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REA application pros and cons

Hey y'all, I'm considering applying REA (Restrictive Early Action) to my dream school. What are the pros and cons of this decision? Wanna hear opinions from students who've applied REA and those who didn't.

6 months ago

Hello! Applying Restrictive Early Action (REA) has its pros and cons, and ultimately, the decision should be based on your individual circumstances and application readiness. Here's a breakdown of the pros and cons:


1. Boost in admission chances: Applying REA can slightly increase your chances of admission compared to Regular Decision (RD) since colleges want to admit students who demonstrate a strong interest in their school.

2. Early notification: Applying REA means you'll receive your decision earlier, typically in December, which can relieve stress and give you more time to plan for your future.

3. Non-binding decision: Unlike Early Decision (ED), REA is not binding, so you have until May 1st to decide if you want to enroll. This allows you to compare financial aid packages and other factors before making a final decision.

4. More time for other applications: If you receive an acceptance in REA, you can choose to focus on other endeavors instead of completing additional college applications. Alternatively, if you're not accepted, you still have time to apply to other schools before RD deadlines.


1. Restrictive aspect: Usually, you cannot apply to any other private college/university's EA or ED programs when you apply REA. However, you can still apply to public universities or international schools under non-binding early action plans.

2. Strong application required: REA requires your application to be ready earlier, usually by November 1st. This means you need to have a compelling and polished application that showcases your strengths and achievements, without the benefit of senior year grades or additional extracurriculars.

3. Potentially less financial aid: While not always the case, some students have observed that applying REA might yield less generous financial aid offers since colleges know they are your top choice.

4. Added stress: Applying early can add pressure to an already stressful application process as you need to complete your application sooner and manage the emotional toll of an early decision.

6 months ago

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