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The difference between early decision and early action


Tuesday, September 27, 2011
If you are confident that you have found a college that will meet all of your academic needs, you may want to apply for early decision or early action.

However, you need to be careful not to get these two college admissions options confused, as the terms are not interchangeable. According to CollegeAnswer.com, a college planning Web site, the main difference is that when you apply for and are accepted through early decision, you are bound to attend that school.

This option typically requires students to submit their application by November of their senior year of high school. The admission decision is made by mid-December.

Meanwhile, CollegeAnswer states that the early action option follows the same basic time frame, but is not a binding agreement between the applicant and the school. This means that while you have been accepted to one college, you are free to apply to others and make your final decision at or before the May 1 decision deadline.

CollegeBoard.com, a higher education research organization, advises that you not choose either option if you plan to use your senior year to augment your academic accomplishments in an effort to enhance your college application. Furthermore, you should skip early decision if you are waiting to see what financial aid packages schools will offer in the spring. ADNFCR-16000756-ID-800605624-ADNFCR

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