Early Application vs. Early Decision

Decide now whether you want to apply to any schools under their Early Action or Early Decision (EA/ED) programs.  The advantage of applying early can vary from school to school, year to year, and may depend upon the applicant pool at the school where you are applying.  Do your homework first and check to see what percentage of the students in the previous graduating classes at your high school were admitted Early Decision to a specific college or university, and what their ranking was as well. 

Make sure you understand the conditions and deadlines that each school sets regarding EA/ED.  Keep in mind a few disadvantages of applying early decision:

  • If you are accepted under an Early Action plan, and have received the financial aid information, you must promptly withdraw the applications submitted to other colleges and universities and make no additional applications. If you are applying for early decision, be sure to request early financial aid information if needed.
  • The ramifications of breaking the attending commitment.
  • You may discover a more suitable college later.
  • The earlier deadline may force you to submit a less polished application, unless you begin your application well ahead of time.
  • It is not recommended to apply EA/ED if you need financial assistance in attending the school.

Don’t forget November 1 is the EA/ED deadline at many colleges and universities!

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