University Deadlines and What They Mean (Early Action vs Early Decision)
Applying to college can be a confusing and daunting process. From identifying universities that are a good fit, collecting the requirements, and writing the supplementary essays, students are overloaded with information to complete on a deadline. Beyond the applications themselves, applying to college comes with confusing deadline jargon that can impact your entire future; the early action and early decision. Although these admission strategies can benefit students, it’s important to understand the difference between them.
What is Early Action?
Early Action is an admission type where students apply to universities early and receive their admission decisions months ahead of their regular response date. The reason behind this admission type is that it allows students to show their top colleges how they are prioritized and in the same light have clarity on where they stand.
It is important to note that for most colleges if you apply with Early Action there is a non-binding policy. This means you are eligible to apply to as many schools with early action and are not required to attend them if you are accepted. On the other hand, there are some institutions like Harvard University that have a single-choice or restrictive Early Action policy which mandates that you can only apply to that one University.
Pro Tip: If you apply to a university with restrictive EA, you can still apply to as many universities of your choosing with regular admission.
Early Action or Early Decision?
Both early action and early decision are great admissions strategies for students who have a very specific target University in mind. From the university’s perspective, EA and ED help institutions ensure a percentage of their incoming class of students and give them visibility in the year to come. It is also widely known that both EA and ED (but more so ED) have much higher admission rates than regular decisions.
If you are applying to university in the US and have a target school in mind, you have the finances to pay the tuition in full, ED is a great way to better your chances of getting in. On the other hand, if you are still on the fence about one school, you can apply to many schools with EA (as long as they are non-restrictive) and have an early set of options.