Don’t assume that all colleges and universities have similar application deadlines.
As you conduct your search, keep track of each school’s deadlines for applications and financial aid so you don’t miss any opportunities.
The Main Types of College Admissions Options
This is the most common option. All students must submit their applications by a specific date, usually between November and January.
Common at large state universities, schools that provide rolling admissions allow students to apply at any time during their admissions period; typically, September through July.
Typically seen at Community Colleges, open admission means that nearly all high school graduates/GED holders are admitted
Early Admission Options:
Early Decision (ED)
This is a binding agreement. Under this admissions program, you agree to attend this school if accepted, and you can’t apply to any other college or university. If you receive an acceptance letter, you must withdraw any other applications to other schools. Since this option is binding, you need to be sure about your choice and realistic about your application. You will need to discuss this with your School Counselor.
Early Action (EA)
You are not bound to attend if accepted and you can apply early action to more than one university. You can accept an offer as soon as you receive it or wait to make your final selection in the spring after you’ve found out where else you’ve been accepted. You benefit from getting answers earlier and demonstrating your strong interest in a school.
Schools have recently gotten into the habit of offering different EA "tracks" sometimes called EA 1 or EA 2, which has varying dates and may help your planning purposes.