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REA: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?

Hey guys, I've been researching the different types of early application processes. REA (Restrictive Early Action) is one of them, and I'm trying to better understand the pros and cons. Could someone please clarify how REA works and what I should consider before going with this option?

6 months ago

Hey there! Here's a quick breakdown of Restrictive Early Action.

Pros of Restrictive Early Action:

1. Higher acceptance rates: Applying REA often provides students with a higher chance of admission compared to Regular Decision (RD) since colleges appreciate the demonstrated interest and may have more available spots during the early phase.

2. Early results: You will receive your admission decision earlier than RD applicants, typically in December. This can alleviate stress since you'll know where you stand sooner.

3. Non-binding: Unlike Early Decision (ED), if you're accepted through REA, you are not obligated to attend the college. This allows you to compare financial aid packages and visit campus before making a final decision.

4. Continued RD application freedom: Though REA limits your ability to apply to other private colleges' early plans, it doesn't restrict your RD applications. You can still apply to as many colleges regular decision as you'd like.

Cons of Restrictive Early Action:

1. Limited early application choices: REA typically prohibits you from applying to other private colleges' early plans, although exceptions may include Early Action (EA) applications to public universities, ED and EA applications to non-US colleges, and scholarships with early deadlines.

2. Early preparation: REA requires you to complete your application, including essays, recommendation letters, and test scores, earlier than RD. This can be difficult if you need more time to strengthen your application or retake tests.

3. Financial aid considerations: While you can still compare financial aid offers before committing, you may receive better packages when applying RD—the college knows you may choose another school based on finances, so they have more incentive to make their offer competitive.

4. Senior year grades: Since you're applying early, your first-semester senior grades won't be heavily considered in the admissions process. This can be a disadvantage if you were hoping to improve your academic record during senior year.

For more on REA, check out this CollegeVine article: https://blog.collegevine.com/what-is-restrictive-early-action-when-applying-to-college

Before selecting REA, consider the following factors: the strength of your application, the importance of financial aid packages for your decision, and whether you're confident that the REA school is a top choice. REA is best for students with strong early applications who want a higher chance of admission to a specific college without the binding commitment.

6 months ago

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