Blogside Manner: Dawn of the Early Decision – Halloweek Edition


Hey there! I’m Catherine, a member of the Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) class of 2019/2023. I’ll be posting updates about the Program, the grueling application process, and my life as a Brown student in PLME. Hopefully, I can give some insight into the Brown experience, and see some prospective students on campus in the coming years!

This week at universities all across America, students are finishing up midterms and preparing for Halloweekend. High school seniors have Halloween too of course, but for some of those seniors this week is all about Early Decision (ED) applications. November 1st, the dreaded and lauded day is very, very near.

If applying Early Decision to PLME, the process can be a bit confusing. I have actually meet a couple of Brown students who missed the opportunity to apply to PLME because they were unsure of the Early Decision rules and Program requirements. Hopefully, none of you will have that problem (Please email me if you are unsure!).

On the Brown Common App after selecting to apply to PLME, ED applicants have two options. She, he, or phe can chooses to apply to PLME and Brown under the binding option or just the PLME under the non binding option. Should be simple, right? But no, that would be too easy.

Under the non binding policy, if you are admitted to Brown but rejected from the PLME, you will be automatically deferred into the Regular Decision pool. In this case, you will not be bound to Brown, the College, and will be able to freely apply to other universities if you are not accepted into the PLME.

On the one hand, applying to both Brown and PLME under the binding policy means that you could still be admitted to Brown ED but rejected from the PLME. However you would be legally required to come to Brown since you essentially applied to Brown ED. So, make sure Brown is your first choice!

I cannot say if there is an advantage or disadvantage to applying binding or non binding. However, I know that the PLME admissions wants to see that you have a vested interest in Brown, not only the program. There are many ways to prove your interest besides choosing a certain policy. I applied non binding. While I knew that I liked Brown, I still wanted to be to apply to all the colleges on my list. On Halloween 2014 when I applied, I had known that PLME was my first choice program, but I did not know what college was my first choice college; so, I went with non binding.

Regardless of how you choose to apply, have applications ready for January. Don’t gamble on the one app, especially for top colleges. Hope for the best, but also be prepared for the Regular Decision cycle.

Enjoy your Halloweekend or not Halloweekend and check out some of my season themed findings here and here!

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Funny Gifs? Rugby Jokes? Cool New Music? Email me at or comment below! I’ll try to respond as soon as I can!


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