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What is early decision/application?


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Teresa’s Answer

Hi, Olivia,

Early decision/application usually happens in the fall (November) depending on the college or university. It is when you apply earlier than the regular deadline to apply. You need to look at the website schedule of the college you wish to attend to find the exact date. By applying early, you will receive an admission decision from the college well in advance of the usual notification date (December). This is for starting in the fall of the year after you apply. This will also help with financial aid decisions --- remember to apply for financial as early as possible to receive the best package you can possibly receive. The later you apply, the less money to go around.

Best wishes to you!

Teresa recommends the following next steps:

Decide on 2 colleges/universities you might like to attend, look at their websites, search their calendar for early registration dates and find out the cost of application. Take notes and add more colleges if needed before applying because you want to be fairly certain you could attend colleges you apply for (usually a non-refundable application fee).

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David’s Answer

"Early decision" is a college admissions process in which high schools students send their application to their preferred college early in the admissions cycle and receive a decision from the college by December of their senior year in high school. If you know what college or university and without any question of which college/university you want to attend, the early decision process might be for you but would I recommend you doing it, it is your decision because in the past I have seen people apply for both early decision and regular decision. Apply for early decision because you know they have a limited spot of acceptance or knowing applying early will give you a high chance of being accepted due to you believes you have all it take to be accepted versus regular admission were you will be completing with more and more people. If you have decided which college you really want to go and don't want to waste time, then go a head and apply for early decision but always have back-up plans in case you don't get into the choice you pick.

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Richard’s Answer

There are several different types of application processes for college. They involve the exact same application, but have different deadlines and results.
Regular - This is just the normal application type. If you are accepted, you can still choose whether or not you go.
Early Decision - The deadline for this type of application is much earlier, and is binding. This means that if you are accepted you are obligated to attend that university and rescind your other applications. However, the acceptance rate for early decision is typically higher than for regular applicants.
Early Action - This has a deadline similar to the early decision deadline. The only difference is that it is non-binding, meaning if you are accepted, you are not obligated to stop your other applications or attend their university.
The results of ED and EA applications usually come out sooner than for regular decisions.

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Kara’s Answer

Great question!
A couple of terms you may come across when searching colleges' admission pages are "early decision" and "early action." Early decision is typically "binding," in that once you've received your admission to the school, it's decided -- you'll be attending that school in the fall. For that reason, "early decision" applications should really only be submitted if you are sure that you want to attend that school if admitted, and you should only apply to one school "early decision."

Early action, on the other hand, means that you'll learn whether you were admitted to the school earlier than you would otherwise, but then you'll still have time to make a decision as to whether or not you'll enroll there in the fall. This is a great way to learn whether or not you got into a school early, but it should be taken only if you're sure that your application is polished and ready to be submitted at the earlier deadline.

Kara recommends the following next steps:

See more details about who should consider Early Decision and Early Action, here: https://professionals.collegeboard.org/guidance/applications/early

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Jay’s Answer

Hello! I believe colleges and universities offer an early window for reviewing applicants prior to the larger application process. There is sometimes a greater potential for acceptance earlier in the process vs later.

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Niambi N.’s Answer

Thanks for your question! Early decision applicants apply with the plan of committing and attending the college if accepted. In this case, the applicant's early decision is binding. Most early decision deadlines are in November. And to apply early decision, you must know that you truly want to attend that school if accepted.

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Katelyn’s Answer

It is when you apply early to college before most people, and get a decision sooner than others. It is helpful because colleges have a limit on how many people they can take in, and even break it down further by having a limit on how many people they can take from a county. It gives you an upper edge and a higher chance of getting into that college, and it is always nice to hear back sooner!

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