It’s so important for all college bound students to understand the variety of application deadline options. Please read on to learn more.
Seniors, as you finalize your list, you will need confirm each school’s policies and due dates so you’re ready to submit your applications on time. Early decision and early action deadlines are approaching quickly so this is the time to focus on completing these applications. It’s also essential to look beyond these deadlines to the regular and rolling round of applications and continue to research all the schools on your list. Also remember, deadlines vary not only from school to school, but also within a school for different programs. Stay organized by making yourself a chart to keep track of the due dates.
EARLY DECISION (ED)
Application deadlines tend to be early to mid-November with decisions coming in mid-December.
If accepted, early decision admission is binding. Make sure this is the school you want to attend. Have you looked into all aspects of the school, including academic programs, extracurricular activities and opportunities? Given you haven’t been able to visit the campus and explore the surrounding neighborhood, or meet admissions reps face-to-face, do your homework to be sure this is a school you’re sure you’d like to commit to.
Research the availability of financial aid and keep in mind aid may be impacted by current circumstances since more students are applying and schools may have less funds to distribute. Discuss affordability with your family.
An early decision application does convey your eagerness to attend. Admission rates for early decision candidates are generally higher than for students who apply regular decision. During the 2008 recession many schools increased the percentage of students admitted as ED applicants in order to secure a greater percentage of their incoming class. Many experts believe it is very likely that this pattern will be repeated in response to the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. So, if you’re a strong candidate, and you’re confident this is the school for you, this willingness to commit may improve your odds.
Many schools also offer a binding Early Decision II (EDII) deadline of around January 1st, with decisions generally coming in mid-February.
You can only choose one school to apply ED.
EARLY ACTION (EA)
As an Early Action candidate, you typically need to submit applications by early to mid-November and will then receive a decision by mid-December.
EA allows you to demonstrate your interest to be admitted without the binding commitment that ED requires. If your family really can’t make a financial commitment prior to the spring, EA could be a good option.
Restrictive EA schools do not allow applicants to apply EA or ED elsewhere, while non-restrictive EA schools do allow students to apply EA or ED. Check schools’ websites to confirm their policies.
Some colleges cycle on an ongoing basis where the application process typically opens early fall and may continue as late as summer or as long as spaces are available.
Applicants are notified of their outcome as applications are processed, so applying as early as possible may improve your chances of acceptance.
While there may be no application deadline, there typically are deadlines for scholarships, financial aid and housing.
The deadline for Regular Decision varies from school to school, but is usually between January 1 and mid-February. Decisions are typically received mid-March through early April.
Please be aware of different deadlines for special programs and scholarships.
Community colleges and many online school programs offer open enrollment to most high school graduates and GED certificate holders.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2022-23 school year is available starting on October 1st.
Many public state universities and private colleges and universities use the FAFSA to determine eligibility for financial aid. Submit your FAFSA as soon as possible because aid is often allocated on a first-come, first-served basis until funds run out. So, apply early to give yourself the best chance to receive the funds your family will need to pay for college.
The FAFSA application will use financial information from the 2020 tax year. If your family has been negatively affected by recent events, submit the FAFSA and then follow up with a call to the financial aid office at each school to which you apply to explain your situation..
The FAFSA may seem overwhelming, but help is available. Start by looking at the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet to see what’s required. Gather the information and documents required to apply for financial aid. Reach out to your guidance or college counselor with any questions— they will get you started by either guiding you themselves or directing you to any number of free resources available.
The most important thing is to apply so you don’t miss out on any opportunity. Even if you’re not sure you’ll qualify, apply.
The 2022 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings were recently released. Although rankings can serve as a starting point, don’t let this information and other rankings dominate your search. There are thousands of two and four year colleges and universities to choose from in the US, with many that may suit your needs.
It’s important to be open-minded and explore a variety of options. Talk to your guidance counselor and ask for suggestions of a few schools to research that are not on everyone else’s list. Attend college fairs and stop by to talk to a variety of reps. Use the many online college search tools available to learn more about schools that are new to you. Finally, think outside of the box when you research schools and expand your list so you have many options.
Your successful college search and application process will require you to be receptive to learning about new schools and to be flexible.
Becoming college ready is a process that takes time and dedication. Being college ready means having the academic background and knowing how to be an effective student. These skills are ones you will need to succeed in college, wherever you choose to attend.
Right now, college may seem distant, but if you understand the application process and plan ahead, you will be positioned to present your “best self” to college admissions when the time comes. Begin by:
Identifying your strengths and weaknesses
Committing to working diligently
Being open minded
Trying new things
Meet with your guidance counselor to become acquainted. The better your counselor knows you, the more effective they can be in helping you to navigate your way. Things you may want to talk about with your counselor include:
Planning your academic path, including the courses you hope to take
Choosing extracurricular activities, both in and out of school
Any specific needs you may have including testing accommodations, the need for a quiet study space and/or extra help with course work
Standardized testing and whether to test or not
Really, what’s best to keep in mind is to take ownership of your high school experience. Ask for help when you need it but remember that ultimately, you are the one responsible for making sure you are college ready.
Welcome back to a new school year! Whether you’re a senior, a first year high school student, sophomore or junior, the beginning of the school year is always exciting. While you’re adjusting and resetting, we are too, and will now speak to important topics and provide helpful guidance to all college bound high school students.
As you get to know your teachers and become familiar with your course requirements, challenge yourself to dive in with your best efforts. If you start off strong you’ll avoid having to play catch-up later in the semester.
Try to set some goals, be open minded and give something new a try, and get involved at school and in your community.