Thursday, November 5, 2009

Early Action vs. Early Decision vs. Regular Admission

There are many different admission options. It is important for you to understand the various options and deadlines and to discuss with your parents and counselor which one is appropriate for you. Many seniors have already had these conversations; others are still in the process. Just for clarification below are the various admissions options. If you have further clarification or questions please feel free to contact your Guidance Counselor.

Early Decision:
This is a plan for the student who has a first choice college and is a reasonably STRONG CANDIDATE FOR THAT INSTITUTION. Many colleges have more than one early decision deadline; however, if admitted you are expected to attend the college and withdraw other regular admissions that you have filed. You are asked to sign a statement of intent. You should only pursue this option if you are absolutely certain about your choice. It should not be used as a means to simply complete the process early. Obviously, you cannot file simultaneously more than one early decision application. Again, deferred students will be reconsidered in the later rounds.

Early Action:
This is a plan for the STRONGEST ACADEMIC STUDENTS to apply to one or more Early Action college (s), usually by November. The decision will be made by December 15, but the student does not have to commit to the college until the common reply date of May 1, at which time he or she may choose to go elsewhere (colleges applied to on regular decision plans). This option is particularly competitive, and some colleges reject some students whom they foresee as being weak in the later, regular admissions pool. Generally, it is the most selective colleges that have this type of plan. Students who are deferred in the early round will be considered later in the context of the entire regular admission.

Two noticeable trends the Guidance Department has observed in regard to EA/ED:
Trend # 1: We are starting to notice a trend of colleges and universities going single choice early action, meaning the College does not permit students to apply under our Early Action program if they are applying to a binding Early Decision program at another college. Students are free to apply to other Early Action and Regular Decision programs (Boston College is one example).

Trend # 2: We are noticing that colleges/universities are more frequently telling us that they no longer, as a standard practice, defer students not accepted through EZ/ED to regular admissions.

We strongly encourage parents and students to ask admissions reps (and also your Guidance Counselor) what the policy is on EA/ED admission process.

Regular Decision:
This is the most common plan. Typically, students will apply to a college sometime before the deadline, which may range from January 1 to May 1. After the deadline, the college reviews all the applications and chooses those students it wants to admit, giving those students usually until May 1 to reply to the offer of admission.

Rolling Admission:
This term is used to describe the application process in which an institution reviews applications as they are received and offers decisions to students soon after they are made. If you are applying for financial aid, you will follow aid application deadlines set by the school. You may apply to other colleges and you will not be required to make a decision regarding enrolling before May 1.

Wait List:
This term is used by institutions to describe a process in which they may initially delay offering or deny you admission, but rather extends to you the possibility of admission in the future. Colleges offer admission to wait list candidates if insufficient numbers of regularly admitted candidates accept their offers of admission.

Whatever decision you choose, the guidance department asks that you adhere to the deadlines for your applications.

The Guidance Department requests that particular attention be paid to application deadline dates. Notification of electronic applications and paper applications must be submitted to the Department at least two weeks prior to any stated application deadline. Remember to use your college application check-off sheet for ALL applications. This will insure that all required credentials reach the college prior to the application deadline.

The following is a guideline for submission of college applications to the

Guidance Office:

December 1 to December 15 Deadlines-------------------November 6

January 1 to January 15 Deadlines------------------------ November 20

February 1 to February 15 Deadlines--------------------- January 8

March 1 Deadline----------------------------------------- February 5

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