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When do I submit my college application?

Posted on Jun 27, 2016

Universities offer a variety of deadlines to choose from to ensure flexibility for students:

Regular Decision – you apply with all the other students. The deadlines may vary depending on the university, but they tend to fall between November and March. You usually receive an admission decision in March or April, and do not have to commit to the college until May 1st.

Early Action – you apply early to several US universities (deadlines are usually Nov 1st), and receive admissions decisions well before the usual March decision date (usually mid-December). You have until the normal reply date of May 1st to make a decision on a university and are not required to attend the university that accepts you under Early Action.

Restrictive Early Action – also known as Single Choice Early Action. This allows you to apply to only one early action institution. It is non-binding, and it also stipulates that you cannot apply to any other private school’s early program except:
• A college outside of the US
• A non-binding rolling admissions program
• A public college or university whose admission is not binding

Like Early Action applicants, you will receive the admission decision around mid-December, and you have until May 1 to decide if you want to attend the college or university.

Early Decision – you apply early to one US university (usually, the deadline is Nov 1st) and receive the admissions decision well before the usual spring decision date (usually mid-December). Early Decision is legally binding, which means you must withdraw all other applications to US universities and commit to attend the university that offers you a place. The advantage of Early Decision is that you are competing with a smaller applicant pool and are more likely to be accepted if you have the required credentials. You are sending a very strong signal of interest to your college, by making it clear to the admissions committee that this your first choice.

Rolling Admissions – available only at a few schools, usually larger public universities, where applications are accepted, evaluated and decided upon as they are received. Applications are accepted until the college fills all of its spaces – there are no deadlines.

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