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College Admission Types

Early Decision (ED):Early decision plans are binding—students accepted as early decision applicants must attend the college.

· Students can apply to only one early decision college.

· Apply early (usually in Oct./Nov.) to first-choice college.

· Receive an admission decision from the college well in advance of the usual notification date (usually by December).

· If the college accepts a student and offers them enough financial aid, they must go to that college. That's why these plans are referred to as "binding."

· They must withdraw all other applications if they’re accepted by this college.

· Send a nonrefundable deposit well in advance of May 1.

Pros: May offer boost to admission, save time and money of submitting multiple applications, shows commitment

Cons: Senioritis, binding contract, application due sooner

Early Action (EA): Early action plans are non-binding—students get an early response to their application but don't have to commit to the college until the standard reply date of May 1.

· Students can apply to more than one early action college.

· If they're accepted, they can say yes right away or wait until spring to decide.

· Receive an admission decision from the college in advance of the usual notification date (usually by Jan./Feb.).

Pros: you receive an earlier response, may offer boost to admission

Cons: Time crunch for other applications if not accepted, reduced financial aid, senioritis

Regular Decision (RD): Regular decision plans are non-binding—the normal process by which students apply by published deadlines, with promise of receiving an admissions decision no later than April 1 of their senior year.

· Applications due between January and February.

· Decision dates vary (usually March – April).

Pros: Take more time to fill out applications, apply to as many colleges as you want, time for test retakes.

Cons: Waiting close to graduation to receive a decision, less time to prepare for college, might be a lot to handle with final exams and scholarships.

Rolling Admissions: Rolling Admissions are non-binding and means colleges view applications on an ongoing basis and start evaluating the applications as they come in and send out letters as soon as they’ve made a decision.

· It is a good idea to apply as soon as possible.

· Approximately 450 colleges use this process.

· Decision dates within 4 – 6 weeks from application.

Pros: You know quickly after you turn in your application, spread out your college applications.

Cons: Could hurt your chances or acceptance if you turn it in late, not all colleges offer Rolling Admissions, colleges may set priority deadlines, spots fill up quickly.

College Admissions
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Types of College Admissions
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Bibliography: “What’s the Difference between Early Action and Early Decision? – For Parents & Guardians – The College Board.” For Parents & Guardians, 27 May 2018, “Early Decision & Early Action Applications | College Board.” Education Professionals, 7 Sept. 2007, Staff, College Raptor. “The 4 Different Types of College Application Deadlines.” College Raptor Blog, College Raptor, Inc., 7 Feb. 2017, “7 Different Types of College Admissions (& Which One Is Best for Your Student) - The Scholarship System.” The Scholarship System,, 30 Sept. 2018,


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