How to survive the college application process

The words “college applications” can bring anxiety and uncertainty to even the most level- headed, eve-tempered individuals, parents and students alike. However, if you understand some of the processes involved and heed deadlines, this task can be manageable and exciting, which it should be. Below we have provided some of the categories by which a student may apply.

Rolling Admissions- This process allows students to apply to a school during a large window of time. It is used by many colleges and universities. The time period is usually more than six months and some schools do not even have an end date. When all the openings are filled, the process will end. Applicants are notified within a few weeks of submitting their applications.

Regular Decision-This policy is a non-binding option whereby students apply by a regular deadline, usually sometime between January 1 and February 15. Schools will notify applicants by about April 1.

Early Decision-This is a binding policy by which an accepted student must attend that college or university. If a student is absolutely sure that a certain school is right for him he can apply, and if accepted, can ease further stress by not having to apply elsewhere or furthering his college search.

Early Action-This process has the advantage of early notification for a student without the commitment involved in the early decision process. It is not a binding policy but is appealing because the student can find out if he is accepted early on in his senior year.

Single-Choice Early Action-This is a variation of the above process. With single-choice a student may only apply to ONE school during the early action period. Then, once early decisions are made by schools, the student is free to apply to other institutions if he chooses.

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