High School » Types of College Applications

Types of College Applications

Deciding When to Apply
Colleges use various deadlines and terminology, and it is important to understand the terms and to meet these deadlines to maximize your chances for admission.
  • 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.