A college or university which has an early decision option is one that allows highly qualified students to apply and recieve an answer well before those who apply at the regular date. Anyone can apply early decision; in fact, more and more students are doing so. This, of course, makes it more difficult to get in even at such an early time.

Early decision has always been popular, as it boosts one's chances of being accepted considerably. This is because, if one is accepted early decision, then one is legally bound to drop out of all other schools one may be applying to. It is essentially guaranteeing the college what they are after- money, in the form of your tuition fees.

Because of the risk of litigation, most students will only apply early decision to their top choice school, and if they are absolutely certain they would like to attend there. One may apply early decision to only a single college, but with the rise in competition and pressures from the highly prosperous baby boomer generation, many students apply early decision to a college more out of fear than certainty.

Compare with early action.

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