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Early decision/ early action

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What's the deal with applying to schools with an early action, the one which they say is "binding" and you have to pull your other apps?  How are you "bound" to accept an offer of admission?  And why can't one just apply with that option to all their choices and then pick one?

Early action is "binding" because they know (usually) that your application is particularly promising (in oprder to recieve a decision earlier than anyone else) and knowing that this is your nuimber one choice, you must let them know "in writing" that you are matriculating with them and them alone. You are specifically bound, becasue if you end up being accepted when applying early action, and you decide to matriculate elsewhere it would be in bad faith becasue of your written promise. I don't think there is a specific penalty, but it doesn't look good to other schools based on what I have noticed (this cuts out their competition this way). If you were able to do early action for many schools and then pick then there would be no difference between regular and early action (except the wait). This offering by certain schools allows you to not have undue stress during the usual waiting period (4-6 weeks to anywhere up to 4 months or more!) plus rewarding you for performing exemplary, and knowing EXACTLY which school you wish to attend.  Hope this helps with your question. Otherwise let me know so that I can further clarify your question. I aplogize for the novel, and if this seems a bit confusing.  :)

I plan on applying early action to a couple of schools. There are all "non-binding" so I don't see why I can't apply to more than one. I have called the admissions offices and should I be accepted, I have no obligation what-so-ever to attend their school. My thought is that if you are ready to apply now, why wait....? At least that is my reasoning. Thanks.

Beware: some schools have a "binding" early action, I think Georgetown is that way, in that instance you would be obligated to attend

Yes the binding ones are the ones I am worried about.  ;)

That is what I figured.


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