Admission decisions for Early Decision or Early Action applications typically have one of three outcomes: Admitted, Denied, Deferred. Early action plans are nonbinding—students get an early response to their application but don’t have to commit to the college until the standard reply date of May 1. Early Decision (ED) is a very appealing application option. Early decision plans are binding — a student who is accepted as an ED applicant must attend the college. What Is a Likely Letter in College Admissions? According to the NACAC website, early action is defined as a process whereby students "apply early and receive a decision well in advance of the institution's regular response date." ED plans have come under fire as unfair to students from families with low incomes, since they do not have the opportunity to compare financial aid offers. A student accepted early must often decide to attend before receiving a financial aid package. ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/what-is-early-decision-786929. If you have applied for one of these early options, here’s what you can expect. Many students believe applying early means competing with fewer applicants and increasing their chances for acceptance. Agree to attend the college if accepted and offered a financial aid package that is considered adequate by the family. There are several reasons why colleges like early decision: For a college, there are few if any negative consequences in having an early decision program. Are you wondering what the difference is and what exactly these terms mean? Early decision Early decision is binding. Early Decision Checklist. Give the college a decision no later than the May 1 national response date. It is not legally binding, but there is a commitment involved with penalties for withdrawing for spurious reasons. You may not apply to more than one college under early decision. If you are accepted Early Decision, you must withdraw any ap… (2020, August 26). So what’s the financial catch in early decision? For a range of reasons — from standardized test dates to busy fall schedules — some students simply can't get their applications complete by early November. Students who are accepted early are done stressing about getting into college months before most applicants. If you’re a sophomore or junior who is reading this post, we … When you apply to a school Early Decision or Early Decision II, it is an essentially binding agreeing that if you are accepted you will attend the school. Students who apply early decision know their admission decision before the New Year and, if accepted, they are set free from the grueling college application process. Well, if you applied as an Early Action or Early Decision applicant, your application has basically been converted to a regular application. Applicants who apply early decision have made a clear statement that the school is their number one choice. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-early-decision-786929. Early decision has a few obvious benefits: While it would be nice to think that colleges offer early decision options strictly for the benefit of applicants, colleges aren't that selfless. The money issue, in fact, is the main reason why a few schools like Harvard and University of Virginia dropped their early decision programs; they felt it gave wealthy students an unfair advantage. If admitted, a student must attend the school or else lose a sizable enrollment deposit. The Early Decision application deadline is typically in November, with students receiving a decision by mid-December.Some schools allow you to apply early to other programs, as long as they are not binding, while others ask that you submit only one early application. Not all institutions offer EA and ED, but it's easy to find out! The Meaning of Single-Choice Early Action and Restrictive Early Action, Morehouse College: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics, The 6 Most Common Blunders of College Applicants, Sample Responses to a College Deferral Letter. Get up-to-date information on all the changes for students and educators affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). v. Regents of the University of Michigan et al, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. Think about how great it would be to be able to enjoy most of senior year without the stress of college applications. A student may apply to only one college early (although additional applications for regular admissions are allowed). If accepted, the student is obligated to attend that college. Decision letters are issued by early December. On the other hand, early decision programs are binding, meaning your child will be obligated to attend the school they’re accepted to as long as the financial aid package is considered adequate by your family (more on this in the “Financial aid” section below). "What Is Early Decision?" As we mentioned above, early application programs come in two basic types: Early Decision (ED) and Early Action (EA). Is absolutely sure that the college is the first choice. ThoughtCo. For students who absolutely need financial aid, applying early may be a risky option. Senioritis: Applicants who learn early that they have been accepted into a college may feel that, their goal accomplished, they have no reason to work hard for the rest of the year. For many students, knowing their college plans as soon as possible is a huge relief. The table below shows a small sampling of early decision deadlines and response dates. Apply Early – medical school admissions are rolling, meaning students are accepted as they apply and not on a single date. You’re entering into an agreement with a school, the terms of which are non-negotiable if you’re accepted. Early Decision is quickly becoming a misnomer. Our admission standards for both early decision and regular decision are the same. Like the name implies, Early Action requires you to apply early to the college of your choice. Dr. Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college. Early Decision: Early Decision plans work very similarly to Early Action, in that students will submit their applications before the Regular Decision deadline and receive their admissions decisions soon after. Applying early decision is very tempting; however, students must be ED and EA applicants must take the October SAT or SAT Subject Tests™ in order for these scores to make it to the college in time. This contract will be part of your application and will require a signature from your parents and school counselor, as well as from you. Early Decision? Applying early decision can improve your chances of being admitted, but the restrictions of the program make it a bad choice for many applicants. Understanding Early Action and Early Decisions Applications Waiting is the most difficult part of the college/university admissions process. (Upon acceptance, a student must withdraw all other applications.) A student who gets accepted through early decision has no way to compare financial aid offers. Restricted Early Action? In most cases, students will then receive a decision from the college before the new year. Also, keep in mind that colleges do allow students to break the early decision contract if the school fails to come up with enough aid to meet a student's demonstrated need, but realize that the student's need is calculated by the school and the FAFSA, not by what students think they can afford. Send a nonrefundable deposit well in advance of May 1. Some colleges offer a nonbinding option called single-choice early action, under which applicants may not apply ED or EA to any other college. In fact, it’s possible to wait until May 1 to answer an Early Action offer. Consider acceptance offer; do not have to commit upon receipt. Typically, early decision deadlines match early action deadlines. Understanding Legacy Status for College Admissions, the acceptance rate is higher for early decision, steps you can take when deferred to improve your chances, Ph.D., English, University of Pennsylvania, M.A., English, University of Pennsylvania, B.S., Materials Science & Engineering and Literature, MIT, Related to the point above, applying early decision is an excellent way to, Students who aren't accepted early are often deferred and reconsidered with the regular applicant pool. In most cases, students will then receive a decision from the college before the new year. Under this program (also known as ED), students apply early (usually by November 1 or November 15, depending on the college), and will receive their admissions decisions early–usually by December 15. Receive an admission decision early in the admission cycle (usually in January or February). Both Early Decision I and Early Decision II options allow students who feel sure that Johns Hopkins is their first-choice college to apply before the Regular Decision deadline, and to receive their admission decision early. Is applying early only because friends are. Past Campaign: Realize Your College Potential, Future Admissions Tools and Models Initiative, Fisher I: Fisher v. University of Texas 2013, Fisher II: Fisher v. University of Texas 2016, Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger, Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action et al. Early Action? Is not fully committed to attending the college. The number of applicants and admit rates, however, may differ each year between our different rounds of admission. An increasing number of highly selective institutions have initiated a second round of binding admission programs Reduced financial aid opportunities: Students who apply under ED plans receive offers of admission and financial aid simultaneously and so will not be able to compare financial aid offers from other colleges. Early decision plans are binding—students accepted as early decision applicants must attend the college. Needs a strong senior fall semester to bring grades up. Here are some details about each option: Early decision plans: Students can apply to only one early decision When you apply Early Decision, you’re expressing your preference in a way that is powerful and important—and here at Muhlenberg we appreciate your commitment and enthusiasm. In most cases, students will then receive a decision from the college before the new year. The Benefits of Early Decision for the Student, The Benefits of Early Decision for the College or University, Deadlines and Decision Dates for Early Decision. How to Handle College Deferrals, Waitlists, and Rejections. Unfortunately, the Early Decision Program is antithetical to all these principles, and thus a very risky proposition. Early decision is binding promise. Students should ask the admission office whether their institution's admission standards differ between ED and regular applicants, and then assess whether applying early makes sense given their own profile. Apply to only one college early decision. When the college doesn't have to worry about. If you get accepted and don’t go… bad things can happen.Other schools will find out and they will not be especially eager to bring someone on … There's little data available to state if students who apply with the earlier deadline fare better than those who apply later, but both programs are binding and both have the same benefit of demonstrating the applicant's commitment to attending the school. With Early Decision II, an applicant can often submit the application in December or even early January and receive a decision in January or February. Those who apply early have a better chance of acceptance because they are competing for more spots. Updated May 01, 2020 Early action, like early decision, is an accelerated college application process in which students typically must complete their applications in November. Early decision plans are binding — a student who is accepted as an ED applicant must attend the college. Early action plans are nonbinding — students receive an early response to their application but do not have to commit to the college until the normal reply date of May 1. Because of the usual deadlines for applications, this means that if a student is rejected by the ED college, there are only two weeks left to send in other applications. Early decision applicants make a binding commitment to enroll at the College of Charleston in the following fall if admitted. There are a number of reasons to consider applying Early Action (EA) or Early Decision (ED), and the abridged waiting period is one them. What is a Safety School in College Admissions? Unlike EA and REA, Early Decision is a binding early round application. NACAC describes early decision as a process in which "students make a commitment to a first-choice institution where, if admitted they definitely will enroll and withdraw all other applications. Make it clear in your school handbook and at college planning events that your policy for early-decision applications is to send the student's final transcript to one college only: anything else is unethical. The Common Application and some colleges' application forms require the student applying under early decision, as well as the parent and counselor, to sign an ED agreement form spelling out the plan's conditions. If possible, however, applying Early Decision I is likely to be your best option. We’re so pleased that you’ve decided to apply Early Decision. Although there are. Applicants who apply early decision are almost certain to attend if admitted. Applying to an ED or EA plan is most appropriate for a student who: Applying to an ED or EA plan is not appropriate for a student who: Encourage students who want to apply early to fill out NACAC's Early Decision Self-Evaluation Questionnaire, in the Deciding About Early Decision and Early Action handout. You may want to share this with parents as well. What Is the CSS Profile for Financial Aid? You’ll be reviewed again during the normal admission season with all the other applicants. Early Decision is kind of the big gun in the college application world. Gain more time, once accepted, to look for housing and otherwise prepare for college. Early decision schools tend to have some of the more generous need-based financial aid around, but this is not always the case and families should make sure to use net price calculators before deciding on early decision vs. early action. Note that about half of these schools have Early Decision I and Early Decision II options. Early action plans are nonbinding — students receive an early response to their application but do not have to commit to the college until the normal reply date of May 1. At top schools that have early decision programs, the number of applicants admitted early has been growing steadily year after year. Applying Early Decision means that, if accepted, you are obligated to enroll at the school… as long as their financial aid package meets your family’s needs.. 1, Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, The Diversity Imperative: The Compelling Case, Access and Diversity: Related but Distinct Concepts, Key Terms and Concepts: Knowing the Basics, Mythbusters: Correcting Common Misunderstandings, Making Connections: A Holistic View of Key Strategies, Admission: Exploring Key Strategies for Achieving Success, Financial Aid and Scholarships: Exploring Key Strategies for Achieving Success, Getting from Here to There: Managing the Process of Policy Change, Beyond Federal Law: State Voter Initiatives and Their Consequences, Taking a Stand: Higher Education Leadership for the 21st Century, The Initiative on Transfer Policy and Practice, Community Colleges and Student Search Service, Professional Development for Higher Education, Michigan SAT Suite Implementation Workshops, Summer Institute on College Admission and School Relations, International Professional Development Events, Summer Institute for International Counselors at NYU, International Admissions Symposium and University Fair, College Board Electronic Discussion Groups, Early Decision Self-Evaluation Questionnaire, Pros and Cons of Applying to College Early. Also, be careful about the financial aid issue. This issue is better than it used to be because changes to the FAFSA in 2017 now make it possible for colleges to calculate financial aid packages for early applicants at the time of the admissions decision. Encourage those of your students who are applying early to prepare other applications as they wait to receive admission decisions from their first-choice college.Â. Receive an admission decision from the college well in advance of the usual notification date (usually by December). Apply early (usually in November) to first-choice college. ED II applications are due in early January and students are notified in February. Withdraw all other applications if accepted by ED. This means you apply early to a school and, if accepted, you must enroll. Has found a college that is a strong match academically, socially and geographically. Has an academic record that has been consistently solid over time. The major benefit of applying EA is that you get to hear back regarding your application much earlier than Regular Decision applicants, usually in December or January. For a student who has a definite first-choice college, applying early has many benefits besides possibly increasing the chance of getting in. Grove, Allen. Students and parents can use our Pros and Cons of Applying to College Early, in the Deciding About Early Decision and Early Action handout, to weigh their options. Some schools moved to a single-choice early action option that keeps the benefits of measuring a student's interest while doing away with the binding nature of early decision programs. ED programs are binding, meaning that in order to utilize them, you must sign an agreement stating that you will attend the college if you’re admitted. Early decision (ED) and early action (EA) plans can be beneficial to students — but only to those who have thought through their college options carefully and have a clear preference for one institution. If accepted, a student must withdraw all other college applications. Save the time and expense of submitting multiple applications. Most Early Decision and Early Action college application deadlines fall in October or on November 1. Counselors need to make sure that students understand this key distinction between the two plans. The Early Decision plan was an innovation in the early 1990s by the University of Pennsylvania which—like all other colleges—encountered a substantial drop in the number of applicants caused by a precipitous fall in birth rates eighteen years before. Applying early lets the student: Pressure to decide: Committing to one college puts pressure on students to make serious decisions before they've explored all their options. This may give an unfair advantage to applicants from families who have more financial resources. EARLY DECISION (ED) I AND II In this binding application program, a student applies on or before Nov. 1 (sometimes Nov. 15) and then receives his or her admission decision by the middle of December. Reduce stress by cutting the time spent waiting for a decision. This is not always true. Early decision, like early action, is an accelerated college application process in which students typically must complete their applications in November. While applying early decision typically doesn't hurt an applicant's financial aid package, it does make it more difficult for the applicant to negotiate the aid package. If you are admitted in Early Decision I or Early Decision II, it is a binding contract to attend Hopkins. Approximately 450 colleges have early decision or early action plans, and some have both. Discover grammar tips, writing help, and fun English language facts. Print out and share the Early Decision and Early Action Calendar with students and parents to be sure they are aware of all the required steps for applying early. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-early-decision-786929 (accessed February 23, 2021). ED applications are due in early November and most schools will notify of their decision in Mid-December. Grove, Allen. Colleges vary in the proportion of the class admitted early and in the percentage of early applicants they admit. Early Decision is, undoubtedly, a commitment. This type of institutional interest and loyalty is valuable for a college both in terms of higher retention rates and future alumni giving prospects. Higher admission rates for ED applicants may correlate to stronger profiles among candidates choosing ED. Early-applying students should know that colleges may rescind offers of admission should their senior-year grades drop. However, for applicants, early decision is not as attractive as early action for several reasons: Because of the restrictions placed on applicants applying through early decision, a student should not apply early unless he or she is 100% sure that the college is the best choice. Probably the most apparent problem of applying under the Early Decision (ED) option is that if you receive early acceptance, you will get one—and only one—financial aid offer. Application materials for early decision candidates must be submitted on or before October 15. What is the difference between early decision and early action? Early decision is a binding decision, meaning that students must withdraw applications to other schools if accepted. Time crunch for other applications: Most colleges do not notify ED and EA applicants of admission until December 15. ED and EA program specifics vary, so students should get information as soon as possible directly from the admission staff at their first-choice college. "What Is Early Decision?" Early decision is binding. If it isn’t what you need, this is the only condition under which you can decline early admission. Schools generally only offer Early Decision or Early Action—not both. Early Decision I and Early Decision II are binding programs, where you'll receive an earlier admission decision and be required to withdraw applications to all other colleges if you are admitted to Bentley. Early Action applicants apply by an early deadline and receive an admissions decision early in the cycle, and can consider their acceptance offer without the need to commit immediately. What Is Early Decision? When a college can lock in a significant percentage of the incoming class by late December, spring recruitment efforts are much easier, and the college can better gauge how many resources need to be put into filling the class. Reasons to Love Early Action The reason for this is that early decision means you're making a binding agreement to enroll in that school if you get accepted. By signing the Early Decision Contract, you are committing to enroll at Bentley and paying the deposit by the deadline given. Apply to other colleges under regular admission plans. Early decision, like early action, is an accelerated college application process in which students typically must complete their applications in November. Is applying early just to avoid stress and paperwork. Generally speaking, Early Decision is binding and breaking an ED agreement usually leads to severe consequences. Grove, Allen. Meets or exceeds the admission profile for the college for SAT® scores, GPA and class rank. 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