Hey everyone! When applying to colleges, you have three main choices for your application: early decision, early action, or regular decision. Regular decision is pretty self explanatory. I am applying to practically all my schools regular decision, which means that I fill out and summit all my applications by the first week of January. However, early decision and early action are a bit more complicated. Below, I will tell you all about early decision and early action: the pros, the cons, and what I recommend.
When you apply for a school early decision, that means you summit your application for the one school you want to apply early around November. Early decision plans are binding. That means if you apply to a school and are accepted you must attend. As an early decision applicant, you apply early to your favorite school and receive a decision early, normally by December. You must attend that school unless you have a financial restraint. You can only apply to one college early decision, but as many colleges regular decision as you want. However if you are accepted to your early decision school, you must withdraw all other applications.
While you still apply to one specific school in Novemember for early action, the plan is nonbinding, which means students recieve an early response to their application but do not have to commit to the college until the normal reply date of May 1st. When applying early, you receive your admission decision early like January or February and are allowed to apply to other colleges during the regular decision application process. Most schools have restrictive early action, so you can only apply to one. If you are accepted, you have until may first to give your decision.
Applying early is not for everyone. Only apply to a school early if you have researched the college, are sure it is your number one, have found a strong match academically, socially, and geographically, meet the SAT and GPA averages, and have a solid academic record. Personally, I am not ready to commit to a school yet, so I am applying early action to one school, and regular decision to the rest. But ultimately the choice is up to you. Start thinking about schools and preparing early so if you want to apply early, you are ready!
Find out more about Early Decision vs. Early Action by clicking here.
Would you apply early to your first choice college? Let me know in the comments!