What is Early Decision?
Early decision is an application option that allows students to apply early and receive an admissions decision early, usually by December.
Students are only allowed to apply Early Decision to ONE school and upon acceptance to your Early Decision school, you agree to withdraw your applications to other schools.
If you need financial aid, Early Decision might not be a good choice because it does not provide an opportunity to compare aid packages.
Early Decision is a binding application process.
What does binding mean? It means that if you are accepted to the school and are financially able to attend, you must attend. When you submit an Early Decision application, you, your parent(s), and your counselor all sign a document committing to the Early Decision agreement.
The only adequate reason for you to not fulfill your commitment and obligation is if the financial aid package you are offered is inadequate. If you believe this is the case, you must present evidence, the school will then investigate and determine if you are released from obligation.
What is Early Action? – Early Action allows students to apply by November 1 and and receive an admissions decision by early January. You may apply to multiple colleges EA, and the decision is not binding.
Single-Choice Early Action (also called Restrictive Early Action) – this option is offered by a select group of schools. Similar to Early Action, students may apply early but cannot apply to any other program EA or ED. However, with this option you are not bound to the admissions decision and are not required to give your final answer of acceptance until the regular decision deadline.
What are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Applying ED?
Ultimate display of demonstrated interest.Showcase that you have thoroughly explored your fit with the school.(Potentially) finish application process earlier and have more time to focus on planning your next steps.Less competitive admissions rates and a higher likelihood of acceptance. Early admit rates, on average, tend to be higher when compared to the regular decision admission rates.
Less flexibility in time frame to decide which college to attend (must decide by fall). No time to visit additional schools.If you are deferred or rejected, you may need to scramble to apply to additional schools.School is making a decision based on your junior year grades and prior. If you hit a bump during junior year, ED may not be the best decision for you. The same applies to your standardized test scores.
Is Early Decision right for Me?
If the following apply to you, ED may be right for you:
You have researched colleges extensively, explored your fit and match with your ED school, and are absolutely certain that that particular college is your unequivocal number one choice.You meet or exceed the average admissions class profile.You have a consistent academic record.