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LOGO_medium (1)The school year may just have begun, but savvy high school seniors already have their eyes cast towards June, graduation, and an exciting journey to college.

Once school visits have been completed and a college list has been whittled down to a manageable size, high school seniors will have to tackle college applications. Timing is crucial for meeting deadlines. And, various colleges and universities have different admissions processes.

If your senior would like to apply early and have a decision made before the typical spring notifications, there are a couple of options. But be advised: It is important to understand the responsibilities that accompany each.

Two of the early application procedures available are Early Action and Early Decision. Here are some of the important features of both:

EARLY ACTION. If a student is accepted to a college, he can accept immediately or wait until the spring. He may also apply to other colleges using Early Action. This is NOT a binding contract.

EARLY DECISION. For Early Decision, he commits to attend this particular college if accepted and if its financial aid package is adequate. He may not apply to other colleges using Early Decision, however, he may apply via the Regular Admissions process. If he is accepted to the first choice school early, he is required to withdraw any other applications submitted. This IS a binding contract.

If neither Early Action nor Early Decision is an option for your student, the Regular Admissions process is still available. In addition, many colleges and universities use a Rolling Admissions process. Under Rolling Admissions, candidates are invited to submit their applications to the university anytime within a large window. The university will then review the application and notify the applicant of their decision within a few weeks from submission. The window simply closes when all spots are filled.

Whenever process your student chooses, the application process is an exciting and challenging one. Good luck!

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