What Does Early Action Mean?

When you apply to college, you may have options as to the way in which you apply:

• Early Action
• Early Decision
• Regular Decision
• Priority Application
• Rolling Admissions

Here, we are going to delve into what “Early Action” means and how it is different from “Early Decision.”

Early action means that you can apply to a school early and receive their response early. So, if you are applying to a school with an early action deadline of November 1st, you will most probably hear from them before the holiday break. You may also not hear back until January. The point is that you will hear back from a school to your early action application sooner than if you had applied regular decision.

Do All Schools Offer Early Action?

No, not all schools offer early action. It is important to note what types of application options the schools to which you want to apply offer and their deadlines for each. On the Common Application this is listed under the “College Information” section for each college under the “My Colleges” tab.

What is the Difference Between Early Action and Early Decision

Early action just means that you can hear back from a school earlier than if you applied regular decision. Early decision means that not only are you applying to a school earlier and hearing back earlier, you are also contractually bound to attend that school if you are accepted (barring some financial exceptions). So, early decision is binding, while early action is not.

Looking for help with the college search and application process? We help students and families through the entire college planning journey – from search, applications and essays to interview prep, financial aid consultation and final school selection.

Contact us at info@signaturecollegecounseling.com or by phone, 845.551.6946. We work with students through Zoom, over the phone, and by email.