The benefits of Early Action

Haley DeLaca, Deputy Online Editor

The beginning of the school year marks an important time for high school seniors. Stress is thick in the air as students prepare their college applications. However, there is many different ways for colleges to decide who to let in and when; it all depends on what you put on your application. Most colleges have early action and early decision options, which help students get their admission decision fairly soon.

High school juniors are already preparing for college, but many don’t know the difference between applying for regular decision and early action.

What exactly is early action? It is applying to a college early, and in return receiving an admission decision sooner than those applying through regular decision. The majority of universities begin accepting applications in August and have an early action deadline of November. Some universities accept applications as early as July.

Claire Grimes, Salem high school senior, applied to Arizona State University through early action, and was accepted. “I wanted to be stress free. I was satisfied with my grades from junior year, so I figured it would be best to apply as early as possible. It has definitely benefited me, and I’m excited to go to Arizona State University next year.”

Megan Bis, a current junior at Central Michigan University, also applied through early action. “I applied to colleges in August, and received my admissions decisions a few months later. I would suggest applying early action, because then you can secure your place at your dream school, or at least get an answer from them right away. Also, it was nice to be done with the application process.”

It is important to know the difference between early action and early decision. While early action is non-binding, applying early decision forces you into commitment. Early decision programs mean that if you’re accepted, you agree to attend that school. Refusal to go to that school could end in a lawsuit. The benefits are a fast decision and priority scholarship consideration, but you shouldn’t apply early decision unless you are 100 percent sure you want to attend that school.

Overall, students should go into their senior year with knowledge on applications and ways to apply. It takes a lot of preparation (and excessive worrying), but it’s worth it to be ready for the next big step in life.