College admissions decisions can come out at a variety of different times depending on when you apply. In this post, we will define what some of the application deadlines mean and how they will impact your decision timeline.
Early Action (EA) Deadline: Generally October - November Binding: No
Early Action allows you to complete and submit your application earlier than the regular pool of applicants. In the case that you are deferred (your decision is pushed back for a variety of reasons) from Early Action, your application will be considered during the Regular Decision pool.
Restrictive Early Action (REA) is when a school will ask you to only apply to one school Early Action.
Early Decision (ED) Deadline: Generally November Binding: Yes
Early Decision is a binding contract admissions, which means that you must attend that school if you chose this option. Therefore, you should be careful about making this decision - generally students who have a strong interest in attending a specific school will elect this option. The deadline tends to be earlier, and the decision will also come out sooner. If accepted into this school, you will have to withdraw your applications from the other schools you applied to.
Early Decision II (ED II) Deadline: Generally early January Binding: Yes
Similar to Early Decision, some schools will provide this option where you can apply Early Decision but submit your application later than the typical ED deadline. You will still receive your decision sooner than Regular Decision. This still requires binding admissions, which means if accepted, you must attend this school and withdraw applications from other schools.
Regular Decision (RD) Deadline: Generally early January Binding: No
Regular Decision is when most applications are submitted. You may apply RD even if you did EA, but not if you did ED. Decisions are generally released in March or April.
Rolling Admission Deadline: Differs from school to school Binding: No
Rolling Admissions releases decisions quicker as compared to the other admissions types. The deadline is fluid from school to school, as some will continue to accept students until they fill their incoming class size, while others will accept on another basis.
Researching your schools and deciding which schools have which options will help you decide which admissions type is the best for you to apply for. Good luck!