Early Action Vs. Early Decision

early action allows students to apply to their choice schools earlier in their senior year without having to make a concrete decision about attending that college as a

Updated June 14, 2023 · 2 Min Read

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3 Reasons Why You Need to Apply Early

A student’s senior year in high school is stressful. From trying to finish a high school degree to thinking about what college to apply to, along with the social and personal obligations one has to meet, it can be a pretty chaotic time. But did you know that applying early action can be a great way to take away some of that stress? Many colleges have started rolling out the program, which allows students to apply to their choice schools earlier in their senior year without having to make a concrete decision about attending that college as a freshman. Early action at some schools do come with terms and conditions, such as not applying to other schools while an application is being reviewed; however, this is becoming less and less of an issue. Colleges and universities are becoming more aware that students need options, and therefore most schools that offer early action don’t require any special terms from applicants. You might be asking yourself, is applying early to my advantage? The answer is a simple, resounding yes. There are a million reasons why but look below to see the three most important reasons why you will benefit from applying to your choice colleges early.

1. Early Action Bumps Acceptance Ratings Without Contracts

You’ve probably heard of early decision. It’s a program that’s very similar to early action, with one big difference: when a student applies to a school with early decision and gets accepted, they must attend that school. That means that you don’t get to compare other schools you’ve gotten accepted to and all that they may offer. Early action, on the other hand, as previously described, allows you to make the decision for yourself. You can apply to a bunch of schools and then compare the schools you were accepted to before making your decision. And since financial aid is a large part of which school a student decides to attend, the ability to make a choice without a binding agreement is integral for most applicants. Because early action and early decision are different, we recommend that you do your research on the types of programs your favorite colleges offer. Some will offer both programs and others will provide one or the other; it’s important that you know the difference and what it will mean for you if you apply early action or early decision. Also, make sure you read the terms of the early action programs; some schools may rescind your acceptance if you violate the rules.

2. Get It Done and Move On

Senior year is stressful enough, right? You’re trying to graduate with a high school diploma, all while keeping your personal life together. So what does college do? It makes it harder by having your senior year be the time you apply for college as well as get your acceptance or rejection letters back. The best thing you can do if you’re stressing out about the process is to apply as early as possible. Pick a short list of schools that offer early action and then send in your applications. Even if your top choices aren’t on that list, you will have a backup college if your first choice falls through, and that’s always a good thing. Your peace of mind is worth applying to some colleges early. Early action guarantees you placement at a school before you graduate as well as allowing you to enjoy the rest of high school without dreading the moment you go out to your mailbox to see all the college responses. Applying early is a small price to pay for getting to relax during your senior year.

3. Gets Your Name and Top-Notch Application Reviewed Sooner

Most students like you have high ambitions for college. This means that you probably have a great application profile, including a good GPA, lots of extracurricular activities, high SAT and ACT scores, and a stand-out personal essay. It also means you’ve researched and reviewed the colleges you think can help you attain your goals. You know what programs you want to apply for and probably even have your financial aid worked out. So what are you waiting for? By applying early, you’re diving into the college admissions process before your classmates, which means you have a better chance of getting accepted into the college of your choice. Once you’ve already been accepted, then you can kick back and relax, knowing that college is most definitely in your future.

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