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College Application Deadlines
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Three Types of College Application Timelines

1. Regular Admission - Regular admission is the most common application option. You can apply to as many schools as you want under this option. Once the college has received all applications, they are reviewed and all applicants are notified at the same time, during the spring of senior year. You apply by the college’s deadline, hear from them on their release date, make your decision, and notify colleges by May 1st.


2. Priority Admission - Applications submitted before the priority deadline will receive priority by the admissions office. In addition to the possibility of receiving your admission decision early, another benefit of applying for priority admission is that your application will be submitted in time for financial aid and scholarship opportunities.


3. Rolling Admission -  Rolling admission means colleges review applications on an ongoing basis. You apply and usually receive an admissions decision within two to six weeks from the time you submit your application. Most community colleges and technical schools use this timeline, but some four-year universities offer rolling admissions too.


The Two Early Application Types

1. Early Action (EA) - This is a nonbinding option that requires you to submit your application early in the fall, typically by November 1st. Always check with the college website to make sure you have the correct date. The college lets you know whether or not you are accepted by early January, but you have the right to wait until May 1 before making your decision. This gives you time to compare college offers before making a final decision. An EA application doesn’t commit you to enrolling if accepted.


2. Early Decision (ED) - This is considered binding, so it is essential that you are sure you want to enroll in a college if you apply using ED. As with early action, you submit your application in early fall. Sometime between mid-December and early January, the college notifies you whether you have been admitted, deferred to the pool of regular applicants for spring decision, or denied admission to the college. By applying under the ED, you make a commitment to attend that college if you are accepted. This commitment is taken very seriously. Going back on your agreement after being offered ED admission could result in other colleges refusing to admit you.

Note: If you are applying using ED on Common App, please reach out to your advisor to confirm that you understand your commitment. Your advisor will be required to affirm that you are aware of the implications of this application type.


Should I apply early?

If you've found your dream college and you're feeling confident about your grades, college essay, and application, applying early can be a smart move. It lets you skip the usual spring notification deadline and reduces the wait for a decision. Some colleges even have early application plans that speed up the whole admissions process. But if your grades or test scores could use some improvement, your essays need work, or you haven't double-checked everything, applying early might backfire. So, before you hit that submit button, take your time and make sure your application pieces are in order and the college where you are applying is really the place you want to be.

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