Editor’s note: College application season is upon us! With so many things to be done, the process can be stressful and overwhelming for students and their families. In this blog we will talk about key admission deadlines; in the following weeks we will continue sharing important information for college applicants. We hope this information makes it easier for you to navigate this process.
In this blog we will review the four basic deadlines for college applicants. However, it is important to keep in mind that although most college applications for students who plan to start college in Fall 2024 opened on August 1, there are some schools who do things differently, make sure to check out the website for each of the schools you are interested in to see their application deadlines and requirements.
There is one very important thing to consider when deciding when to apply to college: your financial situation. If money is a concern, as it is for most soon-to-be college students, applicants should choose nonbinding deadlines, this will allow the student to compare financial aid offers from multiple schools. That being said, it is time to dive into the different options.
Early decision applications are typically due on November 15th, and admission decisions are given before January 1st, the deadline for regular applications.
As an early decision applicant, you can only apply to one school; this is a great choice for those students who have set their mind on a certain university and want to speed up their admission process. It is also important to understand that your admission as an early decision applicant is binding, meaning if you are accepted you are obliged to attend that school. Students who are admitted have to sign a binding agreement before receiving financial aid from the school or hearing back about any scholarships, it is important to consider how this could impact your financial situation.
Some schools have a second early decision deadline in January and students get a response by February. It is also binding and can only apply to one school.
If you want to speed up the process but have to consider your financial situation, then early action might be the best choice for you. The deadline is typically between November 1st and November 15th. Applicants receive admission decisions before January 1st, typically around December 15th.
Early Action. is similar to early decision except that you re not obliged to attend the school that accepts you; you can apply to more than one school, and you can wait for your financial aid before you make a decision.
Inmost cases, when you’re accepted as an early action applicant, you don’t have to notify the school of your decision until May 1, so you can continue to apply to other colleges during the regular decision period.
Under early action most schools allow you to apply to as many schools as you want, however, there are a few schools that have what is called restrictive early action or single choice early action. This means that if you apply early action to one of those schools you can’t apply early action to any other schools, but you can apply to other schools during the regular decision period.
Regular Admission deadlines are typically between early January and mid-February, depending on the school you are applying to. Applicants usually hear back from schools by mid-March to early April. The student will need to accept and/or decline the offers by May 1st.
Regular admission gives you more time to work on your application. During this application time you can apply to as many schools as you wish.
Some colleges have rolling admissions, which means they accept and review applications on an on-going basis. Students have a long window of time to apply but many times they also have to wait longer to hear back from the school. Admission decisions are made on a first-come first-serve basis until all the available places are filled.
Sources: studyusa.com and usnews.com