For those students applying to schools in the USA, there are some application policies that you need to be aware of: Early Action (EA) and Early Decision (ED).
Note however that there are a few policies like Single Choice Early Action (SCEA) and Restrictive Early Action (REA) that we won't provide details on in this post, since they're not as ubiquitous as EA & ED.
Let's dive in!
1) EARLY ACTION VS. EARLY DECISION- WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
Both early decision and early action require that students apply by early or mid November. This is one of the many reasons why we stress the importance of doing the SATs early. While both plans will allow students to receive an acceptance/waitlist/rejection letter from their school earlier on (they will hear in
December, rather than waiting until March), there are some key differences that we must note:
2) PROS AND CONS OF EARLY ACTION AND EARLY DECISION
RECOMMENDED FOR STUDENTS WHO
1) Have a clear #1 choice school (this criteria must be met).
2) Are a US citizen whose family can afford USD $20,000 per year or more (either #2 or#3 must be met)
3) Are an international student whose family can afford USD$45,000 per year or more.
The answer is simple- EVERYONE!
Both citizens and non-citizens are advised to apply early action. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain! If you are satisfied with your early action offer, you won't need to apply to other schools and international students especially can start prepping for college overseas and organizing visa requirements.
4) WHO SHOULD APPLY EARLY DECISION?
Although early decision increases your chances of admission, we typically recommend this plan for US citizens or international students who will not need SIGNIFICANT financial aid offers to attend university. Why?
5) THE PROBLEM OF EA/ED
According to a study by the Cooke Foundation, only 16 percent of high achieving students from families with an income of less than $50,000 applied for early admissions for the 2013-2014 academic year. Conversely, 29 per cent of high-achieving students from families with an income of over $50,000 applied on an early decision basis. This gap is not because wealthier students are smarter or more informed, but because they can afford to apply early decision and risk not being able to compare financial aid offers.
For this reason, schools like Harvard completely abandoned the early admissions process to level the playing field for all students.
NOTE: REMEMBER IF YOU WANT TO APPLY EARLY ACTION OR EARLY DECISION TO A COLLEGE THE DEADLINE IS MID-NOVEMBER! ENSURE THAT YOU GET ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS READY AND YOUR APPLICATION IS READY FOR SUBMISSION!
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**This post was put together by College Quo Intern - Renee Meeks**