Confusing Application Terminology
As application season has officially begun, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the application deadline terminology. Below you will find information about deadlines and Wolf College Consulting tips.
Early Action – this deadline allows students to apply early (typically in November) and also receive an early admissions decision – acceptance or denial (typically in December or January). This deadline is non-binding which means if accepted you are not required to attend. You may apply to multiple early action colleges. I typically encourage all of my students to mostly apply Early Action for two reasons: typically colleges accept at a higher yield for Early Action applications and some colleges only give academic scholarships to students that apply Early Action.
Early Decision – this deadline allows students to apply Early Decision to ONE college (typically in October or November). Students who apply Early Decision are bound to attend that college if accepted (also known as a “binding” decision). You may apply to other colleges, but only ONE Early Decision. If you are accepted to an Early Decision college, you are required to withdraw all other applications. I only recommend applying Early Decision to a college if you are sure it is your #1 Choice and you are prepared financially for that college.
Early Action Single Choice – to make it confusing there is another “Early” deadline. This deadline allows your to apply early to ONE Early Action Single Choice college, but it is non-binding. You may apply to other Early Action colleges and you are not required to withdraw your applications if you are accepted to the Early Action Single Choice college. If a college offers this type of deadline and it is one of your top colleges, this can be a great option.
Regular Decision – this deadline is typically in January and most notifications are sent by April. If a college also has an Early Action deadline, I first recommend applying Early Action, but some colleges only have Regular Decision deadlines. This in a non-binding application.
Rolling Admission- some colleges do not have a specific deadline and instead have a rolling admission policy. You can apply at any time (typically until May 1 or when they run out of space). When you apply you typically hear back from the school within 2-4 weeks. For Rolling Admission schools, I still recommend applying as early as possible for scholarships and to give you time to make decisions, register for classes, etc.
Please contact Wolf College Consulting if you need help understanding the application process. We are here to help!