Early Action or Early Decision?

September 11, 2012.

High school students applying to college need to make a decision about when they will submit their application. Students think: Is there an advantage to submitting my application earlier for early action or early decision, or should I wait and retake my SAT or ACT for a higher score? Should I wait and spend more time on my college application essay?

This blog post will give you some information about how to make this decision.

Early Action—Colleges such as the University of Michigan offer early action. This means that if you apply by a certain date, you will get an earlier response. At the University of Michigan, if you apply by November 1, you will receive a decision by Dec. 23. That earlier response can be helpful in deciding which other schools you would like to apply to. Some schools such as Stanford have a Restrictive Early Action option, which means that applicants agree not to apply to any other private college/university under an Early Action, Restrictive Early Action, Early Decision or Early Notification program.

Early Decision—Similar to early action, early decision means that applications are due at an earlier date than the rest of the applications to that school. However, in early decision, students who are admitted are required to withdraw applications from all other colleges and attend the college.

  • Advantage—Higher acceptance rate (usually). The question is—by how much? Here are some statistics.
  • Disadvantage—A student must decide before a financial aid package is offered.

Read more about the pluses and minuses of early decision.

If you are looking for more information, call the college you are interested in, and ask to talk to the admissions officer in charge of your city. Introduce yourself, and ask him or her your question. A call to a college for more information is always welcomed, noted in your record, and helps admissions officers see you as a serious student. Even better, when they read your application, they may recall the conversation, and suddenly you are no longer a voiceless name in the crowd!

Need more assistance with writing your college application essay? Write debbie@essaycoaching.com or fill out our easy appointment request form. We will set up a phone, email, or Skype appointment with you for a consultation. We work with students in the U.S and internationally, with excellent results.

Essay Coaching: We educate and motivate. You create.