Early Action vs. Early Decision–what’s the difference?

By August 28, 2019 September 26th, 2019 Blog

If you’re the parent of a high school senior, you (and your student) might be beginning to feel overwhelmed by all the college terminology and deadlines floating around.

College Essay Writing

Should you apply early action or early decision? Or neither?

Peers are filling out their Common Apps. You might be wondering, “Are kids really applying this early? Should my kid know what schools to apply to? What about Early Action and Early Decision?”

Yes, kids are applying this early. Early is really the name of the game when it comes to college.

But Early Action vs. Early Decision… what’s the difference?

Early Action is an admissions process in which seniors submit their college applications by November 1st. It is non-binding; an applicant is simply applying early.

Early Decision is a binding commitment to that school or university. If an applicant gets in, he or she must withdraw applications to other schools.

So should your teen apply Early Decision or Early Action? Here’s our advice…

1.) There are may benefits to applying early. Those include being in a smaller pool of applicants. When you’re a big fish in a small pond, you tend to look more attractive to the admissions department. You’ve got less competition at the time…so if the school likes you, they’re more likely to give you a better deal.

2.) When you apply Early Decision, you eliminate those benefits. The school knows you’re committed to them no matter what, as long as they accept you. Why would they throw money at you to get you to go?

As college planning consultants, we have strong opinions on how our students should apply. And each case is different–so there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to this decision.

It helps to seek the advice of a professional who knows the ins and outs of college admissions, as well as knows the student’s particular case.

If you need some advice on this subject or have other college planning questions, send us a note or give us a call at 614-329-6633.

And just so you know–we are still taking in seniors who are starting the entire process right now. It’s not too late! Let us know if we can help get your child started down the best path to their brightest future.