Early Action Vs. Early Decision
What’s The Difference? Does it matter???
It may be that both you and your child have your hearts set on one particular university. You both want to apply Early Decision figuring that your child has his/her best chance at an early acceptance. But wait! Should you apply ED?
Many students apply to their top choice school for Early Decision. The problem that many do not realize is that acceptance from an Early Decision comes with a binding contract that you must attend that university and you must withdraw your application from any other schools. The only way to break this contract is if you can explicitly demonstrate that you are unable to afford the school (in the school’s eyes!) If money is not playing a significant role as to the chosen university, then, it will certainly not hurt you to apply ED.
So as to not potentially get caught in any financial hot water, many students now opt to apply for Early Action. When applying Early Action, the student still sends all materials to their selected colleges by an earlier due date, and will receive notification of acceptance (or deferral or otherwise) generally earlier than regular decision applicants. The benefits of applying Early Action are many. Here they are...
1. Early Action comes with no binding contract saying that you are obligated to attend the university regardless of the cost. By applying to schools via EA, your student is able to change his/her mind and select another university, if desired.
2. With Early Action, your child can apply to many schools at one time.
3. With Early Action, you do not need to commit to a school earlier than Regular Decision students. Decision Day is May 1.
4. With Early Action, similar to Regular Decision, you can wait for all college acceptances and review the various financial package offerings.
5. With Early Action, you have the potential to spread out the college application workload and even add schools to the list. By applying to colleges early and getting some early acceptances or regrets, your student may have time to apply to a couple more schools by the regular decision due date.
6. The cost factor is a HUGE reason to apply Early Action instead of Early Decision. With Early Action, your family is able to compare costs for each school. You are able to receive merit aid in addition to need based aid. You can negotiate with each individual school. You are in control of the purse strings.
While the path to college is filled with many questions, those with any concerns in regards to finances should discuss as a family the option to apply Early Action to schools thus allowing more freedom and flexibility in the final decision making process.
At College Financial Prep, we are here to help navigate this maze towards college!
For more information on Financial Aid form preparation, strategically planning for and applying to college to maximize merit and/or need based aid as well as finding scholarships, please contact College Financial Prep at 516-225-5224 today or visit www.CollegeFinancialPrep.com. We’re looking forward to working with you and your family!