The National Directory of Certified Public Accountants

Ask A CPA - College Planning & Financial Aid

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

"Early Action" means that a student who is accepted at a university has until the regular admission deadline (usually by May 1st) to decide whether or not to attend. This is different from "Early Decision", where a student declares a first-choice college and requests that the college decide on his or her acceptance early in the application process (November - January). If accepted, the student agrees to enroll. It is a legally binding agreement between the student and the college.

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