What are the benefits of applying early action or early decision?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

What are the benefits of applying early action or early decision?

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

What are the benefits of applying early action or early decision?

Early action gives you sooner notice than regular decision. ED enhances your chances of being accepted as fewer students choose that route.

Scott Herrmann-Keeling
College Counselor

What are the benefits of applying early action or early decision?

The main benefit of applying either e.d. or e.a. is having a decision or two taken care of . . . well, early. There's no harm in applying e.a. anywhere. You're not bound to a school and you'll have until May 1 to decide whether to attend. If you've got schools that have e.a. plans on your short list and you're able to meet those deadlines, you should. Wouldn't it be nice to know before the end of the calendar year that you've been admitted to at least one of your schools? Maybe not your first choice, though if your first choice has an early option, you should definitely use it.

Patricia Aviezer
President Inside Track To College, Inc.

What are the benefits of applying early action or early decision?

If you're a student who has begun the college search early, done all of the research and visiting you needed and have narrowed your choice of colleges down to your "One Dream College" the early plans offered by colleges might be the "right decision" for you. What are the advantages? Well, you'll get an answer earlier than you would if you applied in under the regular decision deadlines, usually December. You'll still need to keep working on those applications until you hear about your acceptance so that you will meet those deadlines. Once your IN under an early plan, you can stop work on those other applications, write letters withdrawing your applications from the colleges you've processed and begin to plan your entry into the college of your choice. Don't forget to buy their SHIRT!

Benjamin Caldarelli
Partner Princeton College Consulting, LLC

What are the benefits of applying early action or early decision?

You can eliminate a lot of stress and anxiety of a long waiting period and some schools admit a higher percentage of students who apply early.

Sarah Contomichalos
Manager Educational Advisory Services, LLC

What are the benefits of applying early action or early decision?

The most obvious benefit is that if accepted EA or ED, the student's application process is complete with one application.

Rebecca Joseph
Executive Director & Founder getmetocollege.org

What are the benefits of applying early action or early decision?

There are many benefits. One, if you want to know where you are going early, you can know by Christmas. Applications are due in October or November, and decisions come out in December. If you don't want to apply to a zillion colleges, you can again know by Christmas. EARLY DECISION applicants have fallen in love with a college and commit to attending if they get in. Acceptance rates are usually higher for Early Decision Applicants. Getting in EARLY ACTION, also has benefits. Students who get into a school early, can remove colleges from their regular list that do not really suit them.

Edward LaMeire
CEO LaMeire College Consulting (lameirecollegeconsulting.com)

What are the benefits of applying early action or early decision?

Applying ED provides students with a significant statistical advantage in the application process. For instance, Vanderbilt and Johns Hopkins Universities ED acceptance rates are frequently greater than double their RD acceptance rates. For EA, I have seen few schools with non-restrictive EA who claim higher acceptance rates under this plan. However, under Restrictive Early Action (REA), the numbers do go up. Stanford, Yale, and Boston College, for instance, all offer REA, which again does not require the student to attend the school, but gives them a bit of a boost in terms of admissions. Yale, for instance, has an RD acceptance rate of between 6 and 8 percent annually. Their REA acceptance rate hovers around 14 percent. Stanford’s numbers are almost exactly the same as Yale’s. Figure it this way: With ED you're totally committing yourself to the school; with REA, you're slightly committing yourself; and with standard EA, you're not making too much of a commitment. The admit rates under these plans follow similar patterns.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

What are the benefits of applying early action or early decision?

The benefits to applying early are that you will be evaluated in a smaller pool of applicants, which will increase your chances for acceptance. Another bonus would be learning sooner vs. later that you got in! Early action acceptances allow you to take a deep breath and know that someone wants you, no matter the rest of your application decisions, it's your ace-in-the-hole. Financially, there is more money in the financial aid bucket earlier in the game, which can be appealing. My theory is, you have a deadline for every school; so why not shoot for the early one and be done. Trust me, it will make the rest of your senior year so much nicer.

Brittany Maschal
Founder/Director B. Maschal Educational Consulting

What are the benefits of applying early action or early decision?

There are benefits to applying early - just look at the numbers and it will become very clear. In many instances your chance of being admitted increases. You also have the added benefit of finding out early where you have been accepted and the peace of mind that comes along with it!