Early Decision or Early Action vs Regular Decision

December 29, 2014

Early Decision or Early Action vs Regular Decision

If a student has the grades and test scores that match or are in the upper 1/3 bracket of students that are admitted AND the parents do not care about getting financial aid, then apply Early Decision/Early Action. However, if financial aid is needed then apply under the Regular Decision guidelines (but submit your application well before the Early Decision deadline.
From Harvard’s website.
Harvard does not offer an advantage to students who apply early. Higher Early Action acceptance rates reflect the remarkable strength of Early Action pools. For any individual student, the final decision will be the same whether the student applies Early Action or Regular Decision.

From Forbes website
A New Twist
Something relatively new in the aid world is some public universities and less well-known private colleges are now requiring those students applying for admission early, either through the early decision or early action admission options, to complete the CSS Profile in addition to the FAFSA, while students applying under the regular admission process need only to complete the FAFSA. Applying for admission early is a proven way to boost a student’s chances of being accepted, but if more and more colleges require the CSS Profile when applying early, and a family’s finances look less favorable for aid based on the Profile, the unintended consequence may be a less favorable aid package.

To get the most aid, apply under the Regular Decision guidelines and submit the application before the Early Decision deadline.

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