If you are the parent of a high school junior and want to give your student an opportunity to get into the college of their dreams, it is vitally important that you understand the differences between early action (EA), early decision (ED) and regular decision (RD) and their impact on your student’s chances of acceptance and when you need to start to make it happen.
Early decision (ED) gives students a better chance of acceptance, if the cost of college is not the driving factor in the college selection process. Admit rates can be as much as 2 times higher! This is a binding agreement that is not right for every family and requires students to have their completed applications in order by the colleges’ set deadlines, which are much earlier that the regular decision deadlines.
Early action (EA) is an option, and possibly a better one, for students who feel uncomfortable with making a commitment to 1 college without knowing their out-of-pocket cost or having a chance to compare offers from other colleges. It is a good way to show colleges your level of demonstrated interest, which can be a significant factor in gaining acceptance. Applications must be completed by the colleges’ set deadline, which are, again, much earlier than the regular decision deadlines.
Regular decision (RD) is an option for students who did not plan early. They face an ocean of competition. This is a good option for students who haven’t earned their best test scores and might need to schedule another test date, or who haven’t secured their letters of recommendation. They may not have written their college essay or decided where to apply. I think you can see the disadvantages piling up.
Unfortunately, many students and their parents find out far too late that they are at a disadvantage in the college application process. Waiting limits every family’s options. Give your student the help they need to navigate the final phase of the path toward college. Contact College GPS for a complimentary college meeting or phone call. We're here to help and guide your student through this turbulent time.