Early Action: Pros and Cons

7 Feb 2020

by Jordan Fulmer

“Before you act, listen. 

Before you react, think.”

-William Arthur Ward


  • There’s usually a higher acceptance rate from the pool of Early Action students than there is for regular decision. By putting your application in early, you’re notifying the admissions office that this school is your top choice and therefore, you’re more likely to go there if they offer you an acceptance, improving their yield.
  • With Early Action, you can still apply to other colleges with the Regular Decision deadline; you’re not restricted. You can wait until financial aid offers come in and you can compare and contrast with other colleges before you make a decision. You won’t have to give Early Action colleges a decision until the National Decision Day, which is May 1st.
  • You’ll know earlier than other applicants whether or not you got in, giving you breathing room your senior year and more time to concentrate on keeping your grades up.


  • Not all colleges have Early Action.
  • Also, if you’re denied, that’s the end of it and you’re not considered for Regular Decision unless they defer their decision to put you in with the regular decision pool of applicants (which can happen). 
  • You’ll be compared to students in that pool and that pool only (unless you’re deferred). Usually students who are on top of their game and have great scores, GPAs, and activities will apply Early Action.
  • Senioritis can strike at any moment, especially if you have your answer early. You have to maintain the same GPA and academic rigor in order to keep your spot, which can be harder when you already know you’re accepted somewhere. Early Action deadlines arrive quickly your senior year, right around the time that you’re getting used to your classes, the last SAT is rolling around, and homecoming/senior events start in the fall. You’ll need to plan early to get your application ready in time. 
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