Early Action (EA)- Early Action (EA)- Many colleges enable you to apply Early Action in early to mid November, and you receive a decision by mid-December (or January). Early Action is NOT binding. You can apply to as many Early Action schools as you like. You have until May 1 to accept.
- Pros- 1. You can get an early acceptance to a great college before the winter holidays and eliminate some colleges from your list. 2. You don’t have to accept the EA college.
- Cons- 1. Colleges don’t see your fall senior grades or late November-December test scores. 2. Early Action doesn’t really offer any increased chances of admissions.
Early Decision (ED)- Many private colleges offer Early Decision which is an early BINDING route to college admissions. You apply in early to mid November to ONE college, and you find out by mid-December. Some schools even offer Early Decision II which means you apply in January and find out in February. You should really investigate this college in person by visiting it or meeting with college representatives in your city. You should contact admissions officers, alumni, and classmates who attend this college. Take this decision very seriously.
- Pros- 1. If accepted, you know where you will go to college by mid-December. 2. Colleges deny it but there are distinct advantages to applying early especially if you have a connection to the college or a true passion.
- Cons- 1. You must go. You cannot accept another college if you are accepted Early Decision.2. You cannot always get the best financial aid package as financial aid forms aren’t due until January. So Early Decision is not for those students whose financial resources are iffy. 3. Early Decision colleges don’t see your first semester senior year grades or late November to December test scores.
Early Response- Many public colleges are now offering Early Response, which is very similar to Early Action. You submit your application in the fall and find out within a couple of months whether or not you are accepted.
- Pros- Same as Early Action
- Cons- Same as Early Action
Guaranteed Admissions- Many public universities offer automatic admissions to students who meet certain academic and/or test scores requirements. Students must still apply but get admissions offers earlier than other students. Some state colleges accept all students who meet certain guidelines. Some guarantee admissions to schools in local service areas or at certain sets of colleges.
- Pros- You know early on where you can go to college.
- Cons- Because of the economy, some universities cannot guarantee admissions to all students who qualify.
Priority Applications- Some private universities send priority applications to highly qualified students reducing some application requirements and guaranteeing earlier admissions. They reduce or waive application fees.
- Pros- You can get a great scholarship to such a college.
- Cons- These schools may be too easy for you.
Priority Deadlines- If you apply before this deadline, you have a higher chance of getting admitted and/or receiving a scholarship to a public university. Many state and/or public universities use priority deadlines to encourage early applications. They do not guarantee admissions to those who apply afterward the priority deadlines but do accept some of those applications. The University of Maryland, for example, has a November 1 Priority Deadline.
- Pros-You get a greater chance of receiving a scholarship and getting admitted to competitive majors and programs.
Regular Admissions- This is a set deadline for applying to a college. You apply by one date-usually January 1-February 1 for freshmen and February-April for transfers. You find out in March-April whether you get admitted. You must let the college you accept of your decision by May 1. Some major public universities have fall regular admissions deadlines. The University of California and the Cal States have a November 30 deadline for freshmen and transfers. The University of Texas has a December 1 deadline.
- Pros-1. You get to submit your fall grades and all fall test scores. 2. You get to apply for Financial Aid and compare offers.
- Cons- You have to wait until March-April to find out.
Restrictive Early Action- This is the same as Early Action-early deadlines and not binding. ONLY, you CANNOT apply to another other school Early Decision or Early Action.
- Same pros as Early Action.
- Same cons. One additional Con. You can’t apply to another other private college Early Action or Decision.
Rolling Admissions- Many public universities and some private colleges offer Rolling Admissions. You apply as soon as you can and within a few weeks you can find out whether or not you get in. This goes on throughout most of the admissions cycle for a college.
- Pros- 1. You can apply often as early as September or October and find out whether you got accepted by October or November. 2. Rolling is not binding.
- Cons- 1. You can’t submit early senior year grades or later test scores. 2. You can get deferred and should submit additional materials later on.
Withdrawn Admissions– WARNING–If you get into a school and then let your senior year grades drop, especially if you are accepted Early Action or Early Decision, the colleges may WITHDRAW their offer of admissions. Please, keep your grades up!!!
- Pros- Colleges want students who take their senior years seriously.
- Cons- You cannot relax after getting accepted. You must continue to do your best.