Monday, 18 September 2017

When to apply for US University - is Early decision or Early Action right for you?

Our guest blog is written by Phil Garner, expert in making applications to the US. 
Many US Universities offer an option for students to apply EARLY DECISION or EARLY ACTION.
Early decision versus early action 
Early decision plans are binding — a student who is accepted as an ED applicant must attend the college. Early action plans are nonbinding — students receive an early response to their application but do not have to commit to the college until the normal reply date of May 1.
Some 450 colleges have early decision or early action plans, and some have both. Some colleges offer a nonbinding option called single-choice early action, under which applicants may not apply ED or EA to any other college..
If you are considering applying Early Decision then:
  • Apply early (usually in November) to first-choice college.
  • You will receive an admission decision from the college well in advance of the usual notification date (usually by December).
  • You MUST agree to attend the college if accepted and offered a financial aid package that is considered adequate by the family.
  • You can apply to only one college early decision.
  • You may still apply to other colleges under regular admission plans.
  • You MUST withdraw all other applications if accepted by ED.
  • You will need to send a nonrefundable deposit well in advance of  May 1.
If you are going to apply Early Action then:
  • You should apply early.
  • You should receive an admission decision early in the admission cycle (usually in January or February).
  • You must consider acceptance offer but you do not have to commit upon receipt.
  • You can still apply to other colleges under regular admission plans.
  • You must give the college a decision no later than the May 1 national response date.
Who should apply early?
Applying to an ED or EA plan is most appropriate for a student who:
  • Has researched colleges extensively.
  • Is absolutely sure that the college is the first choice.
  • Has found a college that is a strong match academically, socially and geographically.
  • Meets or exceeds the admission profile for the college for SAT® scores, GPA and class rank.
  • Has an academic record that has been consistently solid over time.
Applying to an ED or EA plan is not appropriate for a student who:
  • Has not thoroughly researched colleges.
  • Is applying early just to avoid stress and paperwork.
  • Is not fully committed to attending the college.
  • Is applying early only because friends are.
  • Needs a strong senior fall semester to bring grades up.
The benefits of applying early
There are benefits for a student who has a definite first-choice college, applying early has many benefits besides possibly increasing the chance of getting in. Applying early lets the student:
  • Reduce stress by cutting the time spent waiting for a decision.
  • Save the time and expense of submitting multiple applications.
  • Gain more time, once accepted, to look for housing and otherwise prepare for college.
  • Reassess options and apply elsewhere if not accepted.
The drawbacks of applying early
Pressure to decide: Committing to one college puts pressure on students to make serious decisions before they've explored all their options.
Reduced financial aid opportunities: Students who apply under ED plans receive offers of admission and financial aid simultaneously and so will not be able to compare financial aid offers from other colleges. For students who absolutely need financial aid, applying early may be a risky option.
Time crunch for other applications: Most colleges do not notify ED and EA applicants of admission until December 15. Because of the usual deadlines for applications, this means that if a student is rejected by the ED college, there are only two weeks left to send in other applications. Encourage those of your students who are applying early to prepare other applications as they wait to receive admission decisions from their first-choice college. 
Relaxing: Applicants who learn early that they have been accepted into a college may feel that, their goal accomplished, they have no reason to work hard for the rest of the year. Early-applying students should know that colleges may rescind offers of admission should their expected grades drop.


Are you interested in going to the US for university then contact us and we can arrange for you to speak to Phil and explain how he can help you make a successful application.
Email  01865 522066 for an informal discussion on how we can help.
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