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Early to Rise, Early to Decide

As October deadlines arise, THiNK PREP would like to give students a heads up on some important information concerning Early Action and Early Decision applications.

Early Action is a way for students to submit their applications to school early, in November opposed to applying regularly in January. Here are some important questions to ask yourself to see if it's right for you:

Is Early Action/Early Decision for Me?

It is recommended for students to apply early if they have (a) particular school(s) in mind. Students can apply by Early Action to multiple colleges: this is like the common application with expedited results in return for meeting quicker deadlines. Early Decision is conducted in much the same way. However, a student can ED to only one school, and it is a binding commitment. In other words, if the student is accepted to their ED school, they must attend there. It is possible to apply EA to multiple schools and apply ED to one school at the same time. We recommend students to carefully consider ED applications, and check whether schools of interest have either ED or EA.

What Do I Need to Apply EA/ED?

As implied in the name, students only require what they would have submitted for their regular common application deadline, but prepared much earlier. This includes report cards, completed college essays, any supplemental short essays, and standardized test scores. The last chance for students to have an SAT grade to meet the November EA/ED deadline, was the October exam: read more about important deadlines here. Aside from your scores, make sure to call your current school of attendance to promptly prepare your grades to be sent to schools. Have your essays completed, checked, and ready to be submitted as well.

Some Final Tips?

The difficulty in EA/ED lies in some students’ great weakness: pro-activity. Students intending to apply early should already have prepared most of their EA/ED applications. At the least, students should have their standardized test scores ready to be sent, such as their superscores, or scores for their October SAT on the way. There is still about two weeks before the deadline so we encourage students to apply early if they can. Although the pool is competitive, the chances of admission are higher for EA, however slight. This can take a load off students' shoulders knowing they have a school in their pocket or at least give them less pressure for their regular applications.

THiNK PREP offers college consulting and essay editing. If you'd like to have professional help with your application to confirm everything is prime condition before submission, give us a call at (212) 685-5077 or email us at

Best of luck to all the college applicants!

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