Early Action or Early Decision?

ForumCategory: ApplicationsEarly Action or Early Decision?
Rose asked 4 years ago
Should I apply ED or EA?

1 Answers
Susanna de Chenonceau answered 4 years ago
Hi Rose! Applying ED and/or EA can really increase your chances for admission. First make a list of what each of your schools offer. Then figure out if you want to commit to going to an ED school.
An Early Decision (ED) application can only be done to one college and it is a binding contract wherein you agree to go there if they accept you and they will let you know this in December.  If you are accepted, you then pull your applications from every other school and you are done. You are going to that ED college. It is official. SO, this means that you cannot do ED if you are going to want to consider your financial aid offers. So if you are a very low income kiddo, the college may meet all of your financial need. if you are a full pay kiddo, then you don’t even need to worry about this part (which is why ED favors the lucky kids). And if you are anybody in the middle then it means you will likely WANT to see what financial aid offers you receive in order to weigh your options and costs (a classic Cost Benefit Analysis!). So if you do fall into the majority middle group, ED is usually not a viable option. Early Decision can sometimes double your chances of admissions.
Early Action, on the other hand, you can do to many places (unless a college says you can’t, like if they are Single Choice Early Action of Restrictive Early Action–read the fine print).  EA is not binding. It just means that you turned your app in early and you look organized and on the ball. EA increases your chances for admissions IF you are a strong applicant in that pool. If you are not a strong applicant, then go into the Regular pool. 
I recommend that all kids apply to at least 2 EA schools so that if you get a weird result early, you will know if something is wrong with your app in December, while you can still fix it because all schools and colleges are open. Yay, college! Susanna