Clara Diana

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Early Action VS Early Decision - Everything You Need to Know About Writing

Most of the colleges give a chance to students to apply for early decision.

The early decision admission process can be a great chance to nail down the school early in the process and allows you to concentrate on finishing school and preparing for college.

But on the other hand, the early decision process limits your options and tie your hand way before you have had a chance to really consider the best option for your higher studies.

Hence, before you decide to apply for an early decision, you should know the following things.

When you are applying to the college, you may come across these two things: early action and early decision. Just before you decide to choose any one of them, it is important to understand the difference so that you won’t get in any college essay.

What Is Early Action?

Early action is a type of admission process in which the applicant applies by an early deadline and receive a decision letter early in the admission cycle. It won’t ask students to commit to the college immediately. They can wait until the last deadline.

The early action allows you to consider and evaluate admission offers from other colleges, where you might have applied for regular admissions.

What Is Early Decision?

Early decision is quite a restrictive type of admission process. If you apply for an early decision, you won’t be able to wait for the decision letter from other colleges that you might have applied.

Applying for early decision means you are committing to attend the college if they offer to enroll you. You can’t wait to see what other colleges have to offer you in terms of admissions. You won’t be able to see a financial aid package before you commit to attending, as well.

What Is Restrictive Early Action?

The restrictive early action is similar to early action. It is also a non-binding custom college essays. The only difference is, if you apply for restrictive early action, you may not apply to any other colleges’ early action or early decision.

Applicants may be asked to sign a statement that they agree to apply only one early application.

Is the Early Decision Really Binding?

Well! There is no legally binding contract for early decision, so you don’t have to worry about it. But just because college is not going to take you to the court for breaking an early decision contract, it doesn’t mean that there are no consequences.

When you apply for an early decision, you agree to not apply anywhere else. And you are not allowed to apply for early decision at more than one college at a time. If you do, you might have to withdraw your applications.

Additionally, you are bound to attend the college if you are accepted. Hence, if you get an admission offer, you are expected to accept it immediately. You might be asked to submit the acceptance dues early on as well and you might not be able to see the financial aid package until then.

There are some colleges that provide financial aid packages to applicants early on, so long as the financial aid application process is completed.


What Happens If You Break an Early Decision Contract?

As above said, you probably will not see any legal consequences, there are definite consequences that you will face if you break an early decision contract. Some of them are:

  • Your high school might refuse to send your final transcript to additional colleges
  • You might not get an additional recommendation letter from your school, for other applications
  • Other colleges might not allow you admission if they know that you have broken an early decision contract.
  • The offer will not be reinstated later, if you change your mind and want to attend the college, later.
  • You might have to take a gap year if you turn down the acceptance since you won’t get admission in any other college.

The only exception is if you get the financial aid package early at your early decision college and you can’t afford to attend after all.


If you want to apply for early action or early decision admission process, go for the early action process. It allows you more time to write your college essay examples and compare other admission offers if you have applied to several colleges.

  More Resources:

The ultimate guide to expository essay writing

Understanding the idea of interpretive paper

How to Handle A College Deferral?