Early Policies. They can maximize your chances to get into a school but you need to read them carefully.
Early Decision. Early Action. Single-Choice Early Action. Regular Decision.
Which one should you choose?
The names sound similar, but there are huge differences.
Early action means students who get accepted do not have to commit. Early decision means if you get accepted you have to commit. Unsurprisingly, when schools switch from Early Decision to Early Action, they can experience a giant rise in early applications. Adding to the layers of confusion, many schools are “Single-Action Early Action” which means you will violate the rules if you apply Early Action to one school and Early Decision to another.
Be aware, there is an increase in the number of schools that have restrictions in their Early Action policies. You do not want to get caught violating these policies so be sure to read and understand the policies of each school – even the tiny print.
To make it even more confusion, policies can change constantly. One year a school may drop their early admission policy. Another year, a school may switch from Early Decision to Early Action.
Then, too, at some schools only domestic students can apply early. International students may need to apply regular admissions.
International College Counselors recommends students apply with an early strategy.
Below is a quick reference list of the main types of early policies. Double check application deadlines as can they vary year to year.
Types of Applications Typical Deadline Restrictions
Rolling September onward Nonbinding
Early Action late Oct. to late. Nov. Nonbinding
You may apply early to more than one college.
Restrictive Early Action November 1 Nonbinding
You can not apply to more than one Early Action program. School policies then differ on whether you can concurrently apply to Early Decision at another school.
Single-Choice Early Action November 1 Nonbinding
You cannot apply early to other schools
Early Decision mid-Oct. to mid Nov. Binding
You can apply early to only one college.
Early Decision II January 1 or January 15 Binding
Regular Decision December 15-January 1 Nonbinding
Binding means that you agree to attend the college if it accepts you and offers adequate financial aid. If you’re accepted by your first-choice college early, you must withdraw all other applications.
Early Notification/Early Evaluation is an option offered to applicants by a limited number of selective institutions and is designed to give students an idea of their chances for admission. This is not an admission plan, nor is it an offer of admission.
For more information on Early Action, Early Decision and which program is right for your student, clients of International College Counselors should contact one of our expert college advisors.
International College Counselors
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE COUNSELORS
International College Counselors provides expert college counseling on undergraduate and graduate college admissions, financial aid, tuition, essays, and college applications. Mandee Heller Adler, college admissions consultant and Founder of International College Counselors tailors her college counseling and college coaching services to address the goals, needs, and dreams of each student. Our college advising company works with domestic and international students. Let us help you make the best decisions in choosing, getting into, and paying for college