Is it a good idea to apply through early action?
Yes. The ultra-competitive nature of admissions to elite colleges means that to succeed, applicants should grab every advantage possible. In this case, applying through early action shows enthusiasm. There are 3 kinds of early action:
- Early Decision – Applicants can only apply to one elite college during this period and if accepted, enrollment is required. Schools in this category include Dartmouth and Brown.
- Restrictive Early Action – Applicants can only apply to one elite college during this period and if accepted, enrollment is not required. Caltech and Stanford are examples of such schools.
- Early Action – Applicants can apply to as many elite colleges as desired and if accepted, enrollment is not required. MIT is one such school in this category. It states that applicants need to observe the stricter form of early action if planning to apply to more than one elite college.
It is natural to wonder: how do these colleges know if an applicant submitted to more than one ED/REA college? They will not know if an application is unsuccessful. However, it can get dicey if there multiple early acceptances and at least one comes is an ED school, because elite colleges do share the list of their accepted applicants with each other. It is best to stay compliant.