3 Answers

Janice Kirn-Sottilaro Points0

When it comes to selecting an early decision (ED) college, think of the word love. You must be over the moon for the campus, beyond excited to take a seat in one of the many classrooms, and when the name of the school comes to mind, a smile beams from your face.

Selecting an Early Decision School_What it Means

I know, sounds odd after all, going to college is about getting an education. While this is true, keep in mind that selecting an ED school means you are now contracted to attend even if other institutions, offering more financial aid, come your way. No one will send the police to your home if after applying ED and being accepted you decide to go elsewhere, but if nothing else, selecting that option will make it very difficult for the next ED candidate from your high school. Why? Because now the college is left wondering if they can trust an ED applicant to honor their agreement. If you are not over the moon or beyond excited, if that smile is not forming on your face at just the thought of the school, then run from the ED agreement, run to the next school on your list and see if that one or another, jars those feelings in you.

Students Can Apply to Only One School Early Decision
Remember, only one ED application is permitted so be doubly sure that the school selected is the one you want to use that single ED status for. Keep in mind that there is also ED 2 so that, if you apply ED 1 to a school and are not accepted, you can opt for the ED 2 deadline which is generally January 1. In this way, you will have a second chance at being accepted through the ED process.

What is Early Action

There is also EA - Early Action - to utilize. The EA candidate submits early and hears a response early but, IS NOT COMMITTED to attend. These applicants do not have to make a promise that they will attend a particular school if accepted, thus more and more students are going this route.

Be sure the school which you use the ED option for is all you want, has all you want, will allow you outstanding research or internship opportunities; a place you can call home for four years and really feel like it is just that, home.

Good Luck!

Janice Kirn-Sottilaro

Jennifer L. Severini-Kresock Points0
My advice would be to be sure you have done all of your research on the school and be 150% certain about your choice because early decision is a binding agreement with the college (unless the family can prove that they cannot afford to send their child to the school). I advise students to explore as many college options as possible before making such a commitment.
SpanOne Staff Points0

Applying Early Decision-What you Need to Know

If you have found a college that is your first choice and you are absolutely sure it is your top choice college, then it makes sense to apply Early Decision. It’s important to have a complete understanding of Early Decision and its implications before moving forward with checking the “Early Decision” box on your college applications. Here are some things you need to know about applying Early Decision to college:

Early Decision Is Binding

If you apply to a college Early Decision and you are accepted, then you are entering an agreement stating that you will attend that school. You must withdraw applications you’ve submitted to other colleges and universities. The one reason for breaking the Early Decision commitment is if the financial aid package you receive is not sufficient for your needs.

Only One Early Decision Application is Allowed

You are allowed to apply to only one college Early Decision. If you apply to more than one school early decision and those schools find out, they will likely reject your application.

Early Decision and Early Action Are Not the Same

Unlike Early Decision, Early Action is not binding. You may apply to as many schools as you’d like Early Action and you are not making a commitment to attend them. If you are accepted to schools Early Action you do not have to commit, and can continue to apply to other schools. Both Early Decision and Early Action require students to apply earlier (typically October or November) than the deadline for regular decision applicants, and as a result will receive a decision of acceptance or denial earlier than regular decision applicants.

What is Early Decision II?

Early Decision II has a later application deadline than the typical October or November deadline for Early Decision I. The deadline for Early Decision II applicants is usually in early or mid-January, with a decision received in early to mid-February.

If a student applied Early Decision to a college or university and was denied but has a second choice school that they are certain they can commit to, then applying Early Decision II can be a good choice.

Students who are denied admission to a school they applied to Early Decision I cannot submit an application to that school for Early Decision II.

Another reason to apply Early Decision II rather than Early Decision I is to gain more time to improve test scores, submit strong grades for the Fall of senior year, and to have more time to be sure a college is a student’s first choice.

What Colleges Offer Early Decision II?

SpanOne counselor, Kristen Moon has written an article for Forbes.com that includes a complete list of Early Decision II colleges and their deadlines. Click here to read it. 

Get Started on Creating Your College List

Contact us for help with creating a list of colleges to apply to, the college application process and for guidance on whether Early Decision is a good path for you.





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