College Application Deadlines

Early Decision—Early Decision (ED) is a binding program. When students apply ED, they are agreeing to attend the ED institution if they are admitted. Applications are traditionally submitted in early November, with decisions arriving by the end of December. ED applicants, their parents, and their guidance counselors all are required to sign an agreement acknowledging that commitment and agreeing to withdraw all other applications upon receipt of an acceptance letter. Students may not apply to more than one ED institution.

Early Decision 2—Same as ED, though the deadline traditionally coincides with Regular Decision (RD), with decisions often arriving prior to RD decisions. Because the same commitment applies, students may not apply to more than one ED2 institution.

Early Action—Early Action (EA) is similar to ED, with one major difference: there is no commitment to attend the EA institution. Applications are generally submitted in early or mid-November, although some may be due in early December. Applicants receive early notification of their decisions, but they have until the common May 1 acceptance deadline to notify the institution whether or not they will attend.

Early Action 2—Same as EA, though the deadline is usually a month or two later than the EA deadline.

Single Choice Early Action—Same as EA in every respect, except one: students may only apply early to the one Single Choice Early Action (SCEA) school. That means a student may not apply to another institution via EA, ED, or Priority. Exceptions may be made for rolling admissions, but applicants must check with the individual institution.

Restrictive Early Action—Restrictive Early Action (REA) is similar to SCEA, but not quite as confining. Students may apply to as many EA, Priority, or Rolling application schools as they like but may not apply to another institution via ED.

Priority—Priority deadlines are similar to Early Action in that applicants apply slightly earlier and typically receive an earlier response. As with EA, there is no commitment to attend the institution.

Rolling—Rather than one or two set deadlines, institutions offering rolling admissions accept applications over a period of time. Admissions officers read and make decisions on completed applications as soon as they are received. Applicants will often receive their decisions two to six weeks after submitting their applications.

Regular Decision—Regular Decision (RD) is the traditional deadline for applications. RD is typically in January or February, though some may be as late as March.

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Students: Explore these helpful resources on the college admissions process.