Help! the concept of Early Decision..

<p>I'm just getting a head start on looking at colleges before I apply next year (I'm a junior) and I don't really understand the concept of early decision. I know that early decision is binding, and early action isn't binding. But I was curious about financial aid packages that go along with early acceptance? Like, if you get accepted early decision do colleges offer financial aid then, or do you seperately apply for scholarships after you get accepted? And also, if you get accepted early decision but you don't get a sufficient financial aid package do you still have to go?
I'm looking at Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, and Rice.</p>

<p>Thanks for your help!</p>

<p>Colleges will provide an FA projection for you to use in your decision (it may vary depending on your final FAFSA and CSS Profile info). Not receiving sufficient funding is the one reason you CAN opt out of your ED acceptance.</p>

<p>If you want to be able to compare financial aid packages, do not apply ED. EA is OK because you do not have to give the college your final yes/no answer until May 1 which means you will have all of your aid offers on the table and can choose the one that works best for you.</p>

<p>ED is binding but from what I understand, you are allowed to withdraw if your financial aid package is insufficient.</p>

<p>Make sure you love, love, love, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the school before you apply ED.</p>

<p>If you are looking for need-based scholarships, you will need to fill out the FAFSA form regardless of when you accepted into college, early or not. Don't forget that you can also apply for outside scholarships as well! There are many scholarships available based on merit and financial need.
Further, with ED, you can withdraw you application if you find that you cannot pay for it. That, I believe, is the only way out of an ED binding agreement. </p>

<p>Good Luck!</p>