Students can explore various application options such as early decision, early action, rolling admissions and regular decision as part of their admissions plan. Students should ensure that all application materials are ready by the stated deadlines for each of the various application options. Deadlines vary tremendously from college to college, thus it is important to note all important deadlines when finalizing the college application list.
There are a number of college application options that are generally available to students. Not all options may be available though at all colleges SO PLEASE CHECK what each college allows when finalizing your college application list.
The following are some of the more popular admission application options:
The deadline for early-decision applications tends to be in late October or early-mid November, with decisions coming mid to late-December. If students are accepted, their commitment to the school is binding and ALL other applications to colleges MUST BE withdrawn. This process is suggested for students who desire to attend one and only one college, the one they are applying to through the early-decision process and does not allow the student to “shop around” and compare college offers and financial aid awards. Students should think carefully before choosing this process since admissions acceptances are binding.
Similar to Early Decision, the deadline for early-action applications tends to be in late October or early-mid November, with decisions coming mid to late-December. While students will need to submit completed applications early, early action allows students to present their case for admissions without a binding commitment. Students can apply to as many colleges as they wish through an Early Action process AND will typically have until May 1st to make their final decision.
Some colleges allow students to apply on a rolling admissions basis where the application process typically opens early fall and may continue through summer or as long as spaces are available, and applicants are usually notified of their acceptance or rejection within a few weeks of applying.
Submitting the application as early as possible can increase a student’s chances of acceptance as long as they meet the general criteria.
This is typically a later process, with regular decision deadlines usually falling in early January or February which gives students a longer time to prepare their college applications. Students need to be sure to be on time though so that they don’t miss out on any available financial aid options available to them.
Students receiving multiple acceptance letters from both regular decision and early action applications can lay out all of their financial aid offers to decide what school they want to attend that is within their budget. Students are able to compare aid offers and go back to colleges and ask questions and/or request additional funding.