Can Harvard EA Aspirant Submit Regular-Decision Applications Now?

Question: My son is applying to Harvard under early decision. Does he have to wait until he gets a decision in December before he can begin submitting other applications via regular decision. He thinks finishing regular applications before then will hurt his chances at Harvard. I worry that waiting until the last minute on all of his other schools is risky. Also, University of California applications are due Nov. 30.

First of all, Harvard offers Restrictive Early Action, not Early Decision.  This may sound hairsplitting, but there’s an important difference because Early DECISION requires a binding commitment while Early ACTION allows admitted applications to wait until May 1 before  enrolling.

But you probably already know this, even if your terminology is incorrect.  I realize that this isn’t what you’re concerned about. So, to answer your question …

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