excel REA process
Are you familiar with the term “Restrictive Early Action,” or REA for short?

It’s a type of early application process that some colleges offer, and it can be a great option for students who know where they want to apply.

Here’s how it works:

With REA, you can apply to one college early (usually by November 1st) and receive a decision from that college earlier than you would with regular decision. The catch is that you can only apply to one college under REA – you can’t apply early to any other schools. However, you’re not bound to attend that college if you’re accepted – you still have until May 1st to make your final decision.

So why would someone choose REA over other early application options, like Early Decision or Early Action?

Well, one reason is that it shows a strong level of interest in the college. By applying early and committing to only applying to that one school, you’re telling the admissions office that this is your top choice. This can be especially helpful if it’s a highly selective school where demonstrating interest can make a difference in the admissions process.

Another reason is that it can give you more time to make your final decision. If you apply to multiple schools early, you may receive decisions from all of them at around the same time (usually in December). This can make it difficult to compare financial aid packages or weigh the pros and cons of each school. With REA, you’ll receive your decision earlier than regular decision applicants (usually by mid-December), but you’ll still have until May 1st to make your final decision.

It’s important to note that not all colleges offer REA, and the specifics of the program can vary from school to school. Some colleges may have additional restrictions, like prohibiting you from applying early to any other schools (including Early Action), while others may allow you to apply early to public universities or international schools. Be sure to carefully read the guidelines for each school you’re considering.

So, is REA right for you? That depends on your individual circumstances and preferences. If you’re set on one particular college and want to show your strong level of interest, REA could be a good option. However, if you’re not sure where you want to apply yet or want to keep your options open, regular decision may be a better choice.

Regardless of which option you choose, remember that the most important thing is to put together a strong application that showcases your accomplishments, interests, and personality. And don’t forget to enjoy the process – applying to college can be stressful, but it can also be an exciting opportunity to explore new opportunities and discover what’s important to you. Good luck and feel free to contact us with any questions you have about college guidance.


Frequently Asked Questions

No, with REA, you can only apply early to one college. You can still apply to other schools during the regular decision process, but you can’t apply early to any other schools.

No, you’re not obligated to attend the college if you’re accepted through REA. However, it’s important to note that REA is not the same as Early Decision (ED), where you are obligated to attend the college if you’re accepted. With REA, you still have until May 1st to make your final decision.

No, not all colleges offer REA. Some colleges only offer Early Decision (ED) or Early Action (EA), while others may not offer any early application options at all. It’s important to research each college’s specific admissions policies and deadlines to determine which application option is right for you.