How to Decide Between Applying Early Action or Early Decision

Ambitious students might want to submit their college applications early, before the regular application deadlines. Applying sooner rather than later can come with a few great benefits. That includes higher acceptance odds, earlier acceptance notifications, more time to plan your finances, etc.

There are two types of early applications to look into: Early Action (EA) and Early Decision (ED). There are definitely pros and cons to each. So how do you decide whether early action or early decision is best for you?

Early Decision

Perhaps the most notable thing about applying ED is the fact that it is a binding application. A student can apply to only ONE school via early decision, and if they are accepted into that school, they are obligated to attend. There are hefty fees and consequences to backing out of an ED acceptance, so it’s incredibly important that a student is 100% dead-set on attending that particular school.

That being said, applying ED can boost your acceptance odds. ED is a great way to demonstrate your interest in attending their school, and that you’re willing to go above and beyond to do so. Is it your dream school? ED might be right for you.

Early Action

Unlike ED, early action is not binding. Students can apply EA to as many colleges as they desire, without being locked into any of them. EA applicants enjoy the perks of applying early without tying themselves to one college like ED students.

For students who have their eye set on a number of different schools, or who want to compare financial aid packages before making a final selection, EA might be a better choice.

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