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Difference Between Early Action and Early Decision

Early Action vs Early Decision

On top of the usual process of applying for enrolment to a college of your choice, there are already some other alternatives that make the flow much easier for those who are more or less sure about going to a particular school. Early action and early decision plans are two new ways to get yourself admitted earlier.

Both processes enable a student to apply at a much earlier time (typically in November) as opposed to the regular general admission season. The advantage of these plans is that it will let you know of the admission decision a lot earlier than spring. By January or even as early as December, you’ll already have a chance of knowing if you’ll get admitted to your prospective institution or not. How do these two plans differ?

Before you send your final application to your college, you must first ask yourself if you are really sure about enrolling in that school or not. This will serve as the basis for what type of early admission plan you’ll choose because there are some obligations to be honored. For example, if you are going to apply using the early decision route, you should know that this is a binding plan. This means that you must go to this college if ever they notify you of their acceptance.

More often than not, this plan also includes substantial financial aid for the student. Once you have applied for the early decision plan, you are already restricted from applying to other colleges using an early decision. Nevertheless, you can still submit your application to other institutions via the traditional admission process. However, once you receive the early positive notification from your preferred college, you must cancel all your other applications from your secondary options.

On the other hand, an early action plan is different from an early decision because it is a non-binding plan. This means that even if you receive the notification that you’ve already been accepted early, you can still opt not to accept the offer immediately and proceed to other institutions if you so decide. You’ll be given until the spring to make up your mind whether you’ll go for it or not. Even if you’ve already submitted one application of early action to your first college of choice, you can still apply for other early action plans to other institutions.

Today, many institutions place a high priority on those who apply via these plans because it usually shows the student’s interest and commitment to enroll for school.


1.Early decision plans are binding unlike early action plans.
2.In early decision plans, you can no longer apply early to other institutions once you’ve already communicated the early decision plan to your first college of choice.
3.You are allowed to apply for one early decision plan at a time while you can apply for several early action plans simultaneously.
4.You have better chances of being accepted if you apply for an early decision plan as opposed to applying for an early action plan.

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