Early Action vs. Regular Decision

Prospective First-Year students have two application options: Early Action and Regular Decision.

One of the most common questions our office receives is "Should I apply for Early Action or Regular Decision?" This decision is  ultimately up to the student who is applying and neither option is better than the other.



What is the difference between EA and RD?

So why apply Early Action? This option allows an expedited process for students who do not have to submit the required essays and teacher recommendation for Regular Decision. Students will also learn of a decision sooner, typically prior to December 1. EA is an appropriate option for students who present competitive credentials in their high school grades, curriculum choices and standardized test scores.

Why Regular Decision?  Regular Decision provides applicants an opportunity to be reviewed holistically. Grades, curriculum and test scores are considered along with extracurricular activities, leadership and volunteer experiences, athletics, work experience, essays and letters of recommendation. Typically, students who apply Regular Decision can also have the grades from their first semester of the senior year included in their evaluation.



How Should I Decide?

The best way to determine whether to apply for Early Action or Regular Decision is to look at the First-Year Profile for previous years and see where you, as an applicant, would fall within the ranges for grades, curriculum and test scores. Since admitted Early Action students are at the top end of the group, if an applicant is not in the mid-50% or higher in at least two of those areas, they should consider applying for Regular Decision.

Additionally, if an applicant would like to have first semester grades or SAT/ACT scores (from a test date after the application deadline) factored into their decision, then the applicant should consider applying for Regular Decision. 

Contact us

Contact us for more information about how you can join the FIRST. 

  • (+1) 706-542-8776
  • Mon - Fri 9:00am - 4:00 pm (EST)
  • 210 South Jackson Street, Athens, GA 30602-1633
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