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Types of College Admissions

Regular Admission
This is the most common application process in this country.  Students usually apply to colleges between September 1st and January 15th, are notified of the decision by April 1st, and then must let the college know whether they will matriculate by May 1st.

Rolling Admission
Colleges that use rolling admissions accept applications until they've filled all the spots in their freshman class.

Decisions are then made on a case-by-case basis, and you'll usually hear back within 4 to 8 weeks. However, some colleges accept applications under a rolling-admission policy and then send out decisions all at once.

There may also be less competition, but this depends on you. If you apply in December, the school won't wait until March to compare you with all the other applicants and you could actually improve your chances of being accepted. Remember though, the reverse also holds true: the later you apply, the more competition there may be for fewer spots. Procrastinators beware! There is a lot of truth to that old saying, "You snooze, and you lose!"

Applying to a school with rolling admissions late in the game can also impact your financial aid offer. A school's admission and aid policies are not one and the same. In fact, they usually come from offices that are nowhere near one another. If you're accepted after the free money's been doled out, you could be out of luck and limited to taking out loans.

Early Decision
This is an early application process that carries a binding commitment to enroll, if accepted, to the college.  Student and parent must sign that if admitted, the student will attend the college/university regardless of financial aid award.  Colleges will share early decision lists, so all other applications must be withdrawn.  Students not admitted under Early Decision are reconsidered with the regular decision candidates.  Students and parents will not be informed of financial aid prior to admission.  A small number of colleges have a second round of early decision called early decision II.  This deadline is usually around January 15th with a notification one month later.

Early Action
This is an early action process whereby a student can submit an application by November 1 (or other designated date) and receive a decision by mid-December.  The Early Action student, if accepted, is not bound to enroll.  Students are not required to notify the college of their enrollment decision until May 1 and they can apply to other colleges’ early action or early decision.  Please note that in some instances, if a student is denied acceptance via EA, their application MAY NOT go back into the pool for regular decision.  Be very careful and make sure you check each institution's rules for EA.

Restricted Early Action
This is an early application process used by a few Ivy League Universities (Stanford, Harvard, Yale for example) where students typically apply by mid-November and are notified by mid-December. Students are not required to notify the college of their enrollment decision until May 1.   Under the early action single choice policy, students are not allowed to apply to other colleges under early decision or early action programs.  They can, however, apply to other colleges through regular decision programs.

Immediate Decision Days
Immediate Decision Day is an opportunity for qualified freshmen applicants to participate in a quick, easy, and personal admissions process. You will meet with admissions staff, interview with faculty, tour the campus and interact with current students. Additionally, you will receive your admissions decision and preliminary financial aid information, and possibly a scholarship all in one day.

Students applying to attend an Immediate Decision Day must ensure they meet the minimum qualifications (if applicable).

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