Almost six years after Harvard University and Princeton University rid of their early admissions options, today, they announced that it will return. Starting with the Class of 2016, Harvard will offer the opportunity to apply for early action admission. Princeton released their news shortly thereafter.
In 2006, Harvard ended its early action option stating that this (and other similar programs) put low-income students at a disadvantage by not allowing them to fully evaluate their financial aid options before making a decision.
Early Action is a non-binding admission that allows students to gain acceptance to an institution earlier in the school year, but does not require that they attend that institution. This is in contrast to the Early Decision admission, which is binding, meaning that students must attend if accepted. Many have criticized these practices, as they do not allow families to evaluate and compare financial aid packages from different institutions.