High school seniors who apply to college early--through "Early Decision" or "Early Action" programs with fall deadlines--are more likely to receive admission letters than those who apply using the regular deadlines and processes at more than 80 percent of the colleges that report such statistics, according to U.S News & World Report. And the admissions advantage is big, according to the publication’s analysis of the 233 colleges that report separate rates for their early admission programs. In 2009, the last year for which complete data is available, the typical college's early acceptance rate was 15 percentage points higher than its...

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