The National Directory of Certified Public Accountants

Ask A CPA - College Planning & Financial Aid

In The College Application Process, What Does Early Decision Mean?

"Early decision" is when a student declares a first-choice college and requests that the college decide on acceptance early in the application process (November - January) and the student agrees to enroll if accepted. It is a legally binding agreement between the student and the college. This is different than "Early Action" where the student if accepted has until the regular admission deadline (usually by May 1st) to decide whether or not to attend.

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