close ad

Staying Sane During College Applications

Decisions, Decisions

Study up on these admissions terms.

Common Application: A single application and essay accepted by more than 300 schools, accessible at

Rolling Admission: Applications are reviewed as soon as they are received, until all slots are filled.

Early Decision (ED): Your kid applies by early November and must enroll if accepted. Only do for an absolute number one choice.

Early Action (EA): An early November deadline and pre-Christmas decision, but nonbinding, so your teen can still apply elsewhere.

Deferred: When ED and EA applications are neither accepted nor denied but considered with the regular- decision applicants for an April reply.

Regular Decision: Applications are due around January 1; answers arrive in April.

Waitlist: Status unknown until after May 1. In the meantime, submit a deposit to secure a spot at another school.