Restrictive early action (REA) is an admission option that does not bind you to attend an institution if accepted. It is identical to early action, with one key addition: it also imposes restrictions on where else you can apply. REA applications are usually due in early November, with notification in December. Because restrictive early action is non-binding, it usually makes sense to apply this way to schools on your list assuming:
- You're a competitive applicant
- You don't need fall semester grades to enhance your candidacy
- Applying early doesn't actually hurt your odds
- The terms and conditions of the early admission programs ranked higher on your list don't prevent you from doing so
Keep in mind that the terms and conditions surrounding REA vary by school.
College Kickstart takes care of this for you automatically when you create a plan, so all you have to do is rank your list of schools in order of interest.