A Guide to Early Decision vs. Early Action for Admissions

Early Decision vs. Early Action for Admissions

Applying for university can be confusing. There are deadlines to meet and new terminology to learn, such as “early decision” and “early action.” What do these two terms mean and how do they differ?

What Is Early Decision?

If a particular university is your top choice and you know you want to go there above all others, you may like to go for early decision. This means that if you receive an offer from the school, you agree to accept it. You’ll need to send your application before the typical deadline to apply for university. The benefit of this is you’ll finish the application process sooner — students usually hear back from schools around a month after they submit their applications.

What Is Early Action?

Like with an early decision, early action means sending your application before the typical deadline. Again, you’ll receive a response sooner. The difference is any offer you receive will be unbinding — in other words, you’re under no obligation to accept. If you decide to accept, the application process is over. However, you can continue applying to other schools if you’re still unsure about where you want to go or if you want to see if you can receive a better offer.

Which Is Right for You?

Since universities give priority to students who use early decision and early action, either could increase your chances of receiving an offer from a school. Early decision could be the right choice for you if you have a dream school in mind, whereas early action may be useful if you’re still unsure. For instance, if you need more time to assess your financial aid options, early decision may be unsuitable.

Application Deadlines

You need to start thinking about early decision and early action as soon as possible because the deadlines for applying tend to be in the fall. It’s common for the first deadline to be November 1 and the second to be November 15, although some universities have deadlines of December 1 or even as late as January 15. Check the schools you’re interested in applying to and write the dates on your calendar.

Dealing with a Rejection

It can be hard to deal with a rejection from a school, particularly if it’s after an early decision application for your dream university. It’s important to note, though, that schools often won’t deny your application outright but defer it. This means the university will consider your application later with those from the regular applicant pool.

Once you do receive an offer from the school you want to attend, you can start making other arrangements. One important thing to do is to start searching for furnished apartments. Ottawa students should look no further than 1Eleven. We have apartments with one to four bedrooms to suit your preferences and budget, all of which come equipped with modern amenities. Plus, if you decide to share an apartment, we can even match you with roommates — you’ll receive a lease for just your bedroom. Apply now to live the ultimate student experience.

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