College & University Options, Planning and Testing
- College and University Options
- California Community Colleges
- CSU - California State University
- UC - University of California
- HBCU - Historically Black Colleges & Universities
- LGBTQ Safe Schools
- Private & Out-of-State Colleges
- Students with Learning Disabilities - College & Career Support
- NCAA Student Athlete Steps
- College Planning
- Calculating your Grade Point Average (GPA)
- Common & Universal College Applications - Information and Support
- College Testing Requirements
- General Requirements
- Revised due to COVID-19 (please note these requirements are subject to change by the post secondary school systems)
- SAT/ACT Fee Waiver Information
- College Application Options - Early Decision, Early Action, Rolling Admissions, Regular Decision & Other
|EARLY DECISION, EARLY ACTION, ROLLING ADMISSIONS & OTHER APPLICATION OPTIONS|
Application/Admission Options (Click to expand)
Early Decision I (EDI): Early Decision plans require careful consideration, because they are binding. When you choose this option, you are telling a school that they are your top choice. If accepted, you will attend, if financial considerations make it possible. You can only make one school this choice.
Many schools that offer ED I will allow you to apply Rolling or Early Action elsewhere, as long as you do not make a commitment to attend another school.
If accepted as ED I and after reviewing your financial aid award, you must immediately withdraw applications you have submitted to other schools or you must forfeit your ED I admission.
Please remember the world of college admissions is “small". Admissions Reps know each other. In fact, selective liberal arts colleges routinely share lists of admitted ED I students with each other. Students, who do not withdraw soon after ED I, risk being rescinded. In fact, the ED I agreement form for Common App (and some other institutions) includes a note beneath the student signature line saying, the student agrees - if admitted - that the institution can share the student's name and the ED I agreement with other institutions. Early Decision is an agreement in which a student gives up their right to compete fairly at other schools in order to gain a perceived benefit of leverage at a particular institution. If a student signs the agreement, they also agree to be checked up on to make sure they are living up to their end of the agreement.
Chances of receiving non-need-based aid decreases during ED I because the school doesn’t need to use award money to entice the student. Learn more about need-based versus non-need-based aid, at: studentloanhero.com/featured/need-based-financial-aid-vs-non-need-based-aid/.
If finances are a big factor in your college choice, you should think seriously about applying as ED I. If need-based aid is required, you should fill out a preliminary form (a pre-FAFSA or other form) found on the college’s website. You should also consult the college’s website for its NetAid calculator. Some colleges provide an estimated financial award when admitted in mid-December; others wait until March when all financial aid applications are processed. But, when applying ED I, there will be no opportunity to receive or compare aid packages from other colleges; so, either you’ll accept that college’s financial offer or forfeit your admission if you can’t afford it.
Early Decision II (EDII): When you apply ED II you are also bound to attend the college if accepted. The difference between ED I and ED II is the due date is much closer to (and sometimes the same as) regular decision.
This gives more time to prepare your application, but still let the school know they are your first choice. This is great if you do not get into your first choice or are waiting for first semester grades or test results to strengthen your application.
Restrictive Early Action or Single Choice Early Action – Through using this choice, you imply this school is the top choice, but you are not bound to attend. You can still (and should) apply to other schools Regular Decision and Rolling. You then have until May 1st to make a final decision.
Early Action I & Early Action II: This is a way to apply early, and hear early, without legally binding yourself to a school. You can apply to as many Early Action schools as you like. Early Action I deadlines are in early November for notification in December. For Early Action II, due dates are late December with notification in February to late March.
Rolling Admissions: Colleges with rolling admissions usually respond within 6 weeks of a completed application. As soon as they receive an application for a student they believe to be a match for their campus, they will offer admission. You should apply as early as possible to a school that offers rolling admission to ensure greater chance of admission.
Regular Decision: Students submit an application by a specified date and receive a decision in a clearly stated period of time. Non-binding commitment.