Difference between Early Action and Early Decision?

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There are several types of processes to apply to a university: early action or regular decision , single option early action or single choice early action and early decision or early decision . The differences between these are their admission deadlines, whether or not they are binding (we will explain this in detail later) and their admission notification date. In this blog, we will discuss each admission process in detail and answer if there are any advantages to applying early.

Admission deadlines

The regular decision, with its deadline of January 1 (this date may vary at some universities), is the way most students apply for admission. Early action, single choice early action, and early decision options have deadlines in November.

The main difference between early action and early decision is that early decision is binding while early action is not. Binding means that you agree to go to that college if you are accepted. As it is binding, you can only apply by early decision to a university. In the case of early action , you can apply to as many universities as you want without committing to any one university.

The single choice early action application is similar to early action in that it is non-binding , but it is also similar to early decision in that you can only apply to one university.

Early Action or Early Action

  • You must send your application before November

  • You will receive your admission response before December

  • not binding

  • You can apply to as many schools as you want

Single Choice Early Action or Single Choice Early Action

  • You must send your application before November

  • You will receive your admission response before December

  • not binding

  • You can only apply to one school

Early Decision or Early Decision

  • You must send your application before November

  • You will receive your admission answer in December

  • is binding

  • You can only apply to one school

Regular Decision or Regular Decision

  • You must send your application before December or January, depending on the university

  • You will receive your admission response in March or April

  • not binding

  • You can apply to as many schools as you want

Early admission processes typically notify applicants of their admission status in mid-December. The results of this notification may be deferral of application to the regular admissions pool, admission to the university, or denial of admission.

Also keep in mind that some schools, like USC, have a single application deadline if you want to be considered for a merit scholarship.

Advantages?

Most colleges claim that there is no real advantage to applying early. However, there may be a small advantage: you are competing with a smaller pool of applicants. Which means that your probability of being accepted to the university may increase slightly.

Tips

  • Regarding the option of applying through early decision , we recommend that you only apply in this way to the university of your dreams, a university that you would prefer to go to before any other, for example, Harvard. If you have a favorite university in mind, applying through early decision is advantageous, as it will show them that you are a committed student and interested in studying at that university.

  • If you don’t have a favorite college, but would like to have a slight edge, or perhaps have slightly lower grades than desired, then we recommend applying early action .

  • If there is a group of two or three universities that you prefer considerably more than the other universities on your list, we recommend that you apply to them through early action to show your interest to the schools and have a small advantage for the smaller group of applicants, without having to to commit to some university.

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