Early Decision and Financial Aid


While the odds of acceptance greatly improve, the price may be reduced financial aid.

According to a National Association for College Admission Counseling report (2017), schools that offered Early Decision (ED) accepted nearly 60% of 2016 ED applicants. Many of those schools are private colleges.

Under ED, a student commits to their first choice school and agree to enroll if admitted. Once accepted under ED, students must withdraw all other applications.

If admitted ED, you must accept that school’s financial aid award, even if another school made a better offer. And, if you fail to withdraw the other apps, the ED school may withdraw the offer of admission.

So, what do you need to know?

Generally, the ED is binding, unless the aid offered is not enough to make the cost affordable. This is uncommon.

Highly selective school tend to meet 100% of need, though that may include quite a bit in loans. But, if you’re from high-cost areas, based on your Expected Family Contribution, you may not be able to afford a specific school, even with a generous aid package.

ED will negate your ability to compare packages and leverage awards across multiple schools. Furthermore, ED may limit the amount of merit aid available to your student. As most schools utilize merit aid to attract ideal students, if you’ve applied ED, there may be no reason to offer such aid.

Please contact us for assistance with your family’s college planning campaign. We can help your family maximize financial aid eligibility.


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