C2C: Types of Admission Deadlines and Notifications

on July 25, 2017

For this week’s Couch to College challenge, you will learn about the types of admission deadlines and notifications colleges have in place. As part of the challenge, you should use Cappex’s Application Manager in your Cappex profile to discover each college’s admissions deadlines and to apply to colleges. The Application Manager goes live August 1.


Before you apply, take a look at the types of deadlines and admissions notifications below:


Types of Admission Deadlines


Early Decision


Early decision is a form of admissions where a student is required to attend the college if they are accepted. You typically find out within a few weeks if you’ve been accepted. This admission method is popular among some of the more-selective colleges, since it lets them fill their incoming classes earlier. Applying early decision might increase your chance of admission. This should be reserved for a top-choice college that you know you can afford to attend. You might not receive a favorable financial aid package if you’re accepted early decision. You can apply early decision to only one college.


Early Action


Early action applicants apply to a college earlier than the regular admissions deadline, just like early decision applicants, but are not required to attend the college if they are accepted. This allows a student to be admitted early but still weigh their other options. A word of caution: If your application is lackluster or sloppy, you could be deferred to the regular admissions pool. Make sure you have perfected your college application before applying early action.


Regular Decision


The name is just like it sounds. Most colleges have a regular decision deadline that applicants can apply to and hear back in winter. These students make their college choice by May 1, the National Decision Day, which also is the deadline if an early action if a student has not made a decision. Some colleges also have earlier, priority deadlines that are specific to their institution.


Rolling Admissions


Some colleges practice rolling admissions, which means they admit students without a firm deadline until their freshman class is full. Colleges that practice rolling admissions are a great backup if you weren’t accepted to any of the colleges that you applied to through early decision, early action or regular admission.


Types of Admissions Notifications




If you’re accepted to your first-choice colleges, it’s a clear-cut decision. Once you’re in — if you haven’t been accepted early decision — you must evaluate your financial aid packages and determine which colleges you can afford. If you’re unsure which college to choose, this is the time to take a campus tour and see which college is your best academic, social and financial fit.




If you’re waitlisted, it’s not an outright rejection. There still is a chance you could be admitted to a college, but you’ll need to show an improvement in your grades or extracurriculars. You also could meet with an admissions officer to demonstrate strong interest in the college that waitlisted you.




If you’re rejected from your top-choice college, don’t worry. It happens. This is the time to take a look at all the colleges that accepted you and pick the best choice. Just because you had your heart set on one college doesn’t mean your future is over. You can receive a high quality education from many colleges.


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