9 months ago
Admissions Advice

Applying Early Decision vs Applying Regular Decision

What is the difference between applying early decision and applying regular decision? Do you have to go to the college if you get accepted for early decision? Are there extra requirements for applying early decision? What are the benefits of applying early decision vs regular decision?

🎉 First post
Let’s welcome @elysestraka to the community! Remember to be kind, helpful, and supportive in your responses.

Earn karma by helping others:

1 karma for each ⬆️ upvote on your answer, and 20 karma if your answer is marked accepted.

3 answers

Accepted Answer
9 months ago

Hi! Yes, you would have to go to the college you applied for as early decision (ED) is binding. People usually apply for their dream school as Early Decision! However, some people don't apply early decision because they are still writing their essays, or still need to take the SAT/ACT.

But, if you still would like to submit your apps to colleges early and find out your decision early as well, you can apply early action (EA)! I don't know exactly how many colleges you can apply to as EA, but I know it is definitely more than 1. (possibly 3-4, I am not sure though) EA is non-binding, and the benefit of EA is knowing your decision to multiple colleges early.

9 months ago[edited]

The main difference between early decision and regular decision is when the applications are due and how binding they are. Early decision (ED) is binding - if you apply early decision and get accepted, you have to go to that school and you can not apply to any other school and have to rescind your application to any other schools you applied to. The benefit of early decision is that you will be guaranteed a seat in the class if you get accepted and you don't have to decide in March and April on where you want to go. You can apply ED to one school and one school only because it is binding and if you try to apply to any schools after you were accepted in ED, your counselor will make it basically impossible for you to do so. For regular decision, you can apply to as many schools as you want (but don't go overboard) and none of those applications are binding, so you get the choice on where you want to go after getting the acceptance letters. If there is a school you ABSOLUTELY KNOW you love - you researched a lot, you visited the campus, you don't have any doubts about your decision - you can decide if you want to apply early decision (if the school offers it, not all schools have early decision as an option), but remember, it is binding.

9 months ago

Applying early decision means that you will have to submit your application earlier (usually by November 1) and that you must attend that college you applied early decision to if you are accepted. There aren't any extra requirements for applying early decision besides the fact that you can't apply early decision to any other school other than the one you're absolutely sure about. Applying early decision lets a school know that you are intent on going, and will in most cases increase your chance of admission, since schools like to keep their yield rate (the percentage of students that enroll in an institution after being accepted) high.


Community Guidelines

To keep this community safe and supportive:

  1. Be kind and respectful!
  2. Keep posts relevant to college admissions and high school.
  3. Don’t ask “chance-me” questions. Use CollegeVine’s chancing instead!

How karma works