There are three types of college bound seniors. There are those who are anxious about applying and want the whole process to be over as quickly as possible. The next group wants to spend more time exploring their options and the last group parents feel they care more about their child going to college than the child does. Clearly the first group would be excellent candidates for an early admission application. The two other groups would be better candidates for regular admission.
An early admission application can't be quickly thrown together to get the process over with. The application and the college budget need to be well planned. This takes work on the parents behalf as well as the students. There are some similarities between early action and early decision. Both require applications to be submitted around November 1st and the notification date is typically around December 15th. Generally only private schools offer early application. State colleges and Universities are on a rolling admissions cycle. Financial aid forms (CSS Profile and FAFSA) must be filled out by November 15th for early decision applications and award packages are send out in writing the first two weeks of January. Early action aid form deadlines follow the regular decision time frame. Early decision is a binding application and the student is required to attend if accepted. If accepted the student is mandated to withdraw all other college applications that have been submitted. Early action is non-binding and the student applicant has until May 1st to decide. Financial aid packages will be mailed for the early action student by April 1st so there is time to appeal the package before committing May 1st.