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Rolling Admission

With rolling admission, students have a large window of time during which they can apply to a college or university. The application process typically opens up in the early fall like most colleges, and it may continue right through the summer until classes begin. Rolling admission schools rarely have a specific date when students are notified if they have been accepted. Instead, applications are reviewed as they arrive, and admissions decisions are delivered as soon as they are available. Your chances of admission will be much stronger early on when there are more spaces left to fill, so it’s a smart idea to submit your rolling applications before working on your regular decision apps.

Early Action and Early Decision

Early action (EA) and Early Decision (ED) are admission plans that result in earlier admission than regular decision applications.  These may be very beneficial to a student who has done their research and is sure about their choice(s) of schools.

  • Early Action is non-binding. You are not obligated to attend, whereas Early Decision is. 
  • With Early Action, you have until the regular decision day to make a college decision.
  • You’ll get your admissions decision early, typically in December.
  • Applying EA/ED will often improve your chances of being admitted.
  • With restrictive early action, students can apply to other early action schools, but they cannot apply to a school with a binding early decision program.
  • Students who are not accepted early are still considered for admission with the regular admission pool.
  • When you apply ED, you agree to enroll before getting to see your financial aid offer. This could be a dealbreaker for a lot of students, so ask yourself this question before jumping into ED and finding yourself in a tough situation. 

Regular Decision

The majority of students apply to school regular decision. These are the college application deadlines you might have heard all about, usually at the beginning of January. The most common RD deadline is January 1, and January 15 is another, but ultimately deadlines vary by school. Students apply around January and will then hear back sometime in March or April.