I have heard that applying Early Decision at Georgetown and Harvard doesn’t offer an advantage. How can that be? Doesn’t ED send a strong message of interest to your schools of choice?
I think the first issue here is that you are confusing early programs. Both Georgetown and Harvard offer Early Action (EA) rather than Early Decision (ED). ED is binding, which means that students applying via this program are agreeing to attend those institutions if they are admitted. EA is non-binding, which means students using these plans are not required to attend if admitted and instead have until the common reply date of May 1 to notify schools of their decisions.