Wondering when you have to submit your college applications?
The answer is different depending on what kind of application you choose to submit. The timing of the deadline will change based on whether you choose early, regular, transfer or rolling admission. But what is the difference between these types of admission? Read on to find out.
Early deadlines usually fall on either November 1st or 15th. There are two different types of early applications: early decision and early action. In both cases, you’ll hear back earlier than regular decision applicants. This can reduce a lot of stress, but you’ll also need to send in applications earlier than regular decision applicants. However, the difference between the two options is that early decision is binding while early action is not. So if you get in early decision, you are legally required to attend that college. Applying early demonstrates interest in a particular college as your top choice, which may increase your chances of acceptance.
When choosing whether or not to apply early, consider that colleges may not be able to see early applicants’ finalized first semester senior grades. This can be good or bad. If you want to take advantage of another semester to boost your GPA, then applying early may not be the best choice.
Regular application deadlines usually fall between January 1st and February 1st. Admissions officers will definitely look at first semester grades from regular decision applicants, so keep this in mind. Also, regular decision acceptance rates are usually lower than early decision acceptance rates. On the bright side, regular decision allows you more time to complete your application.
Transfer deadlines are much later than freshman deadlines. Many transfers can apply until around May 1st, so they’ll have plenty of time to complete all of the aspects of the application. Plus, transfer acceptance rates tend to be higher.
With rolling acceptance, admissions officers will read applications one at a time and decide whether to admit each student, rather than choosing a class from a whole set of applications. Therefore, sending in your application earlier will increase your chances of acceptance. Rolling deadlines tend to be around May 1st, but they can be later depending on how many open slots are left. However, most colleges recommend submitting your application by March 1st for a better chance of acceptance. But submit even earlier if you can (meaning you have a prepared application that is ready for the college’s eyes), you’ll often get an answer within a month or two.
Remember that different schools may have different deadlines, so double-check when you need to submit each of your applications. Also, try to get your applications in way before the deadlines to save yourself stress. You never know when you’ll have technical difficulties submitting on the night an application is due.
Having trouble staying on top of all of those applications? Check out my guide to staying organized during college application season.