Many seniors believe or are led to believe that getting their college application in first presents significant advantages, as this allows colleges to have more time to review their application.
In reality, most colleges do not review any applications in the order in which they were received. In fact, most wait until after the deadlines are passed!
Between college fairs, high school visits and campus tours, Fall is a busy season for college admissions officers. They themselves are busy in recruiting best talent for their campuses.
Colleges want to see the entire pool of applicants first before deciding. They want to know what kind of students are applying--their academic profile, majors, interests, geographical locations, etc. This is also why a deferred decision from ED or EA is not as dire as it may feel. All the deferred applicants then get reviewed along with the regular application pool.
If anything, colleges really do try to ensure fair and equal evaluation process for all applicants, thereby ensuring that no student, no matter how early they applied, gets an additional advantage.
Rather than hastily completing applications, students should take time completing their college essays and ensure that the application(s) are complete with all the information that a college may want to have.
It is the strong application that offers the greatest chance of acceptance and not how early you got it in!