The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Attraction to early action

Is early action actually worth it?
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With college application deadlines quickly approaching, the process of applying to colleges can be overwhelming. Amidst the jargon and forms, the terms “early action” (EA) and “early decision” (ED) often cause confusion. In short, early action offers a chance to submit your application earlier, usually in November, and receive an early response, usually by December. On the other hand, early decision involves committing to a single college — if admitted, you must attend. While both options have merits, their worth varies depending on individual circumstances.

The bottom line is early action provides you with an early answer while allowing you to apply to multiple schools simultaneously. This can ease the stress associated with waiting for responses and give you more time to consider your options. The deadline for EA is usually around November 1, which in my opinion gives plenty of time to complete the essays and application on time — making EA a pretty easy choice for me to recommend for all schools. 

On the other hand, early decision is a more binding commitment. With ED, you apply to a single institution and, if admitted, you are obligated to enroll in that college. This approach can be highly beneficial for those with a clear top-choice school as it might increase your chances of acceptance. However the “increase chance” might differ from school-to-school, so make sure to research how specific schools handle it based on your situation. It’s also important to note that ED limits your options and makes it harder to compare financial aid offers from different institutions, and some schools don’t offer ED. I can only recommend going with ED if you have a clear #1 school you’re shooting for, and if you are in a good financial position.

In my own college application journey, I found early action to suit my needs better. Without a clear-cut number one choice and considering schools that didn’t offer early decision, the binding commitment of ED didn’t appeal to me. This made EA a more logical option, especially for schools higher up on my list. I can’t objectively state early action is the best option to go with for everyone, as it ultimately comes down to individual circumstance. However, EA provides a much safer middle ground compared to the extreme of ED, so I do believe EA is worth it and recommendable.

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About the Contributor
Noah Leventhal, Digital Content Editor
Hi there! I'm Noah, a senior, and this is my third year on Echo. I'm super excited to take on the role of Digital Content Editor this year, making sure the website is in tip-top shape 24/7. I also manage our social media presence, working to expand Echo's reach as far as possible. When I'm not designing pages or writing stories for Echo, you'll find me enjoying movies, games, and occasionally playing ultimate frisbee.

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