The admissions process can be sped up for applicants who already know which school they want to attend by taking advantage of early action or early decision programs, which many institutions offer.

Before submitting college applications, students should know the differences between early action and early decision. In this post, we will discuss the pros and cons of taking early action versus making a quick judgment.

The pros and cons of Early Action vs. Early Decision

Both early action and early decision programs allow high school seniors to gain early admission to four-year universities. However, early action and early decision differ significantly, and not all institutions offer either option.

Keep reading to learn more, and head to our article to discover in-demand bachelor’s programs to inspire your college applications.

What is Early Action?

Early action is submitting your college application early and obtaining an early response, so you may think of it as a non-binding way to get ahead of the college admissions process. Additional characteristics of early action admissions include:

Students who want to apply early action should do so before the early action deadline (often November 1 or November 15) for the school or schools of their choice.

Early action applicants are notified of the school’s decision between December and February.

The standard deadline for first-year college applicants is May 1. Students must submit their enrollment intent by this date.

What is Early Decision?

When a student applies early decision, the acceptance offer is final, unlike in the case of early action.

As an early decision applicant, you can only apply to one school; thus, it’s great for high achievers who are confident about their first choice. Early decision is a binding contract and should be taken with seriousness, unlike early action, which can be utilized to speed up the college admissions process without forming a binding agreement.

Benefits of making an early call

Students submit applications to their preferred schools before the early decision date (usually November 1 or November 15).

In December, students find out if they were accepted to their school of choice.

If students are admitted to their top school of choice, they will often withdraw applications to other schools.

One advantage of applying early is:

Students who are highly self-directed, academically capable, and have a clear vision for their future in higher education can benefit significantly from submitting their applications early. We also discuss how early decision applications may improve your admissions chances further down the page. Please see below for a list of additional advantages to applying early.

Quicker admittance response

Early action and early decision applicants benefit greatly from a quicker admissions decision. Waiting six months to find out if you’ve been accepted to college, let alone a school that excites you, adds stress to the already hectic senior year of high school. You can reduce this anxiety and have a more relaxing senior year if you get your application in early.

Fewer students apply to college

Students should wait to apply to other institutions until they hear back from their first choice on the early selection pathway because this decision is binding. Even early-action applicants may receive responses promptly, saving them time and money.

More time to get ready

Do you need to relocate for school? What kind of dwelling do you like to live in the most? Should you rent a car? Do you intend to work part-time or full-time while attending school? If you have not decided where to go to college, these choices may be put off until the last minute. If you know where you’ll be attending college by the beginning of your senior year, you’ll have more time and mental space to devote to answering these important questions and making the move.

Able to look elsewhere for admission

If you apply early but are not accepted to your favorite school, you will have more time to work on alternative college applications. If you apply early decision and aren’t accepted, your famous school may still give you another shot during the regular admissions cycle. This affords you a second opportunity to enter your preferred educational institution.

Downsides of Early Application

Early college applications have their downsides. When deciding whether to submit an early action or early decision application, it is essential to take into account the following.

Extremely tense choice

Early decision is binding, which can put a lot of stress on high school seniors. If you apply early decision, you must attend the school of your choice regardless of the outcome. You may lose your deposit or incur other fines if you cancel. If you break your early decision agreement, the school may notify other schools about it, which could affect your admissions chances at those schools.

Less access to Financial Aid

If you apply for early decision, the college will simultaneously send you an acceptance letter and a financial aid package. Due to the decision’s finality, you cannot shop for more favorable financial aid terms from other institutions. You’ll have to settle for whatever terms the school of your choice gives if you apply early decision.

You can revoke your early choice acceptance on the grounds of insufficient funds, but you should keep in mind that you already spent time, money, and energy applying early. You should only make an early decision application if you have figured out how you’ll pay for college.

Can I improve my admissions chances by applying early?

According to the NACAC, schools that provide early decision tend to have a higher acceptance rate for early decision applicants than for all students (61% vs. 49%).

The yield rate, the fraction of admitted students who enroll, could be to blame. Early decision applicants may have submitted more competitive applications, increasing the acceptance rate.

Early Action vs. Early Decision: Final verdict

What factors should be considered when making an early application to a university? How important is it to submit your application early? In this section, we’ll examine the criteria you should fulfill before submitting an early application.

Early Decision

  • You have chosen a top-tier institution as your preferred option.
  • You’ve ensured it’s a good fit for you by visiting your top choice, researching the program of interest, and consulting with your college counselor.
  • Your application, grades, and test results are much beyond the minimum standards set by the institution.
  • You did well on the standardized tests.
  • You will only need a little money to get by.
  • If accepted, you will immediately withdraw your application from other schools and commit to this (including making the required deposit).

Early Action

  • You have prioritized hearing from a select group of schools.
  • You want to get a head start on applying to colleges.
  • You need to keep your options open as far as colleges are concerned.
  • You need until the conventional deadline of May 1 to decide.

700+ Club Admissions Consulting Services

Navigating the college admissions process can be challenging, especially when making critical decisions like choosing between Early Decision and Early Action. This is where expert guidance and support can make a significant difference. The 700+ Club Admissions Consulting Services is a reputable and convenient resource for students and families seeking comprehensive assistance throughout the admissions journey.

  1. Personalized Guidance: The 700+ Club Admissions Consulting Services offers personalized guidance tailored to each student’s unique circumstances, academic strengths, and career goals. This customized approach ensures that you make informed decisions aligned with your aspirations.
  2. Application Strategy: With their experience and expertise, the consultants at 700+ Club can help you craft a winning application strategy, whether you opt for Early Decision, Early Action, or regular decision.
  3. Comprehensive Support: From essay editing and interview preparation to standardized test guidance, the consulting services cover every aspect of the college admissions process to enhance your chances of success.
  4. Result-Oriented Approach: 700+ Club Admissions Consulting Services has a proven track record of helping students gain admission to their dream colleges. Their result-oriented approach focuses on maximizing your potential for success.


The choice between Early Decision and Early Action in the college admissions process is a crucial decision that can shape your academic and professional future. Each option has unique advantages and disadvantages, and the decision should align with your specific circumstances and goals.

When navigating this complex journey, enlisting the support of experienced consultants like those at 700+ Club Admissions Consulting Services can be invaluable. With their personalized guidance and expertise, you can confidently navigate the college admissions process, make informed decisions, and increase your chances of admission to the college that best fits your aspirations. Whether you choose Early Decision, Early Action, or Regular Decision, the proper guidance can make all the difference in your college admissions journey.

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