What’s The Difference Between Early Decision & Early Action?
If your child finds a college that seems a perfect fit, applying early may be a good idea. Early decision and early action plans allow your child to apply early (usually in November) and get an admission decision from the college well before the usual spring notification date. You know by December or January whether your child has been accepted at the first-choice college.
Sometimes, students who apply under these plans have a better chance of acceptance than they would through the regular admission process. These plans are also good for colleges because they get students who really want to go to the college to commit early in the process.
Early Decision vs. Early Action
Your child should understand the differences between early decision and early action before sending in applications. Keep in mind, also, that the rules may vary somewhat by college. Your child can check with the school counselor to get an understanding of the early applicant’s rights and obligations. Below are some important facts about the three types of early-application plan.
Early decision plans are binding. Your child agrees to attend the college if accepted and if the college offers an adequate financial aid package. Although your child can apply to only one college for early decision, applying to other colleges through the regular admission process is allowed. If your child is accepted by the first-choice college early, all other applications must be withdrawn.
Early action plans are similar to early decision plans, but are not binding. If accepted, your child can choose to commit to the college immediately, or wait until the spring. Under these plans, your child may also apply early action to other colleges. Usually, candidates have until the late spring to let the college know their decision.