How does early application work?

<p>I'm a borderline student for admissions. I am right along average for about all the stats, so whether or not I will be accepted is really up in the air. My question is how does early applications here work? For instance, Vanderbilt is contract binding, and I would have to pledge to go there if admitted, regardless of financial aid. So needless to say I am waiting to apply there till RD. Notre Dame does not reconsider early applicants for regular decision if they are not accepted early. So needless to say I am also waiting to apply RD there. How does Northwestern work? Should I apply early? or is it like one of these other 2 instances where I should wait till RD? Are acceptance rates higher early? etc.
Thanks!</p>

<p>Early decision, binding. Deadline was yesterday.</p>

<p>Well thanks! good thing I wasn't interested in a binding agreement(:</p>