Another anomaly, it is apparent that you are viewing this whole scenario of early notification options without understanding the purpose of ED (Early Decision) vs. EA (Early Action) vs. SCEA (Single Choice Early Action) vs. RD (Regular Decision) vs. Rolling Admission. I’m not going to attempt a complete discussion here, but here are some important points to keep in mind:
ED is one of three “early notification” options that some, but not all, colleges/universities offer – the other two are EA and SCEA. You do NOT begin with choosing ED, then choosing the school. You begin FIRST with choosing the school, then deciding on applying ED, EA or RD. Applying ED should be reserved as an option ONLY for your TOP CHOICE school. It is a “binding commitment” and obligates you to enroll at that school if you are accepted AND to retract ALL other applications. You should have no reservations whatsoever if you are applying to a school ED. Applying ED will preclude you from applying SCEA to another school, and vice-versa. BTW, backing out of this commitment will make your School Guidance Counselor unhappy (because s/he has to sign a statement on your behalf) as well as the college you turn down. The potential repercussions are not pretty.
With SCEA, it’s very similar to ED in that it is an option for those who want early notification from a college; however, SCEA is NOT a binding commitment. It does not obligate you to enroll if accepted. The same holds true for EA, except that EA does not have the “single choice” stipulation. Once again, you CANNOT apply SCEA to a college and also apply ED or EA to another college.
It makes no sense to consider a college application strategy without FIRST looking carefully at your own academic interests, college campus preferences, affordability, etc. in order to come up with a list of schools you might want to attend. When you have developed a list, evaluate the schools for Reach, Match and Safety in terms of likelihood of acceptance. Importantly, visit as many of these schools as you can to get a real sense of your fit and affinity for the campuses. If one stands out among them all as the No. 1 choice, and it is a school you know your family can afford, then consider ED or SCEA (most all colleges will offer one but not both early notification options). Do this only if you come up with no hesitations, period. Otherwise, apply RD to that school.
The vast majority of students applying to colleges do so though an RD process. Many colleges only offer an RD process, such as the University of California system. (Rolling Admission is simply a program that some colleges offer that extends the window for the application process, i.e., deadlines are eased and admissions are open-ended up until all slots are taken.) RD is without the serious restrictions and binding elements of ED, and in some cases it can be advantageous to go the RD route (e.g., if you have financial need and want to compare various financial aid packages offered by different colleges).
I hope this helps a little. Good luck!