Early Decision: What is it and is it Right for Me?

college admissionsThis blog post was written by A-List College Advisor, Callan Suozzi-Rearic.

Fall is here and college admissions season is in full swing! This means only one thing in October: everyone is talking about early decision, or “ED”. But the big question is: what is early decision, and why should you consider it?

So, first thing’s first – what is early decision? Early decision, generally speaking, is when you apply to a specific college before the regular decision deadline. When you apply ED, you sign a contract saying you will attend that school if accepted.

So, if it’s a binding agreement, why would you ever decided to apply early decision? Well, there are a lot of reasons to apply ED.  The biggest, and frankly most important reason, is if you found your dream school and have decided it’s the only place you want to go. Why not apply early and know where you’re headed to college by December if you get in?

Another great reason to apply early is that the applicant pool is smaller, so your chance for your dream school is statistically higher. That being said, though a higher acceptance rate is tempting, always remember it’s not worth applying to a school ED that you don’t love because if you get in, you have promised to attend!

However, here is something to note for all those folks out there that might be a little indecisive, but still want the benefits of knowing if they got into a school early: early action (EA). EA has all the same benefits of ED – applying before the regular decision deadline, usually with a smaller pool of applicants – but it doesn’t have the contractual obligations of attending the school if you are accepted. It’s like ED, without all the strings attached!

Now you know what early decision and early action are and why (or why not) you should apply ED or EA. So go out and rock October by getting all your application materials ready for those ED and EA deadlines!


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