Differences between early and regular decision

Kimberly Williams, Editor-in-Chief

It’s the time of year when seniors who choose to must apply to colleges. There are several options to choose from, including early decision, early action and regular decision. If a student chooses to apply early decision, he or she must attend the school should he or she get in. Early action allows students to know their acceptance decision earlier during senior year than regular decision. With all these options, which methods are best for students?

“I applied early action for some of the schools I’m applying to in order to space them out so I wasn’t applying to all of them at once,” said senior Reagan Redman. “I think it’s whatever works best for you.”

A benefit of applying early action to a school is that a student can find out if he or she is accepted into a school they want to go to by January, but aren’t comfortable with making a binding commitment. Some students feel that early action helps alleviate stress, knowing that their applications are submitted and they’ll know their acceptance decision sooner rather than later.

“I think you should apply early action if your application is at its strongest. If you’re feeling rushed and stressed to meet an early action deadline, you should wait to apply regular decision,” Redman said.

However, sometimes students submit applications that aren’t quite ready for review, just because they think an early action application will improve their odds of being accepted. Another con is that colleges won’t be able to see semester grades in time to make their decision, so if a student’s first quarter grades aren’t as high as they’d like, those are what schools will see.