If you’re applying to college, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed with all the deadlines and the overall application process. After all, there are seven types of college admissions alone which one is right for you?
Keep reading to learn about the different types of college admissions available from Regular to Rolling Admission and everything in between. This way you can decide which process is right for you.
This is the most common type of college admission. Regular admission happens between the specific deadline a college has which is usually sometime between November and January. Applications are then reviewed after the closing date at the same time, and only rejection or acceptance letters are sent out.
A lot of colleges that offer regular admission deadlines also offer early admission (which we’ll get to soon). The deadline for regular admissions is the last call you to apply to a college if you want to attend it, so it’s an important date to note.
Rolling admission is based on the first-come, first-serve approach when it comes to looking at applications. While applications are accepted during a certain timeframe, they are reviewed as they come in. Which means that application letters are continuously sent out.
This also means if you apply later in the application window, you’ll have less of a chance of getting in. Even if you’re the perfect candidate simply because there might be fewer spots available. So, if you are applying to a college with rolling admission you’ll want to make sure that you apply sooner rather than later.
This tends to be the most laidback admission choice, as it means that any applicant who meets the college’s requirements will get it. This type of admission is more commonly offered at online schools or community colleges.
If you have a low GPA or don’t have the best test scores like maybe even low scores on the general ability test, open admissions might be the best option for you. You’ll just need to make sure that you meet the minimum requirements.
Early decision is the most restrictive of the early admission options. With early decision, you need to attend the college if you are accepted, and you are unable to apply anywhere else until that decision is made.
So this means you cannot apply for early decision and more than one school at the same time. This agreement is binding and there are penalties if you break it. Also, know that early decision deadline comes up quickly, and usually happen between November 1st and November 15th.
So make sure you know the deadline of the school you want to apply early to or you could miss the opportunity. You only should apply somewhere early decision if you are sure this is your dream college. You’ll also want to be realistic about your chances of getting in, make sure you can afford the school and you should be open and ready to apply to back-up schools if you don’t get in.
There’s also early action which is similar to early decision but has more flexibility. Here you are still considered placement in a school before the regular admission deadline, but you don’t have to commit to this college as you do with early decision.
Early action lets you apply to more than one school for early action without breaking a binding agreement. This way, once you find out which schools you’ve been accepted to, you get to decide which school is the best option for you.
But keep in mind there is also an option called single-choice early action. While this option isn’t binding, you are promising to only apply to that school until the decision is made. This option does limit you to apply to back-up schools until the decision happens.
Usually, early action has a similar deadline to early decision that falls between November 1st and November 15th. But keep in mind each school can set their own deadlines that might even fall in October.
Early evaluation doesn’t always lead to early admission. Instead, you can submit your materials to get reviewed before you officially apply to a school. The school will then let you know if you have a poor, fair or good chance of getting in.
This process gives you valuable information on if you should keep applying elsewhere. Keep in mind that the results of the early evaluation aren’t binding. Meaning even if a college says you have a good chance of getting accepted that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a spot based in this evaluation alone.
Deferred College Admissions
Deferred college admissions happen when you find out that you are accepted into a school, but decide to delay in attending for a year. So let’s say you are a senior in high school graduating in the summer of 2019 if you deferred your admission you would start college in the fall of 2020 instead of the fall of 2019.
This admission option is great if you want a gap year. This way you can spend some time traveling, interning or even working to help pay for college before you head to school.
Sometimes colleges might offer a deferred admission, even if you didn’t ask for it. This tends to happen if you have solid credentials, but the program you’re applying for is competitive or the college is popular. This could also mean the school wants you to attend, but just not for the upcoming year.
Also, know that while accepting deferred admission does guarantee you a spot, there are usually conditions. Conditions like you might only be able to come in as a freshman, so you can’t start school somewhere else and transfer those credits.
Also agreeing to deferred enrollment might be binding, which could legally obligate you to attend that school after your gap year. You should also read the fine print with any deferred college admission, or you might overlook something that could come back to haunt you.
Find The College Admission That Is Right for You
Now that you know what the different college admission options are from regular to Rolling Admission, find the admission that is right for you. Earlier options tend to be best if you have one school you want to go to, while regular and rolling tend to be better if you want to keep your options open. For more resources on young leadership, keep browsing our blog!