11 Tips for Early Action and Early Decision

tl;dr: If you're applying to college, Early Action (EA), Restrictive Early Action (REA), Early Decision (ED), and Regular Decision (RD) are all options to consider. EA is a great option if you want to hear back early, ED is restrictive but increases your chances of admission, and RD is a great choice if you're a procrastinator or want to double-check all your details. Make sure to talk to your counselor/advisor and do your research before applying for ED. Don't be discouraged if you don't make the EA/ED deadline, RD is still an option!


  • EA = Early Action
  • REA = Restrictive Early Action
  • ED = Early Decision
  • RD = Regular Decision
  1. Some schools actually waive their app fees for EA/priority decisions.
  2. EA is a great option because you’re committing only to turning your app in early in exchange for hearing back early.
  3. ED is restrictive, but it does up your chances of admission. If you’re 100% sure the school is for you AND you have a plan to pay in case the financial aid they offer you is insufficient, then ED is a good choice.
  4. It takes a special level of interest and dedication to doing ED/REA. If you're one of those people who have those things, then ED/REA is perfect for you.
  5. If you're a procrastinator or want to take time to double-check all your details and are applying to several state or public schools, go for RD!
  6. Make sure to talk to your counselor/advisor about your ED school choice. They may offer different insights or options for you to consider.
  7. EA could possibly increase your financial aid package. 🤑 Applying for EA shows dedication and commitment!
  8. Check the school’s requirements for EA/ED. Some may require a mid-year transcript before they will consider your application, and most high schools don’t have them until late December/early January.
  9. Don’t hesitate to reach out to an admissions advisor regarding EA/ED. This shows dedication and concern for your education on your part!
  10. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t make the EA/ED deadline! Most colleges and universities offer a later deadline for RD 😌
  11. Be sure to research the university before applying for ED. These applications can be legally binding if you do get in, so you want to be sure that it is a school you love!

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