So what’s the financial catch in early decision? Apply early (usually in November) to first-choice college. If admitted, a student must attend the school or else lose a sizable enrollment deposit. Most Early Decision and Early Action college application deadlines fall in October or on November 1. Also, be careful about the financial aid issue. Unlike EA and REA, Early Decision is a binding early round application. Reassess options and apply elsewhere if not accepted. Students who are accepted early are done stressing about getting into college months before most applicants. Meets or exceeds the admission profile for the college for SAT® scores, GPA and class rank. What Is a Likely Letter in College Admissions? 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. Early decision applicants make a binding commitment to enroll at the College of Charleston in the following fall if admitted. Restricted Early Action? Receive an admission decision from the college well in advance of the usual notification date (usually by December). Here are some details about each option: Early decision plans: Students can apply to only one early decision Early decision plans are binding — a student who is accepted as an ED applicant must attend the college. 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. 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. Applicants who apply early decision are almost certain to attend if 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. Is applying early only because friends are. 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. If it isn’t what you need, this is the only condition under which you can decline early admission. Although there are. It is not legally binding, but there is a commitment involved with penalties for withdrawing for spurious reasons. 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. For the Class of 2021, our overall admit rate was roughly 28% while early decision candidates were admitted at a rate of roughly 38%. 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. Early Decision is quickly becoming a misnomer. This type of institutional interest and loyalty is valuable for a college both in terms of higher retention rates and future alumni giving prospects. 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 … Early Action? Our admission standards for both early decision and regular decision are the same. The table below shows a small sampling of early decision deadlines and response dates. 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 Early Decision?" Receive an admission decision early in the admission cycle (usually in January or February). https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-early-decision-786929 (accessed February 23, 2021). Well, if you applied as an Early Action or Early Decision applicant, your application has basically been converted to a regular application. Generally speaking, Early Decision is binding and breaking an ED agreement usually leads to severe consequences. 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. 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. Needs a strong senior fall semester to bring grades up. Save the time and expense of submitting multiple applications. An increasing number of highly selective institutions have initiated a second round of binding admission programs "What Is Early Decision?" Those who apply early have a better chance of acceptance because they are competing for more spots. Discover grammar tips, writing help, and fun English language facts. Note that about half of these schools have Early Decision I and Early Decision II options. You may not apply to more than one college under early decision. 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. Unfortunately, the Early Decision Program is antithetical to all these principles, and thus a very risky proposition. 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. Understanding Early Action and Early Decisions Applications Waiting is the most difficult part of the college/university admissions process. 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. 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. When the college doesn't have to worry about. ThoughtCo. You’ll be reviewed again during the normal admission season with all the other applicants. 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. Dr. Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college. Not all institutions offer EA and ED, but it's easy to find out! 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. Apply to only one college early decision. In fact, it’s possible to wait until May 1 to answer an Early Action offer. Get up-to-date information on all the changes for students and educators affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). By signing the Early Decision Contract, you are committing to enroll at Bentley and paying the deposit by the deadline given. 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. Is applying early just to avoid stress and paperwork. If you have applied for one of these early options, here’s what you can expect. Is absolutely sure that the college is the first choice. 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. 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. In most cases, students will then receive a decision from the college before the new year. Apply to other colleges under regular admission plans. If accepted, the student is obligated to attend that college. Higher admission rates for ED applicants may correlate to stronger profiles among candidates choosing ED. If you are accepted Early Decision, you must withdraw any ap… Early decision is a binding decision, meaning that students must withdraw applications to other schools if accepted. Many students believe applying early means competing with fewer applicants and increasing their chances for acceptance. ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/what-is-early-decision-786929. If accepted, a student must withdraw all other college applications. 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. In most cases, students will then receive a decision from the college before the new year. 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. Applying early decision can improve your chances of being admitted, but the restrictions of the program make it a bad choice for many applicants. You’re entering into an agreement with a school, the terms of which are non-negotiable if you’re accepted. What is a Safety School in College Admissions? 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. Counselors need to make sure that students understand this key distinction between the two plans. For students who absolutely need financial aid, applying early may be a risky option. What Is Early Decision? 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.. ED applications are due in early November and most schools will notify of their decision in Mid-December. 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." 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. Think about how great it would be to be able to enjoy most of senior year without the stress of college applications. Early Decision Checklist. 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. For many students, knowing their college plans as soon as possible is a huge relief. Admission decisions for Early Decision or Early Action applications typically have one of three outcomes: Admitted, Denied, Deferred. This means you apply early to a school and, if accepted, you must enroll. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-early-decision-786929. For a student who has a definite first-choice college, applying early has many benefits besides possibly increasing the chance of getting in. We’re so pleased that you’ve decided to apply Early Decision. Early decision Early decision is binding. Early-applying students should know that colleges may rescind offers of admission should their senior-year grades drop. Gain more time, once accepted, to look for housing and otherwise prepare for college. Reduce stress by cutting the time spent waiting for a decision. A student may apply to only one college early (although additional applications for regular admissions are allowed). Early decision, like early action, is an accelerated college application process in which students typically must complete their applications in November. 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. Apply Early – medical school admissions are rolling, meaning students are accepted as they apply and not on a single date. 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. Applicants who apply early decision have made a clear statement that the school is their number one choice. 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 is binding. 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. If you are admitted in Early Decision I or Early Decision II, it is a binding contract to attend Hopkins. What is the difference between early decision and early action? 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. A student accepted early must often decide to attend before receiving a financial aid package. v. Regents of the University of Michigan et al, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 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. 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. 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. Early Decision? Agree to attend the college if accepted and offered a financial aid package that is considered adequate by the family. Consider acceptance offer; do not have to commit upon receipt. 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. (2020, August 26). Grove, Allen. Early Decision (ED) is a very appealing application option. Has found a college that is a strong match academically, socially and geographically. Early decision is binding promise. Applying early decision is very tempting; however, students must be This is not always true. This may give an unfair advantage to applicants from families who have more financial resources. 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. As we mentioned above, early application programs come in two basic types: Early Decision (ED) and Early Action (EA). Early decision, like early action, is an accelerated college application process in which students typically must complete their applications in November. Early Decision is, undoubtedly, a commitment. 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. 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. The reason for this is that early decision means you're making a binding agreement to enroll in that school if you get accepted. What Is the CSS Profile for Financial Aid? 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. Time crunch for other applications: Most colleges do not notify ED and EA applicants of admission until December 15. A student who gets accepted through early decision has no way to compare financial aid offers. Like the name implies, Early Action requires you to apply early to the college of your choice. 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. Colleges vary in the proportion of the class admitted early and in the percentage of early applicants they admit. 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. 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. 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. Grove, Allen. If possible, however, applying Early Decision I is likely to be your best option. Withdraw all other applications if accepted by ED. Is not fully committed to attending the college. Typically, early decision deadlines match early action deadlines. Are you wondering what the difference is and what exactly these terms mean? 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. If you’re a sophomore or junior who is reading this post, we … Grove, Allen. 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. 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. Decision letters are issued by early December. Early decision plans are binding—students accepted as early decision applicants must attend the college. 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. Reasons to Love Early Action 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. There are a number of reasons to consider applying Early Action (EA) or Early Decision (ED), and the abridged waiting period is one them. Application materials for early decision candidates must be submitted on or before October 15. Early decision plans are binding — a student who is accepted as an ED applicant must attend the college. 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. How to Handle College Deferrals, Waitlists, and Rejections. Send a nonrefundable deposit well in advance of May 1. 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. Give the college a decision no later than the May 1 national response date. 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). (Upon acceptance, a student must withdraw all other applications.) 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. In most cases, students will then receive a decision from the college before the new year. 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. Has an academic record that has been consistently solid over time. Approximately 450 colleges have early decision or early action plans, and some have both. This contract will be part of your application and will require a signature from your parents and school counselor, as well as from you. ED II applications are due in early January and students are notified in February. Some colleges offer a nonbinding option called single-choice early action, under which applicants may not apply ED or EA to any other college. 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