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Slang Dictionary: Early Decision

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What Does "Early Decision" Mean

What Does “Early Decision” Mean?

“Early decision” is a term commonly used in academic contexts. It refers to a college or university admissions process where prospective students apply early, typically in the fall of their senior year of high school, and receive an admission decision well before the regular admission deadline. This means that students who apply early decision commit to attending that particular institution if they are accepted.

Related Words

  • Early Action: Similar to early decision, early action allows students to apply early but does not require them to commit to attending if accepted.
  • Regular Decision: This is the standard college application process with a later deadline, and students can apply to multiple institutions without a binding commitment.

Where Does This Word Come From?

The term “early decision” originated in the realm of college admissions in the United States. It was designed to offer eager students an opportunity to secure their spot at their dream college or university as soon as possible, easing the anxiety associated with the traditional admissions timeline.

Who Uses This Word?

High school seniors and college admissions professionals are the primary users of the term “early decision.” Students often discuss their application strategies with friends and family, while college counselors guide them through the process.

Examples of Using This Word

  1. “I applied for early decision to my top-choice school because I knew it was the perfect fit for me.”
  2. “Many students prefer early decision because it provides a sense of security about their college plans.”

What to Replace This Word Within Academic Writing

In formal academic writing, it’s best to use the full phrase “early decision” rather than slang terms. However, in scholarly work, it’s important to explain the concept thoroughly to ensure readers understand its significance within the context of your discussion.


Understanding the slang term “early decision” is crucial for high school students navigating the college admissions process. It offers an opportunity for students to secure their dream school spot early, but it’s essential to comprehend the commitment involved. Whether you choose early decision, early action, or regular decision, remember that the college admissions journey is a significant step toward your future academic and personal growth.