What about Early Action or Early Decision applications?

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Students should approach these with caution. Early action/early decision means that a college will review an application submitted early (usually Nov. 1), and will give the applicant an admissions decision by mid-December. While it is nice to know a college's decision early on, students should be careful of several things. First, some of these programs are binding, meaning that a college will insist that you attend their school if they accept you. These early programs are also more competitive, and many schools won't let a rejected early applicant enter the regular applicant pool. Most students find it advantageous to apply regular admissions to all schools so they can decide for themselves which college to attend after all of the acceptances and financial aid packages have been determined.
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