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~ Defining Key Terms for College Admission

Early Decision: This is designed for students who have achieved an outstanding academic record and have a specific college in mind. This is a binding agreement. If accepted on an Early Decision, the student must withdraw applications from other colleges and universities. There is an earlier application deadline for Early Decision.
Early Action: This is not a binding agreement and varies according to the college or university. This allows the student to compare admission and financial aid offers. The student applies in the Fall of their senior year and usually is told of acceptance by December. The student does not need to make a decision until May 1st.

Rolling Admission: Qualified students are accepted as each student’s application is received. The college or university usually notifies the student of its decision without delay. There may be a priority date.

May 1st is usually the reply date by which students must notify the colleges of their decision to attend.