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In essence, an Early Decision offer from a college is a contract. If you apply Early Decision and get accepted, you must attend that school. For your student, this is likely the biggest contract he or she will sign until a mortgage! Some colleges offer an “escape clause” to attend a local community college, but not another competing school.

Why Early Decision?

Early Decision is used to lift students to an otherwise unlikely admit. College admissions officers look at applicants in the Early Decision process more favorably.

In fact, a study from the early 2000s showed a 120-point SAT gap between Early and Regular Decision students. For example, that would mean someone with a 1300 SAT score was admitted over a student who scored 1420 and applied regular decision.

Pros and Cons

Colleges like to fill spots in the next year’s class early for the marketing aspect. Students and parents will sport their university sweatshirts and bumper stickers sooner than regular decision applicants.

Once accepted ED, the student is deprived the choice of a different school and families do not get the financial choices. Financial aid offers for Early Decision are not meant to disadvantage middle class families, but they won’t be very competitive. The school’s got you and there is no opportunity to negotiate for a lower price based on other offers.
 
In short, Early Decision is really meant for families that don’t need to shop for the best financial aid offer. To learn more about the college admissions process, Contact Us today!