Application Deadlines: Regular Decision, Early Decision, Early Action

Navigating the college application process can be tricky. Here are a few things to know:

Early Decision vs. Early Action
Both of these are processes in which a student applies to a college early (usually by the start or middle of November) and hears back from the college early (usually sometime in December).

Early Decision: This is binding. If you apply to a college and are accepted through an Early Decision process, you must attend (barring financial complications). You can only apply to one college Early Decision.

Early Action: This is non-binding. If you are accepted, you may choose whether or not to attend. You may apply to as many colleges as you want through their Early Action policies. It is essentially the same as Regular Decision, but you apply earlier and hear back earlier.

Should You Apply Through Early Decision and Early Action?
Early Decision: Only if you are certain this particular college is your first choice. If you are accepted, you will have to attend.
Early Action: Absolutely! There's no downside.

What is Rolling Admission?
Rolling Admission means there is no set timeline for decision notifications. The college will process applications as they come in and get back to you with decisions along whatever timeline they want.

What is Early Decision 2?
Some colleges have two separate rounds of Early Decision. Both operate exactly the same, but ED2 occurs later than ED1, giving students more time to decide if the college is truly their first choice.

What does the chart below show?
Column 1: College Name
Column 2: The Regular Decision Application Deadline Date. This is the final date all applications are due.
Column 3: The Regular Decision Notification Date. You will find out your admission decision by this date.
Column 4: Does the college offer Early Decision, Early Action, both, or neither?
Column 5: The Early Decision or Early Action Application Deadline Date. This is the final date all applications are due to be eligible for Early Decision or Early Action.
Column 6: The Early Decision or Early Action Notification Date. You will find out your early admission decision by this date.
Column 7: The Early Decision 2 Application Deadline Date. This is the final date all applications are due for the Early Decision 2 process, if applicable.
Column 8: The Early Decision 2 Notification Date. You will find out your ED2 admission decision by this date.

All dates refer to the month and day. All occur during a student's senior year of high school.

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