Types of College Applications and Admissions Plans
- Early Decision (ED) - “Early Decision” is a binding commitment if you are offered admission. If admitted under an early decision plan, you must withdraw all other applications immediately. Usually due November 1 to most colleges.
- Restrictive Early Action (REA) - Several colleges offer REA, meaning that a student may not apply early elsewhere (with one exception, in most cases, to public universities); the student will get an early result, but the college may not consider this decision as binding to the student. Usually due November 1.
- Early Action Plans (EA) - Other colleges, including many state schools, have “Unrestricted Early Action” plans. These function like priority deadlines or rolling deadlines, and the college will allow a student to apply to other colleges without restriction. Due to most colleges November 1.
- Priority Deadlines - Many state schools use the term Early Action to refer to their priority deadline. Deadlines are typically November 1 and give students priority in the review process and the best chance for admission. We urge students to meet these early deadlines when applying to state schools because late applicants may not be admitted, even with sufficiently strong academic records.
- Regular Decision - “Regular Decision” uses a set deadline, often January 1 or 15, and students learn their results in March or April.
- Rolling Admissions - “Rolling Admissions” schools send decisions on a rolling basis, usually within six weeks of the college receiving a completed application.
- Both the Common Application and Coalition Application allow students to use their application form to apply to multiple schools.
- Make sure that you proofread carefully before submitting your application. Read the instructions carefully. If you are asked to restrict yourself to a particular space or number of words, be mindful of that requirement.
- Keep a list of the standard information that almost every school requires. Take time to find the most honest, yet impressive, way of listing your extracurricular activities, work, volunteer and travel experiences.
- If you are asked to list your Senior courses, remember to list all of them, including Judaic and General Studies. Some colleges require you to self report your courses and grades from all years of high school. Ask your counselor for a transcript to most accurately complete this section.
Common Application TipsEducation Section:
- Community Based Organizations: this should not apply to most of you, for underprivileged kids
My Colleges: you will want to add colleges that you plan to apply to here. Under My Colleges, when you add a college, you will have to complete the FERPA section. This waives your rights to see your teacher and counselor letters of recommendation. This is necessary as colleges won’t really take your letters seriously otherwise and also so you can Match your CA account with Naviance account.
Inviting Recommenders: When you complete the FERPA section (you must waive your rights to reading letters of recc) , do not Invite Recommenders as you will do this through Naviance. You can invite Other Recommenders if you want a third recommendation from someone outside AJA, such as a coach.
Early Decision: Applying to a college ED is a binding agreement—you must attend if you are accepted, withdrawing all outstanding applications immediately, and you sign an agreement stating that you will do so. This requires multiple steps:
a) Go to “My Colleges” in CA; “Questions” for your ED school. In the “General” section, select “Early Decision” under “Preferred Admission Plan”. Also check “yes” in the box to say that you understand the ED process and type your name in the “ED” signature box.
b) Then go to the “Recommenders and FERPA” section and complete the FERPA Release Authorization. Next, scroll down to “Parent” and “invite” one parent to be a recommended and click the red “Assign” button. This will send instructions via email to you parent to sign the agreement. Your counselor will also sign.
Submitting the CA: You will need to complete the main section of the Common Application, as well as questions specific to each college, when you add colleges to My Colleges. You will need to submit separately and pay an application fee for each individual college. Please review your application with me before you submit!