How does early decision work?Answered
If I'm accepted through early decision, do I commit to enrol after I've gotten my admissions letter or when I view my financial aid and deem it enough?
With Early Decision, you can only apply to the 1 college and if accepted, agree to go to the 1 college. If they can not meet your financial needs after working with you on our financial aid package, and you have a legitimate financial reason for opting out, they will release you. For example, you apply to XWY college and they state they meet 100% of your financial needs. You get accepted but then in the meantime, 1 parent loses their job so you need more financial aid. If they don't agree with that, and you have a $10,000 gap that they can't fill into your agreement you can ask for a release from their ED acceptance. In most cases, you'll see your fin-aid package before you commit, in some cases not. Although it's not a legally binding agreement, if you back out, a.) it will really reflect poorly on you and you will be sort of "Blacklisted" (to what extent I don't know), b.) it puts your High School in a precarious situation for future recruitment because they don't want to repeat accepting students from your HS if they are not upstanding citizens.
Red flags for applying Early Decision-
1. The college is not their TOP choice.
2. The Applicant has to improve their Grades
3. The Applicant has to take the SAT/ACT over again because they are not the best
4. The Applicant hasn't visited the campus or doesn't really know much about the school
5. The Applicant hasn't started the application and figured out a plan to complete the ED application on time.
6. The Applicant hasn't fully researched the Financial Aid at the college and not 100% sure they can afford to attend.
Hope that helps.