Early Admissions Options
Some schools have early admissions options for applications received before the regular deadline. Depending on your needs, one of these options might be right for you. The names of the programs are similar, but you should understand the differences in what is offered.
Schools might have their own unique programs and policies. Be sure you check with your chosen school.
You apply to your first-choice school, usually by the first of November of your senior year. Schools usually make a decision by mid-December.
This option is for you if you're sure you want to attend that school and are not concerned about the size of your financial aid package. Once you have decided to accept, and have signed a contract - you may be legally bound to attend that school and may not have the opportunity to compare the financial aid you receive with what you would get from other schools.
Early Action or Notification
You apply for college in the fall of your senior year, usually by November, and receive the school's decision by mid-December. Unlike early decision, you are free to apply to other colleges and make your final decision in the late spring. Most schools do not require a non-refundable deposit for early action.
You are a high school junior who has earned most of the credits needed for high school graduation. You apply for college classes during your senior year of high school with a plan to transfer these credits later.
Early Admission Timeline
- Check with your first-choice school to see if it offers early admission.
- Mark that school's deadlines on your calendar.
- Keep in mind: You still must complete all of the application tasks—you just have less time to complete them.
Applications for early action are usually due between November 1st and December 1st.
- Complete the application in September.
- Request letters of recommendation in mid-September.
- Begin writing your essay when you receive the applications.
You'll receive the school's decision 4–6 weeks after you submit the application.
- If your application is accepted: Review the school's conditions and requirements.
- If you are deferred: The school may reconsider your application during the standard admissions cycle; consider submitting applications to other schools on your list.
- If you receive a rejection: Submit applications to other schools on your list.