Frequently Asked Questions


In case you wonder…



What is Early Decision (ED)?

Early decision, like early action, is an accelerated college application process in which students typically must complete their applications in November. In most cases, students will then receive a decision from the college before the new year.

Early decision has a few obvious benefits:

  • Frequently the acceptance rate is higher for early decision than it is for regular admissions.
  • Students who aren’t accepted early are still considered with the regular applicant pool.
  • Students who are accepted early are done stressing about getting into college months before most applicants.

However, early decision is not as attractive as early action for several reasons:

  • Early decision is binding. If admitted, a student must attend the school or else lose a seizable enrollment deposit.
  • A student may apply to only one college early (although additional applications for regular admissions are allowed).
  • If accepted, a student must withdraw all other college applications.
  • A student accepted early must decide to attend before receiving a financial aid package (colleges do allow students to break the early decision contract if the school fails to come up with enough aid to meet a student’s demonstrated need, but realize that the student’s need is calculated by the school and the FAFSA, not by what students think they can afford).

Because of the restrictions placed on applicants applying through early decision, a student should not apply early unless he or she is 100% sure that the college is the best choice.

Also, be careful about the financial aid issue. A student who gets accepted through early decision has no way to compare financial aid offers. The money issue, in fact, is the main reason why a few schools like Harvard and University of Virginia dropped their early decision programs; they felt it gave wealthy students an unfair advantage.

What is Early Action (EA)?

Early action, like early decision, is an accelerated college application process in which students typically must complete their applications in November. In most cases, students will then receive a decision from the college before the new year.

In general, early action is a much more attractive option than early decision. Some reasons to consider early action include:

  • At many colleges, the acceptance rates are higher for early action than for regular admission.
  • Students who are not accepted early are still considered for admission with the regular admission pool.
  • Early action is not binding — students are free to apply to other colleges.
  • Students can apply early to other colleges.
  • Although students receive early notification of an acceptance, they do not need to make a decision until the usual May 1 deadline. This allows time to figure out financial aid.
  • If accepted early at a college, the spring of a student’s senior year will be far less stressful.
  • Even if accepted early, a student can choose to go to a different college with no penalty.

Clearly, early action has more benefits for the student than for the college. So not surprisingly, many more colleges offer early decision than early action.

A few colleges offer a special type of early action called single-choice early action. Single choice has the benefits outlined above except that students are not allowed to apply to other colleges early. You are not bound in any way through single choice early action. The college, however, has the benefit that their early applicants have expressed a clear preference for their school. This makes it easier for the college to predict its application yield.

InterBabel work only with their students so they can individualize the process to each student.  Every student is unique and we can tap into that uniqueness.

What does InterBabel really do?

InterBabel works with you and for you. They create an individualized plan to help you sort through all the information involved in finding your next school. They have the tools and the knowledge to help you demystify the research and application process. Since they know schools – boarding schools, colleges and universities- they frequently advise students on how to improve in school and their personal lives to help them maximize their potential. Finally, InterBabel helps you own the process. You do the work, set the targets and your consultant helps you reach those goals by advising and coaching.

What should I do next?

Contact us for a free consultation and find out why InterBabel is the best around.