Early Decision deadlines are, well… earlier. We’re talking early
November here. Acceptances (and rejections) are also earlier and usually come
out by the end of December. Yay! Some good old-fashioned rejection, just in
time for Christmas! Thanks, Santa!
Some schools have a second Early Decision deadline that comes
after the first, but before the regular decision deadline. Ah well. Better
later than early than never. As the saying goes. We think.
Your application will get stuck under the noses of admissions
officers sooner, but your chances of acceptance are not necessarily better.
Early decision applicants do usually have a slight edge, but you
have to keep in mind that the early applicant pool is also much stronger than
the regular decision pool. You’re going to be thrown in with all the other
go-getters. But don’t let that dissuade you. Just… go get ‘em.
Either way, you’ll know the decision in time to celebrate (or
weep) for New Year’s, which will give you extra time to work out housing
options and think about what classes you want to enroll in. It might also give
you the chance to make a New Year’s Resolution to never let your future
children enroll at Purdue. Those jerks. How could they not see your potential?
You are obligated to
enroll if you are accepted. Obligated does not merely mean “encouraged.”
If you get accepted, you’d better get your buns there. Or they will send
someone to escort your buns personally.
Okay, they probably won’t go that
far. But if you withdraw other applications and send in your deposit… you kind
of need to be sure here. There’s no turning back. You also won’t have an
opportunity to compare financial aid packages from a number of schools, so if
you are really dependent on financial aid, think hard about this option. You’re
much too young to be selling your kidney on the black market.
Early Decision is kind of the big gun in the college application
world. Applying Early Decision means that, if accepted, you are obligated to enroll at the school… as
long as their financial aid package meets your family’s needs.
If you get accepted and don’t
go… bad things can happen. Other schools will find out and they will not be especially eager to bring someone
on board with such a blight on their record. You will have signed a contract,
so… action can be taken against you. It’s not just a spit-into-your-palm and
firm handshake. They’ll have it in writing that you swore your allegiance to
them. You’re too young to give in to corruption and betrayal. Wait until you’re
in the Senate.
You are only allowed to apply to one college Early Decision
(although you can apply to others regular decision). It’s the equivalent of
putting most of your eggs in one basket… but then still hanging onto a few
spare eggs in case that basket breaks and someone comes along with a slightly
less desirable basket. Beyond that, the metaphor sorta falls apart a little.
- You have done all the research and are absolutely positive a specific school is your top choice. Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn out to be a case of unrequited love. Maybe you should hold off on getting that “ME + YALE4EVA” tattoo on your right bicep.
- You should probably prepare your applications for all the other schools Regular Decision, just in case. No one ideally wants to go to their fallback school, but if you fall back and there’s no school there to catch you…it might take a while for that bump on your head to heal.
- Early Action deadlines vary, but generally fall in November, whichmay add stress to your holiday season. Just to keep things in perspective,
though, it’s going to be much more stressful for all the turkeys.
- Most applicants will hear back from schools about Early Actiondecisions by the end of December. There's also something called single-choice early action, which is a
program that asks you to only apply early to that college and to no others. A
little possessive, if you ask us. But hey, it’s between those colleges and
- Some schools also have a second Early Action deadline that comesafter the first, but before the regular decision deadline. Might want to throw
those dates into your calendar. The old melon ain’t what it used to be.
If Early Decision is a 10 on the stress-o-meter, Early Action, which doesn’t
have the added pressure of the required commitment, is around an 8. Basically,
you won’t need to withdraw other applications if you get accepted. Also, if
accepted, you can wait until May 1st to respond. May Day! May Day!
Familiar with the term “contingency plan?” Plan A is always nice,
but sometimes life hands you a few lemons, and you get stuck with Plan B.
Unless you don’t have a Plan B, in
which case, you’re probably going to get stuck with Plan Live in Your Parents’ Basement. That should be like Plan W… minimum.
You will find out if you got in to your dreamy dream school two
weeks before the deadline for most Regular Applications, so we recommend you
work on your other applications just in case you don't get in. At the very
least, it’ll give you something to do so you don’t spend all your time chewing
your fingernails off.
And don’t be like Jonny Slackoff (it’s Slavic). Jonny had
everything going for him. 3.7 GPA, half-ride to Purdue… but he came down with a
bad, bad case of senioritis. Not something his doctor was able to do anything
about. Stopped showing up for class, homework was turned in with nothing more
than doodles and his girlfriend’s name written in various fonts. Those guys
from Purdue caught wind of his declining performance and turned that half-ride
into a… no-ride. Whoops.
Early Action applicants apply before the Regular crowd, but aren’t
required to commit if accepted. It’s the perfect option for wafflers. Pretty
popular among future politicians.
Some colleges offer single-choice early action, which means that
you won't be able to apply early action or early decision to any other schools
aside from the one you've chosen. So choose… wisely.
You are relatively sure of the school you want to attend, but want to keep
options open and consider other schools. It’s like… you definitely care about Tonya, but you’re not quite
ready to stop being a playa.
You are one of the 99%. Get your picket signs ready.
Regular Decision deadlines can fall anywhere between November
through March, with the majority of them in January and February. That’s right
– it’s gonna be snowin’ deadlines up
Colleges will usually let you know their decision by around March
15, so beware the Ides…
No pressure here. Phew. There is no obligation to enroll in any school
that accepts you with a regular decision application. Plus, you get an extra
few months to work on your application. And your tan.
You’ll be applying with all of the other Regular Decision Joe Shmoes, so
the competition for remaining spaces is tougher. But you thrive on competition,
or you… would have applied earlier.
Regular Decision is just that - applying when most regular folks do. No bells or whistles here, just get your
application in by the regular application deadline, and it will be considered along
with all the other Regular Decision applications. How special do you feel now?
You are applying to a number of schools, and aren’t positive yet which one you
want to attend. You’re also the one who takes like twenty minutes to decide
what you want any time you and your friends go into a Coldstone. It’s ice cream. Pick something.
Make sure you do it before there isn't any space...
- Depending on when you apply, you'll be notified of a decision before many of your other deadlines. This is a biggie, because deadlines suck. Not as much as flat lines, but still… they’re up there.
- If you're accepted, this leeway allows you to plan things such as financial aid, housing, classes… and that Yale tattoo… earlier. It also allows you to weigh other options, such as whether you should apply to other schools.If you aren't accepted, it gives you
time to apply to other colleges as well. Trust us – once MIT sees you
picnicking in the park with Wesleyan, having the time of your life… they are so going to regret their decision.
Rolling admissions may make you feel freer than a bird in flight…
but it doesn't mean that you should neglect college applications until the very
last minute. Especially if you spot a guy in a duck blind wearing a camo vest.
Keep clear of that gentleman.
Sometimes applying early increases your chances of getting
accepted, so don't put it off. We know you’ve listed “putting things off” under
your special skills, but now isn’t the time to demonstrate it.
Wait – is this like rollover minutes? If I don’t use all of my good
college juju this month, does it mean I’ll be able to save it for next month?
You wish. Rolling admission simply means that
you can apply to a school whenever you like within a large span of time, usually
from about the early fall to sometime during the summer. Perfect for the
indecisive procrastinator. What? We totally
weren’t looking at you when we said that.
If you go this route,
you have a couple options. You can apply early in the time period or you can
apply later; either way, you'll be notified within a few weeks. Rolling
admission colleges typically continue accepting applications as long as space
is still open. If they’ve got seats available, they’ll want to make sure there
are butts in them. Make sure one of those butts is your own.