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August 22, 2017

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Application Deadlines: Which Plan is Best for You?

September 18, 2017



Decisions, decisions, decisions!


First you were working tirelessly to narrow down your choice list of schools, and now you’re inundated with application deadlines and choice plans for application consideration. 


In addition to deciphering the type of application you will need to complete (Common Application, Coalition for College Access, or Institutional) you may have noticed a variety of application deadlines to choose from: Early Decision, Early Action, Restricted Early Action/Single Choice, Regular Decision, and Rolling Admissions.  How you choose to apply will determine how you are considered for acceptance, so be sure to choose your plan carefully.

Early Decision

Choosing to apply Early Decision (ED) is not something to be taken lightly.  ED applications are only for students who are wholeheartedly committed to a specific institution.  This is a binding plan that can only be chosen for one university; if you are accepted to the institution, then you are committed to attend that same institution. This means that contingent on an acceptance, any other applications that have been submitted would need to be withdrawn. ED applications are typically submitted by November 1st or 15th, and decisions are reached early into the admissions cycle, sometimes even before the holiday season.


Early Action

Selecting Early Action (EA) grants student applicants the ability to express invested interest in an institution while still allowing the element of choice.  EA applications are typically submitted by November 1st or 15th, and decisions are reached early into the admissions cycle (typically by January or February). Students may apply EA to multiple institutions. Aside from the benefit of choice, EA applications allow students to be considered in a smaller, earlier pool of applications, therefore giving students the advantage of time to make a more definitive decision on the best school for them in regard to programming and financial aid.


Restrictive Early Action

Applying Restrictive Early Action (REA) gives students the non-binding benefit that EA provides, for early applicant consideration, but is limiting in the sense that students can only apply REA to one school. Please note that this is the newest application option and is currently offered at a limited number of institutions; it is sometimes referred to as a Single Choice Early Action application.


Regular Decision

Just as it sounds, applying to a school with a regular decision means that you will be applying with everyone else, without any special requests, constraints, or consideration.  Likely there will be heightened competition and certainly less opportunity as the institution has already seized the opportunity to admit some student ED and EA.  Typically regular decision applications are due between January and February.


Rolling Admissions

Institutions that offer Rolling Admissions will accept your application at any time, prior to the decision deadline.  Please use this flexibility with caution as the longer you wait to apply, the more selective the school is likely to be with its applicants.  The timeline for rolling admissions is usually from the early fall into the late spring.


May 1st is National College Decision Day, and you will want to ensure that you have given yourself ample time to make the best decision for your future.


If you’re looking for support as you narrow down your list of choice schools and decide how you will apply to them, CBCR is ready to encourage you and to guide you through the process.


Contact College Bound, Career Ready, LLC for an initial consultation by emailing or by utilizing the Contact Us page on our website at


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