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Application Process for Early Decision/Early Action

March 17, 2008 01:49 PM

By Dede Allen
January 2008

Question:  I keep hearing about early decision, early application and rolling admission.  Can you explain the difference, I’m getting confused.  How does signing early for athletic scholarships play into the scenario?

Answer: That is a very good question.  The admission process can be a little confusing.  Maybe this will help you out some.

If you are 1000% sure that you only want to go to one school in particular, this might be the way for you to go.  Research is absolutely necessary when choosing to go this route.  Tennis players must also consider the possibility of combining that into the mix.  There is an early November signing date for tennis.

EARLY APPLICATION PLANS: Not all schools offer these plans – you must check to see which ones do if this is important to you and find out the deadline dates for each school.

Early Decision (ED) plans are “binding contracts”.  Plan on applying in the early fall.  You may only apply early to one college for early decision. You may also apply to others for regular decision or early action.  However, if you are accepted at the ED College, you MUST notify the other schools and withdraw applications.  You can only be “released” from early decision, if the school can’t meet your financial aid requirements.

There is a down side to this process. The coach realizes how committed you are to his or her school, simply by the fact that you have applied for Early Decision.  Without a firm commitment regarding scholarship money from the coach; they could decide to give the money to someone else, since they know that you will be coming anyway.  Get to know the coach before making any decisions about Early Decision.

Early Action (EA) plans are similar to ED plans, with the exception that most of them are not binding plans. Most decisions are made in January or February. Students may apply to more than one and compare offers.  If you are admitted EA, you don’t have to commit to that school.

Rolling admission means that you will usually receive a decision within 4 – 6 weeks from the time you apply.  This is the most widely used admission procedure today.  It is popular because it reduces the period of uncertainty.

Regular admission means that you apply by a mid-winter deadline.  Notification of acceptance is usually in early April.  This procedure was considered the “normal” way until somewhat recently.

If you have specific questions for Dede, please email her at dede@ddasports.com. Answers to your questions may appear in next month’s column! 

 

 

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