“Initially, I didn’t want to go to school in Connecticut, but after touring Trinity and listening to the info session, I was pleasantly surprised. I decided to shadow a Trinity student and was able to attend two classes and eat lunch with current students. From shadowing, I realized the vibe and community feel was different from the other schools I visited. Even as a shadow student, I was still treated as a Trinity student and was encouraged and expected to participate in class. I decided to apply Early Decision 1, as Trinity was at the top of my list and I wanted the best chance to get in. I knew Early Decision would be a smaller pool of applicants, and I had no reason to wait. I wanted to get my college admissions process out of the way and have my future plans in place. I would encourage students to apply Early Decision because one of the benefits I found was that I was able to network early on. Aside from students, I was also able to connect with the director of the Music Department and alumni.”
Esme Ostrowitz-Levine ’23
Hometown: New York City
Majors: Public Policy and Law; Human Rights
“One of the reasons I applied Early Decision to Trinity is because I just had a feeling when I visited that it was the right place for me and it felt like the most appropriate thing for me to do at the time. An overall bonus to applying ED anywhere is you have the opportunity to find out where you’re going earlier on in the process. Not to say applicants should apply ED for just this reason, but over winter break my senior year I didn’t have to worry about college applications or stress about making decisions; my process was over in early December. Overall, I love Trinity and I’m happy I made the right choice.”