Ideally, if a student chooses one of the early streams, they've already done some thorough research into college options, says Paul Marthers
He is the dean of admission at Reed College in Oregon.
"Early application, in my opinion, should only be made to a college that the student has determined is a clear first choice, a choice that will not change in the months following early application," Marthers
"Colleges admit only the best candidates in their pools through early action admission.
Never apply early action unless you are fully prepared for the possibility that you will be denied."
It's important for students to realize that early decision is a binding program, so applicants can end up selecting a first choice college that they no longer want to attend several months later, Marthers
The regular admission stream gives students the opportunity to apply to multiple colleges and have several options, Marthers
"Financial aid applicants, in particular, often need multiple options, because financial aid policies and awards can have considerable variation," he