US – Early Decision and Early Action

Advice from Kathy Compagnon –

For most schools, the complete application must be in their hands by December 30 of the year before you plan to attend. Check dates for each school.

You will receive a decision by early April, and it will NOT depend on your baccalaureate results. Many schools offer Early Decision or Early Action programs.

Typically, for early decision, a student applies to ONE school, his or her clear first choice, the application is in by November 1, and a decision (accepted, deferred or rejected) made by mid-December. If accepted, the student is obliged to enrol and must withdraw applications to all other universities; if deferred, the student maintains that application and applies to other universities in December. It is a smart option if you are absolutely certain of your choice and if your school record is clearly superior in light of the university’s standards. In general, acceptance percentages work in favour of early admissions candidates, so give Early Decision some serious thought.

Early Action or Notification programs follow the same timetable, but the decision is not binding. If your heart is set on an Early Action school, use that option. It will still improve your chances. And acceptance makes for a very merry Christmas holiday.