Colleges and universities have varying admission practices. Information pertaining to the policy of a prospective school will be found in its publications. Some of the more frequently mentioned practices are:

Early Decision*: Students who have demonstrated sound academic ability apply for admission to their first choice college early in their senior year. Notification of admission is given usually in December or January. Restrictive policies vary with each school and must be checked carefully. Generally, if you apply Early Decision you must also sign a binding agreement to attend if accepted and to withdraw any applications submitted to other colleges. Be sure it is your first choice school.

Traditional responses from admissions to an early candidate may include: Accept, Deny or Defer (which puts candidates in the pool of regular decision applicants)

Early Action*: This plan allows students to apply to college early in their senior year and typically receive a decision in late December or early January. Students are not committed to enroll if accepted.

Early Action – Single Choice*: Some schools allow you to apply early without a binding commitment, but they specify that you cannot apply early action or early decision to any other school.

Restrictive Early Action*: You cannot apply Early Decision I, but may apply to other Early Action schools.

Research program carefully on individual school’s website (read thoroughly) prior to making a decision regarding the type of application you submit

College Board: Early Decision & Early Action: The benefits and drawbacks of applying early

Rolling Admission: As soon as an application is completed (meaning that forms, the fee, and all required credentials have been received and processed) a decision on that application is made and the student is notified. It is generally advantageous for students to apply well in advance of the posted deadline because it is impossible to know how quickly the available spaces will be filled.

Regular Decision: A college accepts applications from prospective students and delays admission decisions until all applications have been received and processed. Decision letters are mailed to applicants, all at once, traditionally in March or April.

Deferred Admission: Students who have alternate plans for the year following high school may ask their college for deferred admission once they have been accepted. Students apply and are accepted during their senior year and then request deferred admission directly from the college. Open Enrollment: A term now used by an institution that publishes a set of admission standards and pledges to admit any student whose credentials equal or exceed them. Most often used by community colleges.

Wait List: The process used by selective colleges who do not initially offer or deny admission, but extend the possibility of admissions to a later date (usually late May through July). Students should accept another college’s offer since waiting lists acceptances are very inconsistent. (Discuss all wait list situations with your counselor. Second semester grades and your method of reply can be critical to