Some college applications are due in three days to meet early application deadlines. Others are due in a little over two weeks.Students who have not
started college applications need to decide whether they will file all applications early or file a few early and others as regular decision applications.
Students can apply as an early decision applicant to only one college- which means they are promising to attend that college if the college accepts them.
They can apply as an early action applicant to multiple colleges (non-binding) just as they can apply as a regular decision applicant to multiple colleges.
There are benefits to applying early decision, early action and regular decision. The admission strategy that is best for a student depends on the circumstances of the student and family.
Students and parents disagree about which strategy is best. Their goals are also different. Students have a primary goal of getting in. Parents have a primary goal of good college value at a reasonable price.
Students who submit early decision applications have an admission advantage at some colleges. Students who want one specific college only and who will not be dependent on financial and or scholarships choose this option.
Submitting early admission applications does not often have an admission advantage but can have a scholarship advantage at some colleges. Getting applications in early does give students a sense of closure and time to concentrate on school work.
The advantage of regular admission applications is that this strategy gives students more time to complete applications, more time to improve grades and more time to re-take SAT and ACT tests and prepare portfolios.