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Am I a good candidate for Early Action or Early Decision?

What is Early Action?

Early action allows you to apply to a university early (around November 1) and receive a decision early (around mid-December). Early Action is non-binding, so you do not have an obligation to attend that university if accepted. You can apply to as many universities as you wish through Early Action and Regular Decision. You can shop around and see what university will provide you with the best financial aid package (financial aid, grants and scholarships) and make your final decision by

May 1.

What is Restrictive Early Action/Single-Choice Early Action?

This is another non-binding program whereby you apply early and receive your decision early. However, with these types of early action you may not be able to apply to other private universities through early action. We can help you better understand this. You may, however, apply regular decision to any public or private university. Again, applying this way allows you to compare financial offers and have until May 1st to confirm your university choice.

Know that many universities defer large numbers of students who apply Early Action. This year, for those applying to the class of 2022, Harvard deferred 74% of early action applicants; Yale deferred 53% of early action applicants; 66% were deferred from Brown.

What is Early Decision?

Early Decision is the same concept as EA - apply early and receive your decision early - but it is binding. Binding means that you agree to attend that university if accepted. The only way you can rescind acceptance in this binding Early Decision agreement is if you do not receive a financial package that is adequate.

Advantages of ED: The acceptance rates at many universities are significantly higher when you apply ED (see chart above for statistics), so if you dream of one specific university, this might help you gain admission. You will also have completed your college application process by mid-December.

Disadvantages of ED: You cannot shop universities for the best financial aid package and scholarships.

Who should apply ED?:

  • Informed students who have researched university choice and are 100% sure of their first choice university.

  • Students who have verified their potential aid package on the university's Net Price Calculator, and are confident that it would be financially feasible for them to attend that university.

  • Those students who meet or exceed 50 percentile testing and GPA requirements of that university.

Those who need to tweak their scores on the December test or require more time to boost their GPA are not good candidates for ED.

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