Five Reasons to Apply Early Action to College

As a college admissions consultant, I often find myself advising students to consider whether to apply Early Action to their top-choice colleges. While many students are still weighing their options or trying to make a final decision, Early Action can provide numerous benefits that can help make the college application process a little less stressful. 

You may be asking, “What does Early Action mean when applying to colleges?”. Early Action is a non-binding application option that allows students to submit their application and receive a decision early, usually in early November. This can give students peace of mind as they can focus on their remaining months in high school without worrying about the college application process. It’s important to note that students must still apply to other colleges and are not required to attend the Early Action school if admitted. Overall, Early Action is a great option for students who have a strong interest in a specific college.

Five Reasons to Apply Early Action to College

Another common question is “How many colleges can I apply to Early Action?”. There is no limit to the number of Early Action colleges you can apply to, however, please note that the Common Application only allows you to apply to 20 schools. Most students do not exceed this number, even if they are applying to colleges outside of the Common Application, for example, Georgetown or MIT. Please read each college’s website to understand any restrictions associated with their deadlines. There is a difference between Early Action (EA) and Restricted Early Action (REA) which may limit how many early schools you apply to. You can read more about these different deadlines here and look at the 2023-24 deadlines here

Here are five reasons why you should consider applying Early Action to your top-choice college.

1. Better Admissions Odds

One of the most significant benefits of applying Early Action is that you have a better chance of getting admitted to your top-choice college. Many colleges have higher acceptance rates for Early Action applicants compared to those who apply Regular Decision. This is because Early Action applicants are considered first – before the colleges have to decide between a larger pool of applicants. With lower competition, your chances of being admitted to the college of your dreams are much higher. 

However, it is worthwhile to note that there are some colleges that tend to defer many students who apply Early Action. This may be for a variety of reasons, but often it is because the college wants to see how students are performing in their senior year classes by reviewing their first semester grades. Another reason may be because the college is waiting to see which students are still interested in attending after hearing back from their Early Decision schools. If you have been deferred and are interested in working with a Solomon Admissions consultant on your deferral letter and additional applications, you can learn about our deferral package here. 

2. Faster Admissions Decision

Another advantage of applying Early Action is that you will receive your admissions decision much faster than if you apply Regular Decision. This can be a major stress reliever for many students, who are often left wondering about their admissions status for months after submitting their application. With Early Action, you can know whether or not you’ve been admitted within a few weeks or months, giving you plenty of time to plan for your future and make other important decisions. Each college has its own timeline for releasing decisions, however many Early Action decisions are released in mid-December. 

3. Increased Chances of Receiving Scholarships 

Applying Early Action can also increase your chances of receiving scholarships offered by the college. Colleges typically offer more merit scholarships to Early Action applicants because they have a better understanding of their enrollment numbers. They may also use merit scholarships as an incentive to encourage students to accept their spot in the incoming class. With a more accurate picture of their enrollment, colleges can allocate their available funds more effectively. 

4. Early Access to College Resources

When you are admitted Early Action, you’ll have access to all of the college’s resources and opportunities much sooner than if you were to wait until Regular Decision. This includes college events, campus visits, and the chance to connect with other admitted students. You’ll also have the opportunity to start preparing for college life earlier, giving you an edge over other students who are just starting to think about their future. I’ve seen many students meet future roommates at admitted student days offered to Early Action admits. 

5. Peace of Mind

Finally, applying Early Action can provide you with peace of mind. With the admissions decision out of the way, you can focus on other important things in your life, like your classes, extracurricular activities, and preparing for college. You’ll have the assurance that you’ve been accepted to your top-choice college and can move forward with your future plans. 

Early Action Offers Many Benefits

In conclusion, applying Early Action to your top-choice college can provide many benefits that can help make the college application process less stressful. With better admissions odds, a faster admissions decision, increased chances of receiving merit scholarships, early access to college resources, and peace of mind, Early Action is an excellent choice for many students. If you’re considering applying to college, I strongly encourage you to consider applying Early Action. 
If you’re interested in talking with one of our team members about which college deadline is best for you, please contact us today!

Former Senior Admissions Counselor at University of Chicago

2 years in University of Chicago Admissions
4,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

After graduating from the University of Chicago with a major in Geographical Studies and a minor in Art History, Maura joined the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at UChicago. In her two years there, she recruited students from across the country, evaluated more than 4,000 UChicago applications, offered information sessions on applying to highly selective universities, led educational essay writing workshops, and advocated for students in the admissions committee.

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