Early admissions programs are becoming more and more common. But unlike earlier times, there are now different types of early admissions programs, and it is easy to become confused. Are you look for early admissions, a college early decision, or early action? If you are looking for any of these, your definitions may be very different from the definitions of the colleges to which you are applying. Below you will find the general definitions of programs that will show you how to get into college early; however, you need to “read the fine print,” as they say, because they each come with some very specific “rules” that may differ from institution to institution.
Early Action vs. Early Decision
There are actually three types of early admissions programs that universities use. One is early action; one is early decision; and one is termed single choice early action.
Both early action and early decision programs require that an application be submitted earlier than the normal deadline for applications. If you need help with writing assignments you can ask for help on writing services. In return, the college will provide an earlier than normal decision on admission acceptance. There are a couple of obvious benefits to this:
If you know which school is your first choice, and you receive an early admissions decision, then you are “set,” usually be early January of your senior year.
If you receive an early admission acceptance, you do not have to worry about your spring semester grades impacting your admissions quest. This makes that last semester of your senior year far more relaxing.
Early admission means that you have more time to plan for getting the financial aid you will need and for housing
Probably the biggest advantage, however, is that early action and early decision schools tend to accept a higher percentage of early applicants than they do during the normal admissions process. Your chances of getting accepted are greater through these early rounds. In fact it is not unusual for and early decision college to admit 25-50% of its total number of new freshmen from early rounds.
The Issue of Decisions that are Binding
Again, you need to read the fine print when you apply for early admissions. Specifically, you need to ask the question, “Is early action binding?” Here are the general “rules,” although individual institutions may vary.
Early Decision – Usually Binding
ED programs are usually binding. This means several things to you:
You agree that you will only apply to one college/university. And if that college accepts you, you are bound by “contract” to attend that school.
If you “break” that contract, then other comparable colleges will not admit you
You can apply for a waiver from the binding rule if you can prove financial hardship. In other words, you cannot muster up enough financial aid to make the school affordable. However, you must prove this to the university, and the university is the one that will grant the waiver.
If the university has offered you a specific financial aid package, it will have no incentive to increase that package because you are already bound – this is a big drawback, because, if you need more funding, you will have to go to private sources for it.
An early decision college expects that you will only apply to it, and you agree to this when you submit your application. If you should be rejected, obviously, you then apply to as many as you wish during the normal application timeline.
Early Action – Generally Not Binding
If you are trying to understand what is early action for college admissions, the general explanation we found on different paper writing services is this:
You may apply to as many colleges as you wish during the early admissions time period and beyond.
You may accept an admissions offer from any school, but you are not bound by it. In other words, you can continue to apply to other schools and accept any other offer you might receive.
The benefit is obvious. You have an acceptance, but you also have time to take a look at other schools and the financial aid packages they may offer.
The exception to these “rules” is the “single choice early action” program, which many colleges are now instituting. The provisions of this program are as follows:
You agree that you are only applying to one school during the early action time frame.
You are also free to apply to other schools during the normal application time period and are free to choose one of them if they are more attractive to you.
Piece of Advice: If you use either the early decision or the single choice early action program from any college, do not try to “cheat the system.” There are databases now, and you will be caught.
Which Early Admission Program is Right for You?
If you know without a doubt that you want to attend a specific university, then by all means go for the “early decision” option.
If you just want the security of knowing you have been accepted to one school while you explore other options, then the “early action” programs are your best choice.