Table of Contents
1. What is Early Action/ Early Decision?
2. What are The Advantages of Applying Early Action?
3. What are the Benefits of Applying Regular Decision?

The college application process can be both exciting and stressful: On one hand you’re envisioning yourself studying at the school of your dreams, but at the same time you’re worrying if your application is good enough and when to send it. 

Students are asking themselves if their transcripts, letters of recommendation, essays and extracurriculars are good enough which makes the application process incredibly nerve-wracking. They know their peers from across the world are fiercely competing for coveted places at the very best colleges.

What is Early Action/ Early Decision?

The most prestigious universities such as Harvard offer an option to apply a couple of months early called Early Action/ Early Decision. This means you have the option to submit your application on November 1st which is two months earlier than the Regular Decision deadline of January 1st. 

This is not an option at every college, but if you’re considering applying to one that has this option then it’s worth looking at. 

What are The Advantages of Applying Early Action?

Students often wonder if they should apply for Early Action or wait and send their application in time for Regular Decision. There are certainly many advantages of applying to a college which has Early Action. The admissions team knows that this first round of students are extremely eager, competitive and organised, which are all qualities that immediately stand out. The admissions pool tends to be smaller and you have the chance to truly shine as the admissions board looks at your application ahead of many others. 

Harvard University accepts Early Action applicants and they say on their website that the reason acceptance percentages are so high in this first round is because the applicants are so strong. 

They state: “Harvard does not offer an advantage to students who apply early. Higher Early Action acceptance rates reflect the remarkable strength of Early Action pools. For any individual student, the final decision will be the same whether the student applies Early Action or Regular Decision.”

Applying early is telling the school of your dreams that you’re so enthusiastic about becoming one of their students that you’ve carefully honed your application to be one of the first they see. The admissions team will be able to tell that you have the ability and determination to work so hard that you’ve completed an intensive application process months ahead of many other students. 

Colleges in the United States like to accept applicants from overseas to show their commitment to diversity, so if you are an international student, it would be smart to apply early (if you are ready) before an equally eligible student sends in their application during the regular decision round.

The benefits of applying Early Action are that you’ll find out within two months if you have been accepted to your dream school, which gives you extra time to focus on essentials like accommodation, finances and spending quality time with friends and family before a big move to another city, or another country! 

What are the Benefits of Applying Regular Decision?

If you’re not ready to submit your application early, use those extra months to carefully polish and perfect your application and send it in during the Regular Decision round on January 1st – which still has a healthy number of successful applicants. 

This round has plenty of benefits too. There’s more time to really consider which school is a good fit for you.  You can take your SAT or other exams again to get a higher score, you’ll have extra time to truly perfect your CV, your essays, letters of recommendations, and really polish your application pack so you’ll get into your dream school.  


Don’t rush your application or send it before you’re completely happy that you have done your absolute best just because you’ve heard that you might be more likely to get accepted. 

It’s a truly life-changing choice and one mistake during the admissions process could mean you lose your chance to gain your seat at your dream school forever.

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