Well this contradicts much of what I’ve read.
Robert Massa, vice president for communication at Lafayette College, writes in The New York Times that early decision is misunderstood — and actually a good idea for those needing a lot of financial aid:
Here’s what colleges typically don’t make clear: Although early decision is binding, no college will hold a student to a contract if a family determines that the financial aid package is inadequate, regardless of how much assistance the college offers or what the needs analysis-scholarship eligibility criteria suggests.
That’s right. If the family says they can’t afford it, files an appeal and the college still doesn’t meet their expectations, they can withdraw their child’s application without penalty.
That said, yes — those who really want to shop around for financial aid packages should probably skip early admission, he states.