Applying to College
Applications to Use
THE COMMON APPLICATION
Students can use the Common App to apply to multiple colleges. Most questions are answered only once and then sent to each college the student is applying to, saving lots of time in the application process. Over 600 colleges in the US and around the world accept the Common App.
Many colleges utilize their own internal applications, which can typically be found on the college's Undergraduate Admissions webpage. Some colleges use institutional applications as well as other ways to apply, such as the Common App. In some cases, colleges offer "Fast Apps," "Priority" applications, and other quick means for students to apply. Schools that use institutional applications as well as something else like the Common App do not have a preference for which application you choose to submit.
OTHER MULTI-SCHOOL APPLICATIONS
Some colleges utilize applications such as the Universal College Application or the Coalition Application. The vast majority of schools that use these applications also use the Common Application or an institutional application, and do not have a preference on which application students choose to submit.
For students interested in applying to colleges and universities in the United Kingdom
EARLY DECISION (ED)
Students make a binding commitment to a first-choice institution where, if admitted they definitely will enroll. The application deadline and decision deadline occur as early as October 15.
EARLY ACTION (EA)
Students submit a non-binding application, which can be as early as October 15. They will receive a decision usually within 4-8 weeks of the application deadline, and have until May 1st to to submit a deposit if they choose to enroll.
RESTRICTIVE EARLY ACTION (REA)
Similar to Early Action, students apply early to an institution of preference and receive a non-binding decision, however they may be restricted from applying ED, EA, or REA to other institutions. If offered enrollment, they have until May 1 to confirm.
Students submit an application by a specified date and receive a decision in a clearly stated period of time.
Institutions review applications as they are submitted and render admission decisions throughout the admission cycle.