Why Can Students Apply Early Action & Early Decision Concurrently?

Question: So why do schools let kids who are applying Early Decision elsewhere apply Early Action?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to disqualify EA applications while an ED application is pending?  Or is it more important to spread out the workload by encouraging early submissions than to reduce the workload by making sure that the applicants aren’t already committed elsewhere?

There are a handful of colleges … mostly hyper-selective ones … that prohibit Early Action candidates from applying Early Decision elsewhere (and a few of these prohibit candidates from applying Early ANYTHING elsewhere). High schools, however, never impose such restrictions. These come from the colleges themselves.

As a college counselor and also as a parent, I don’t have any problem with a policy that allows students to mix Early Action applications with an Early Decision bid, as long as the student understands that–if admitted to the ED school–he or she MUST attend (barring financial aid inadequacies, of course).

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