Understanding Application Deadlines – Early Decision I and II, Early Action, Restrictive, Rolling, and more
Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision. What do they mean? Join CollegeAdvisor.com expert Brian Poznanski as he breaks down the application deadlines and which one is right for you. Brian will share tips and advice for understanding deadlines during a 30-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute live Q&A. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!
2022-09-08 – Understanding Application Deadlines – Early Decision I/II, Early Action, Restrictive, Rolling, and more
Hello, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisors, webinar, Understanding Application Deadlines. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q&A on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q&A tab.
Now let’s meet our panelist. Awesome. Thanks Lonnie.so good evening everyone.my name is Brian Poznanski. I am a member of the CollegeAdvisor team, um, and a former admission officer. Um, with eight years of college admissions experience. I worked for two years directly outta school at a very small college, just west of Boston called Regis College in Westin, Massachusetts.
Um, and then I worked for six years as an Admissions Director at Boston University. Um, where as you can see here, I also earned my MBA with a concentration in public and nonprofit management. Um, I left Boston University in actually September of 2019. Um, and so I’ve been in corporate recruiting now for almost exactly three years, three years next week, I believe actually.
So, excited to be with everyone, and I’ve been with CollegeAdvisor for a little over a year. Um, so I’m excited to talk to you all a little bit today about understanding application deadlines. Um, have a lot of experience with all of these different programs and, and different ways to apply. So ready to, to jump in.
Okay. Thank you, Brian. Before we jump into all the great information you’re gonna share with our audience tonight, we wanna get a sense of what grade are you in. So if you can take a second and respond to our poll so that we can definitely find moments to speak directly to our audience based on the grade level.
Okay, the responses are coming in. So Brian, we have about 48% of our audience, um, are in the, is in the 12th grade. Okay. And then we have 30%, 11th grade, 17%, 10th grade followed by that 2% is other awesome. So for a really good number of you, obviously this is, is very timely. Um, and this is something that you’re thinking about, um, right now, which is good.
Um, because, um, some of this stuff you’re gonna have to start thinking about very, very shortly. So, let’s move along and, and we can kind of define maybe a little bit of the different application processes. Um, so I mean, there are probably four different ways that you apply and different admission deadlines, um, different schools use a different combination of all of these. Below there are a couple of different variations of for instance, early action, early decision.
We’ll touch on that a little bit later.but for the most part you have early action, early decision, regular decision, and rolling admission. Um, and again, different colleges, different universities use a variety,O of these, um, some of them, most of them in fact have at least two of these in their, their application arsenal and in how you can go about applying.
All right. So when we talk about a little bit about what is it, the different types, we’re gonna go through each, each one here. We’re gonna start off in the order that we just kind of went through. So early action, what is early action? Um, Simply you’re applying early. Um, you’re getting your application in a little bit, before the traditional, reg decision deadline, which we’ll get to, and you’re gonna receive an early notification of your admission decision.
Um, the big piece of early action that distinguishes it from that early other early application deadline is that there’s no commitment. Okay. So you’re applying early, you’re finding out early and you still have until May 1st, um, the national deposit deadline to make your enrollment decision.
Typically these applications are gonna be in, you know, mid, as early as mid-October or early December, um, for applying. It depends on the school, um, calendar kind of shifts with a lot of these, um, for many different schools. And then you’re going to again, find out early, earlier now. Um, I find that the most traditional kind of timeline, um, to find out early action, um, would be kind of before the Christmas new year holiday, um, right around that time.
Um, maybe right before or, during that time that you’re probably off, off from school. Um, probably not too much earlier. Um, you know, but you’re gonna find out around that time. Um, and, and especially if, the application is something like in November 15th, or November 1st, um, you know, early deadline, you know, schools need, you know, typically 4, 5, 6 weeks in order to turn those applications around, um, What does it mean to apply again, in, in terms of the strategy, it can be a positive, um, in showing and, and demonstrating interest and, or, getting reviewed early ahead of the remaining, applicant pool.
That’s actually a big one. Um, you know, if you think about, you know, applying, in November or, late October, you know, your application may read a little bit differently, um, in that pool of applicants than it would later in the application season in February or, or March, um, in the entire pool, um, you know, the admission office is only, you know, evaluating you off of what they have, thus.
Um, and so your application can, can, be read a little bit differently early on from definitely at, at some institutions. Um, there is this other idea of, um, a restrictive early action. Um, and so I’m putting a caveat kind of a asterisk next to that, because that is a little bit different than traditional early action.
Very few schools have this. Um, and I’m gonna talk about that a little bit later on, um, in, in our presentation. So that’s early action, um, apply early, find out early, no commitment, um, pretty straightforward. Um, so early decision. What is that all about? Well, you are applying early, you are receiving early notification of your admission decision.
But early decision is a binding process. That means that if you apply early and you are admitted to that institution, you are going to enroll at that institution, colleges, um, and universities, their admission office. When they review your app, they are thinking, this is a spot in our class if we offer this person admission.
Um, and so in, in fact, if you apply through the Common App, um, and other applications, there is something called the ed agreement, um, which requires yourself a parent or guardian and your school counselor to sign that agreement, saying that you understand that you are, you know, the, the, the confines, um, you know, kind of the, the agreement behind the early decision application, that if you are admitted, you will be enrolling.
Okay. So that is really the most important thing to understand about ed. Um, typically this is a it, it has a similar deadline, um, timeframe, um, you know, to early action. Um, you know, there are some that are as early as mid-October, um, I believe October, you know, 15th even, um, might be the earliest. Um, November 1st is a really common early decision deadline as is November 15th.
So, um, you know, definitely pay attention to your, your schools, um, and what’s on their list, um, because it is gonna, you know, vary, um, from school to school. Um, one of the biggest positives of applying early decision is that this is the ultimate sign of demonstrated interest you might hear or have heard of what demonstrated interest, throw that term around.
Um, an example of that might be, you know, reaching out to your admission counselor, going to a high school visit when they’re in town, visiting the school and, and going to an information session, um, There’s no higher level of demonstrated interest than applying early decision again, because you are saying, I am committed to this institution.
This is my absolute number one. My bags are packed. I’m ready to go. I am moving in to X, Y, Z institution. If, um, if I get in, um, you know, I already got my hoodie sweatshirt. I am I’m sign sealed, delivered. Okay. So that’s early decision. Some schools also have something called early decision two. Um, again, I’m gonna get into that a little bit later because it’s a little bit of a different variation.
Um, the most important thing to understand about ed two is that it’s a little bit later of an application, um, submission. Find out a little bit early, later. Um, but it’s still binding just like, traditional, early decision applications. And then I think the other biggest thing to understand about ed is the financial considerations around this.
Um, and so if you are applying to an institution where, you know, financial aid, for instance, um, you know, any kind of financial assistance is gonna be really important and, you know, really essential to your college enrollment process, which it is for many, many, many people early decisions sometimes might not be the best path.
Um, and, and that is because again, you are committing before you even apply before you even see any kind of financial assistance package. Um, and so you wanna kind of do your due diligence with your school, um, and, and kind of understand. Now there are many schools that are saying, you know, we, we can support you.
You can still, you’re still eligible for financial assistance. Absolutely. Um, you’ll get your package. Um, you know, we, we meet full need all of that. Right. Um, so there are some schools that, you know, you can still feel confident about applying early. Um, but it’s one of those caveats that I always like to mention, because you really do want to kind of again, do your homework and be honest with yourself.
Um, and your family, if parents are involved obviously in this too, um, in, in what’s gonna work best for you all. Um, and then the last other thing I’ll mention about that is that there is a caveat in the early decision agreement that ultimately says that if even with, you know, if you receive a financial assistance package and still that is not make your enrollment possible at that institution on, you know, you can, you know, drop out of the early decision agreement now, I know that when I worked at Boston university, for instance, um, we really discouraged this and, you know, we would try to be open, um, and honest with people up front.
You know, we really want you to apply with the best intentions, in mind. Um, but ultimately if you cannot afford it, um, you know, you, you can drop out. It is not a binding. It is not legally binding. Okay. There’s no legal, a lot of people throw that around. It’s not a legal document. Um, but what it is is, is we expect you to, to enter it in good faith as an admission office.
And, you know, we take people at their word, um, and we hope that that continues, um, to mean something. Um, you know, we, we are doing our due diligence and, and we hope that you’ll do so as well. Um, and I anticipate there’ll be a lot of questions about this, so more than happy to touch on it, later. Um, but those are kind of the main pieces that I wanna say about early decision.
All right. So regular decision, I would say this is the vast majority of folks. The way folks will apply. Um, and again, you may apply to some schools, early action and regular decision. You may apply to some schools, early decision and, regular decision. Also, the other thing about early decision on just to go back a second, once you are admitted, what we expect as an admission office is you are done with the admission process.
You’re withdrawing your other applications. You’re enrolling again. You’re done. You’re good to go. You’re set. So you can apply to other schools. um, but ultimately, if you are admitted through the early decision process, we expect that that you’ll be enrolling, um, and, and withdraw your other applications.
So regular decision a little bit later, very often, this is early January, you know, January 1st or often, um, something we would often do at when I was again at BU is we would make it whatever that Monday or Tuesday was after the, the coming back from the holiday. Um, kind of give folks a little bit of time, to get their application in.
Um, and, and this is kind of the deadline to apply for admission for many offices. Um, it also means that you’re typically receiving your application, in one application, dump. Um, and, and so typically again, this is mid or late March for most institutions where they’re releasing all of their decisions on the same day.
Um, and they have, you know, one release date, right. And, and that’s usually made public, you know, a week or two before, said date. Um, and it’s like, okay, March 17th, we’re releasing all of our decisions, make sure you check your portal on that date. Um, and so that’s kind of how often how schools go about releasing those regular decision, um, or notifying folks of their, or the decisions that apply regular.
Um, it is not binding, um, you’re evaluated in the context of the entire applicant pool, right? So at that point we will have as an admission office, the entirety of the applicant. So everyone that may have applied early, if, if that school had it, and then obviously everything, everyone that’s applied, regular decision.
Um, and again, like I said, you receive your decision later in the process, typically on one release date. So that’s regular decision. And again, the vast majority of folks, um, will ultimately apply via regular decision.
Um, and then there’s also rolling admission. Um, this is definitely also a common application tool. Um, the main difference between rolling decision rolling admission, excuse me. And, regular decision is kind of the apply, um, and, and, and notification windows. Um, rolling means kind of that you can apply as you go.
And the admission office will re review applications as they receive them and then notify candidates, um, as, as they get through, their review process. So. Again, hence the term rolling. It kind of goes on over the course of, of a variety of months, in many cases, at many institutions. And, and my first institution, regs college is a great example.
You know, we would start getting applications in, you know late September, early October, we’d start reviewing them in November. Um, and then we’d. Releasing decisions in, in, in December, and then would kind of roll out month by month on, you know, every week or every two weeks, kind of a bulk of, of various decisions, um, over the course of, you know, the winter and into the spring.
Um, and in some cases, this can even go into the late spring or summer. Um, you know, so it is kind of on, can be a somewhat of an ongoing process. Um, and again, something that you’re gonna wanna check with your various school or college that you’re, you’re interested in, what their process is, what their deadlines are.
Again, ultimately if they have an application deadline, you gotta meet that. Um, but if they have rolling admission, typically what that means is, you know, if you apply by a certain time, you know, they’re gonna review that application as it comes. And, and, and I would say most schools have, you know, a two week-ish turnaround, um, in terms of, of rolling admission.
So those are really the four different types. Um, so now we’re gonna talk a little bit about, you know, what are the major differences, um, again, to kind of just highlight that. Um, and I think that, you know, we, we, again, we covered this with each single one, but just to kind of put a sharp point on it, it’s your deadline to apply when you actually have to submit your application materials?
Um, when you’re gonna find out when are the responses are sent out by the school. Um, so is it an earlier, timeline, do they release all on one date? Um, does it kind of get released again on that rolling basis as you, um, have applied and then the big difference between early decision and. All of these other application processes is the binding and mission piece.
Okay. And so if you apply early decision, you are saying, I am enrolling at XYZ institution. I am again, sign, seal delivered. I’ve already bought, you know, my hoodie sweatshirt for day one of class. I am good to go. Okay. So that’s really the major differences between the various, types of emission deadlines.
So I think we have another poll now, so I’m gonna turn it back to Lonnie to walk us through our second poll. We do we do. You’re sharing really great information. Our next poll is we wanna know where you are in the college application process. We saw that we have a good number of seniors in our webinar.
So let us know, have you, maybe you haven’t started, perhaps you are researching schools, maybe you are working on your essays is a great time to start that first draft or start brainstorming, or perhaps you’re getting your application material done, um, or together, or you’re almost done. Let us, let us know.
Um, and Brian, I wanted to ask you one quick question and I saw come up in the Q&A yeah, absolutely. Um, someone asked, so when you apply early, do you have to complete all your classes before you apply early your high school classes? Do you have to complete them? Um, You would need to have your schedule complete for sure.
Um, but obviously we know that you’re not graduating for, for quite some time. Um, so, and, and, and this is true, actually, it’s kind of the, one of the kind of odd, strange things about applying mid in mid, school year, right? Is that you’re not done your classes. Um, we’re looking at, progress report a first quarter grade, a semester grade, um, at any one point.
Um, so if you’re applying early action or early decision, the vast majority of admission offices are going to request first quarter grades. Um, and for most schools that’s coming out right around that deadline. So it works out, um, if you’re on a trimester system or something like that, um, or a full semester system, we’ll still ask for some kind of progress report very, very often.
Um, But you definitely should have your transcript, um, and, and your class schedule finalized. And here’s the other thing. Um, and, and this is a good point, and then we can move on. Um, if you go through a class change at some point during your senior year, which is not like out of the realm of possibility, um, it’s always a good idea to let your col the colleges that you’re applying to know, um, especially in the context of something like, um, if you were say in AP lit, um, and then you drop down to an honors lit class.
Um, we would wanna know that because we’re evaluating you based on the application that you submit, um, and making an admission decision based off of that information. Um, and we don’t wanna get any too little. Later down the road when we’re submitting final, um, you know, final transcripts and things like that, that’s getting away ahead of, of the process.
Um, but be, best rule. Um, have your, have your, your classes, finalized work really hard that first quarter, because it counts like four times as much. and then, um, if you do have a schedule change or a blip, for some reason, like let’s say you’re having a hard time in a class, you can always let us know.
Um, and, and we can always take that into consideration. Um, we’d rather know more information than not. Okay, thank you. Thank you for sorry. That was a long answer, but no, that was a, that was a great response. And I appreciate you, um, clarifying that for our attendees. Of course. Um, that’s just the poll results.
So we have 45% of our attendees are currently researching schools. 23% are working on their essays and then 10% is getting their application material together and oh, also 20% haven’t started.so I’ll turn it back over to you, Brian. Awesome. Cool. So, let’s move along and talk a little bit about kind of, um, you know, how do you decide and kind of some of the different strategies going that go along with, the application deadlines and things of that nature.
So I think that when you’re deciding which admission deadline to use, there are a couple of key questions that you wanna ask and, and, and, and a couple of pieces of. Information that you wanna think about? I think that last question about where you are in the process is particularly relevant because let’s say that your application deadline is October 15th.
Well, today is September 8th, which means that we would have roughly three, four weeks in order to get all of our application materials together, for that school, um, essays, supplements, the application itself, recommendations all of that. Some people that’s, you’re gonna be able to do that. Um, you’ve been thinking about that, you know, your deadlines, that’s all well and good for some people.
They may not be ready to submit their application materials yet. And that’s okay too. Um, you know, I think that you gotta, that’s one of the factors that you gotta think about, um, is there an impact in the overall strategy and what I mean by this is that. You know, we talked a little bit about the pros of a early application, whether it be early decision or early action, there are pros to both.
Um, early decision is probably a little bit, weighted a little bit more, um, in terms of, you know, again, that’s an ultimate sign of commitment. Um, again, as an admission officer, I know that you’re a spot in my class. Um, if I admit you and that’s the ultimate goal for an admission officer is to fill that class at the end of the year.
So there’s a strategy there. Um, and so, um, you know, I think that sometimes folks can say, all right, look, I know that this is my ultimate ultimate number one, school. This is where I want to go. And it should be if you’re applying early decision, right, because of that binding nature, um, You know, maybe my profile is like slightly below the normal, admitted profile for, um, you know, for a student at X, Y, Z university.
Maybe if I apply early, it’ll gimme just a little bit of a bump. And I think that that is a legitimate way to look at it sometimes. And one of the reasons for that is that in some cases, um, and I think I get into this a little bit more later on, but I’ll mention it now in some cases, early decision, um, is making up not, not 50, not 40 to 50% of the applicants that they receive, but 40 to 50% of their final enrolled class.
And so if you are applying regular decision and they’ve already enrolled 40, let’s say 40% of their class. You’re now competing against everyone else for only a six 60% of that pie, um, of, of, of those spots. And so, um, that is more challenging, right? That is a more selective process for some. Um, but again, you need to understand all of the impacts of early decision.
Um, and one of those is definitely the financials. I mean, again, if you are someone that is like, I need a full tuition scholarship in order to make X, Y, Z university possible for me, then early decision is probably not gonna be your best bet because you can’t guarantee that if you get in, that you will get that scholarship, you, you just can’t, you just don’t know ahead of time.
Um, and so one of the things that the early decision process early action still allows enrolling decision allows is the ability to look. Look at your admission decisions. And let’s say you get admitted to, you know, five schools. You can look at all five schools and say, all right, this school costs this much, but they gave me X, X, you know, this school, um, you know, costs this much, but they gave me even more.
So my Delta is only, you know, this. And so that’s actually a better, you know, deal overall because I’ll be paying less, even though the tuition is higher, right. So you can compare and contrast early decision does not allow you the flexibility to compare and contrast. And that’s the main point that I wanna get across here, um, in, in, in how you can utilize your financials, um, you know, to, to evaluate the process.
Um, okay. So what are your chances? And this is what I was just gonna, um, Mentioning a little bit about the percentage of folks that are applying, um, you know, do your chances of getting in increase if you apply early and in many cases, the answer to that question is yes. Um, you know, typically the answer is yes, for early decision the schools.
Again, they know you’re committed, they know you’re a spot they want to admit you that you a spot in their class. Um, the profile typically of an admitted student through early decision tends to be a little bit lower. Um, what do I mean by that? Um, the average GPA of a student that applies early decision tends to be, and is emitted tends to be a little bit lower, not much not we’re talking maybe fractions of a GPA point if even a 10th of a point, um, lower than the applicant through a regular decision process.
And if a school is evaluating standardized tests, SAT, ACT. They tend to be, um, a little bit lower again, for those early decision applicants. In many cases, this is maybe 40 50 points, max. Um, you know, it’s not a major, major difference, you know, we’re not talking about, you know, the profile of an admitted student, um, to X university being, you know, average, SAT of a 1400 and, you know, early decision applicant that has, you know, 1150 or a 1200, you know, Being a really strong candidate through early decision.
You know, there’s still probably a, not to say that they wouldn’t be admitted, but you know, there’s a little bit more of a Delta. Um, typically we’re talking more, you know, someone in that same scenario that, you know, average 1400, you know, if they had like a 1350, 1380, it’s like, okay, early decision, you know, that, you know, you’re committed, um, your average, your test scores a little bit lower than our profile.
Um, but we know that that you’re gonna be coming to the institution. And that’s kind of what goes through an admission officer’s head, um, when they’re reviewing those applications many, many times. Um, and so what I was getting at earlier is that some schools can fill upwards of 40 to 60% of their class through their early decision process.
That’s a lot, that’s a lot. Um, that can be a lot, so let’s do some fuzzy math here. Um, and this is always tough when we’re talking about it out loud, but. Let’s say that X, Y, Z imaginary institution is looking to enroll 1000 students through their early decision process. Um, they receive on average 10,000 applications over the course of the entirety of the application pool, um, of those,applications, right.
Um, a thousand of them come through early decision. Okay. Um, and so they are going to enroll. They are going to enroll 40% of their class through early decision. Okay. And so 400 of the thousand are now signed, sealed, and delivered, and remember a thousand applied through Roy decision. Now that means that there are another 9,000 that are gonna be compared or are gonna apply through re decision processes.
And they, those same 9,000 applicants are now only gonna make up 60% of the spots. So they’re competing now for 600 spots where 1000 applicants ended up competing for 400 spots. And again, this is really hard to demonstrate just talking at you all, um, mu much easier if I had a, you know, pie chart or something like that.
Right. Um, but I’m what I’m trying to demonstrate is, um, regular decision, um, you know, part of the cost is already full. And so it can be a little bit more selective, um, in applying through regular decision. Um, and then I’ll be honest in my scenario, my numbers are. Um, you know, many, many schools receive far more than 10,000 applications, um, and, and, and receive far more than that, um, you know, for, for their application pool.
Um, so I’m sorry if that was confusing, but, you know, I think the point is that yes, early decision can increase, um, your chances of being admitted in many cases early action. It can, um, I think the main thing is that you’re being considered early. Okay. And so. In that same scenario, um, you know, you’re being considered in an earlier pool of applicants.
Um, you’re being considered again, if, if an early action deadline is say December 1st and the regular decision deadline isn’t until January 1st, um, probably the majority of applicants are gonna be applying regular decision. And so you’re being considered in a smaller pool for this ultimately the same spot.
And they’re gonna respond to you before they even see some of those regular decision applicants. Um, and so you’re being considered in a smaller pool for the same spot that those folks later on the cycle bar. So that’s what I mean by it can, um, and that you are being compared in a smaller pool. Again, there’s an incentive for admission offices to get decisions.
Admitted decisions, positive decisions into students hands, um, early, so that they can make, um, make their decision and feel good about their process. So ultimately early can be a really good option for folks. Um, it is not super typical that schools have both early decision and early action, some do. Um, but it’s not super, super typical.
Um, so I don’t run into that all that much. Um, but I do, I am a huge advocate of applying early action to schools if they have it. And you feel you can get your materials in on time because, um, again, there’s really no disadvantage. There’s definitely no disadvantage to applying early action. Um, it’s not binding you find out early, you get your stuff done early.
Um, and so I’m a big advocate of that. Cool. So, um, Let’s talk a little bit about final advice before we open up for question and answer, and then we’ll have plenty, you know, it looks like we have a lot of good time for question answer, but I want to go through some final advice, um, and talk quickly, very quickly about early action, restricted early action.
And then ed two restricted early action is you’re applying early. It is still early action in the sense that it is not binding in that if you were admitted to set institution, you do not have to enroll there, but the restriction is that you can’t apply to any other schools early. Um, and so it still is a commitment to that school, um, because you were saying to them, you know, you’re still my top priority.
I’m not applying anywhere else early. I’m. Binded, um, or I’m not a committed yet. Um, but I am showing interest by, you know, giving you kind of a tip of the cap saying I’m applying early action restricted. Again, that’s a small number of schools that have that, that process. Um, ed two, um, early decision two is still early decision.
Um, it’s still binding, still carries the same amount of weight. It’s a later deadline. Um, and so typically it often falls with your regular decision deadline. This is how we would run it when I was at Boston university. Um, and so that was, you know, again, early January. And so what this can be is you can apply early decision two to, um, an institution or you would apply ed two for a couple reasons.
One, maybe you weren’t ready to apply ed one. Your application materials weren’t done yet. You wanted to sit for another standardized test, you know, you were still pulling something together, you weren’t quite committed yet. Um, you know, maybe you, you visited, um, you know, in December and that really signed, you know, signed sign sealed and delivered you.
Um, you know, that you’re late, a little bit late in the early decision process. That is one side of it. Other side of it is that you did apply somewhere early decision, but you were either deferred admission from that institution, or you were denied admission from that institution. In that case, you are allowed.
Because it’s not in a mission, you’re not binded to that school. You are allowed to apply ed two to another institution. Um, and so some folks do have two tries at early decision, the early decision process. Um, but it is still binding. Um, it can be a good second option for folks again, if, if they’re not successful with their first early a or early decision process.
Um, and then this is ultimately my biggest piece of advice. Um, and I say this in almost every webinar that I’ve I’ve done, and that is that. I use this kind of analogy as a, as kind of a horse racing analogy put on your blinders, like you’re running a race and just focus on your race. Um, don’t worry about what your friends are doing.
Your family members are doing. Um, you know, this is your process as a student. Um, it’s your process and, and your parents are obviously involved. Um, but parents, my biggest advice is to be involved, but let your student really run their own process, um, because ultimately they need to choose, you know, what school they’re comfortable with.
They’re gonna be living there. Um, probably they’re gonna be taking the tests. They’re gonna be writing the papers. They’re gonna be eating the food, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Um, and so they really need to run that process, but be true to. um, and, and know what is a good fit for you and fit means so many different things fit is academics, it’s culture, it’s cost it’s location.
Um, it’s all of the different things. Um, and so, you know, your fit is different than my fit is different than, um, you know, any other person’s fit on this webinar is different than Lonnie’s fit. So, you know, it, it is okay to, to have different fits. Um, and then the other piece is be honest with each other through the process.
And if we have any parents on the call, you know, this is, um, Partially directed towards you as well. Um, but also students, you know, especially, especially when going through our early decision process, it’s really important to have an honest and Frank conversation about this process. I’ve seen a lot of difficult conversations, a lot of tears, um, because that didn’t happen in September and October.
Um, and then January comes around, um, it’s time to commit early decision and, you know, it’s decided that, you know, financially it’s not gonna work. Um, and we probably should not have, we should have had that conversation, you know, in the fall, um, and not, and not waited. So I. That’s hard. Look, it’s hard. This is a very, very, very personal process.
Um, and so again, everyone’s gonna go through this differently, um, but try to be as honest as you can, throughout it. So that’s my advice, um, for you all. Um, and, and with that, I’m, I’m happy to take, um, some, some questions, um, and try to spread even hopefully a little bit more wisdom, um, over the next 20 minutes.
Yes. Thank you, Brian. That is the end of the presentation part of the webinar. I hope you found it very helpful. Just a reminder that if you would like to, you can download the slides in the link from the handouts tab. Now we’re gonna move over to the live Q&A. I’m gonna read through the questions that you have submitted in the Q&A tab.
I’ll then place them into the public chat so that you can see them and then read them out loud. Before Brian gives you an answer as a heads up, if your Q&A tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, just double click that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not the webinar landing page.
Okay, so let’s jump into the first question. Um, do colleges still put more emphasis on junior year grades? Um, I mean, there’s a big emphasis on junior year, but I would always make this really corny joke when I was doing inflammation sessions. I would say, you know, junior year, as we all know is the most important year in, in high school, um, until you get to senior year.
Um, and then that is the most important, time. And so the truth is your first quarter, first semester, um, is probably the most important, um, and that is true for a couple different reasons. One it’s your most recent work. It’s what you’re doing closest to being reviewed. Um, it’s what you’re doing closest to, um, enrolling at XYZ school.
It’s probably in your most rigorous curriculum to date on it’s in, you. Typically some pretty important classes. Um, and so admission officers really want to see strong grades in your first quarter and first semester, um, a small blip, um, in first quarter is truthfully less forgivable than any other time.
Um, in, in, in the admission cycle, not to put pressure or in high school cycle, not to put like too much pressure on all of your seniors right now. Um, but it’s really, it’s really important. It’s really important. Um, you know, we really admission officers really look closely at those first quarter and first semester grades and to put it in another way, it can absolutely absolutely a hundred percent tip you in, um, If, if you were on, on a borderline, um, absolutely a hundred percent.
Um, I, I saw many, many times where it was like, let’s look at their senior grades, um, before we make a final decision, those grades came in, they were straight A’s or they were really good. Awesome. Let’s go, you know, they’re ready to go. So that’s how I would answer that. Okay. Thank junior year is still very important though.
Yes. Yes. Every year is . Yes, it is. Yes, it is. Our next question is, are you offered more financial assistance with early decision or early action? Um, so I don’t really accept the premise of the question because quite frankly, like you, it shouldn’t be either, um, you should receive the same. Um, and you know, I.
What is challenging about financial assistance is that each school awards it and reviews folks a little bit differently. Um, the federal program is, you know, the same, you know, for all applicants, but, you know, individual institutional aid is a little bit different merit scholarships, things of that nature, a little bit different by school, school, by school.
Um, but it should not have an impact whether you apply early decision, early action, regular decision rolling. Um, you know, schools are gonna look at your financial ability to pay the same. Um, and, and that’s really the, the way that you should think about it. okay. Um, what’s your opinion on applying to more than one school for early decision?
And I’ve seen a few questions in our Q&A around applying. Yeah. So here’s really important. If you apply early decision, you can’t apply to more than one school, early decision. Now I may have confused you a little bit with that ed two process, but if you apply ED you by definition, because if you are admitted to one school, you are going to that school.
You can’t go to a second school. Um, if you are also admitted, so you can apply to one school early decision. Now, if in early decision you are denied from that school, or you are, was called deferred to the regular decision pool. Um, you are eligible for applying early decision. Um, that is the only time you can apply two times during the early decision process.
Um, but otherwise you can apply to one school, um, early decision. Okay. For early action. Once you receive the admission decision, how soon do you have to respond? Will you have to wait for the regular decision to come then make a decision to enroll? Um, so the kind of neat thing about, um, about the admission process is if you’re ready to go, the second you get your acceptance, you could enroll that day.
if you wanted to, um, you don’t have to though. Um, but you could, so to answer it another way you have until typically May 1st is the traditional national, um, response date. That’s what most schools observe. Um, and so if you find out in, December that you were admitted early action, if you’re really excited and you’re done, and you’re saying that’s the school I want to go to, you can, um, enroll, um, in December or January or February, but you have until, the spring to do so.
Um, the, the exception, the only time you have to enroll early is if you are applying early decision and are admitted through the early decision process, but if you apply early action, you, you, you’re sitting in free and easy, um, for a little while. Okay. Next question. Can you discuss the likelihood of schools accepting deferred entrance?
Following acceptance into the school. Yeah. So deferring, acceptance, um, really depends on the school, um, and their individual process, um, and, and requirements for that. Um, you know, a lot of times schools will allow you to defer up to a year. Um, and then I, you know, enroll one year later. Um, but it really, there are some caveats that go along with that.
Like you can’t, you can’t defer admission fully enroll in another school and then come back a year later. Um, so there are some different caveats. Um, the best advice I can give is, you know, if you get to that pro you get to that point where you’re thinking about deferring, um, you know, make sure that you double check with your admission office and, and the enrollment office about what their specific policies are.
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More and all more, even more things that you can do all on our website. So please scan the QR code and we are gonna now continue with our Q&A. Our next question is what if I signed up for early decision, but your financial situation changed and can no longer afford it. Can you your application?
And I remember you spoke a little bit about this. Yeah. And, and there’s another question that’s kind of similar to this about, um, you know, applying early decision with the condition of, you know, receiving enough financial aid. You can’t set the conditions ahead of time. Um, there’s, you know, only one there’s, you’re reviewed for what you’re eligible for.
You’re reviewed as, you present at that time. But if at the end of the day you say, you know, you get your decision. You’re admitted. Early decision, you get a financial aid or fi financial assistance package. It’s still not manageable. You cannot afford it. There’s no way that your family can make it work.
You can withdraw your application from the early decision process. Um, ultimately that means you’re withdrawing your application from that university, that college university you’re done. You’re not, you’re no longer, um, that’s no longer an option for you. Um, again, we hope that folks go into the early decision process, knowing what that means, um, financially for them that even if they received X, they would still be able to commit.
And so. My advice is typically, if you are relying heavily on a merit scholarship or financial assistance of any kind to make your admission at X, Y, Z, your enrollment at X, Y Z university possible early decision is probably not the best option for you. Um, you can still apply regular decision. You can still be admitted.
You could still end up going, you can still end up getting the exact same, you know, financial assistance package that you would’ve gotten through the early decision process. But now you’re able to compare that offer with any other offers that you get from other other schools. And so that’s really the big thing about early decision.
Okay. Um, if you did badly in a class, but retook the class, how do admission officers usually look at it?
Um, Yeah, look, I mean, it’s not good to do it. It is not ideal. Right. Um, you know, it, it is not ideal. Um, it depends on kind of the admission process, you know, every school’s a little bit different and how they look at at grades and, and the courses that you’re in. Um, but typically you don’t wanna see bumps, um, your bad grades rather.
Um, but also I would always try to see how, you know, that student responded, um, from that. So let’s say hypothetically speaking, that person got, you know, a C minus, um, in, um, sophomore English, um, and you know, honors, sophomore English, um, you know, they’re taking honors English again junior year. Um, I’m gonna look at that grade and okay.
Now it’s a B or a B plus. Wow. Okay. They really, you know, they asserted themselves, you know, they did well, they recovered from, you know, that hiccup. Um, and that’s especially true if like everything else is equal. Other grades are good. Um, you know, and, and, and that’s where, um, you know, there can be, you know, some leniency and you can kind of recover from some of those bad grades, things happen.
We understand that. I also would say, you know, we’re getting a little bit away from the, the, the nature of, of the application deadlines and kind of the, the spirit of, of the webinar. But ultimately when you’re applying, um, Admission officers only have admission officers only have the information that is in front of them.
Um, and so if there is a low grade and we don’t know why there was a low grade, um, you know, we’re gonna assume that, you know, it was just, you know, you didn’t do well in that class or you didn’t apply yourself or whatever the case may be. But if we get a supplemental essay, it’s like, you know what? I was going through really hard time.
You know, I had some medical issues. I had some stuff going on at home, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, that can put, help us put stuff into context. Um, it doesn’t necessarily excuse things. Um, but it can help put things in context. And so I’m always an advocate in a proponent of providing more information.
Okay. Next question. How long do you have to respond to early decision? Great question. Um, it depends on the school. Um, typically you have about two weeks, um, to respond and submit your deposit. um, I would say that the vast majority of deposits, um, when I was again at, at BU came in like the next day, over the course of the next couple days, because again, remember what early decision is.
These are the people that are like, I am so excited to go. Like, I am already signed seal delivered. So, you know, they’re already, once, once they get in they’re, they’re, you know, committed, they’re excited, they’re, um, submitting their deposit. Um, but typically you would have two weeks, um, to kind of review your admission offer again, any financial assistance that was awarded.
Um, you know, if you need to work with the financial aid office, anything like that, um, typically you have two weeks, um, to get your deposit in. Okay. Is it recommended to apply early to Ivy league schools or regular decision? Look, I think early can be early decision can be a good. A mission strategy for any school, whether it be an Ivy school heavily, selective, moderately selective, you know, I think that it gives you an advantage regardless of where you apply.
Um, but again, the importance of understanding your overall application, how your profile stacks up against X, Y, Z institution, period. Um, and then also what it would mean again, if you were admitted, you know, that you are committed to attending that institution. Okay. Next question is someone asks, could you quickly recap, um, the typical early decision deadlines versus standard admission deadlines.
Um, and they mentioned, I thought November 15 was a typical standard deadline. Um, maybe it is, um, I, you know, Let me put it this way. Um, when I was working, at the institutions that I worked at, um, and with some of our peers, um, November 1st was the standard early decision deadline. Um, and again, the first week of January was the standard by your decision deadline.
Yeah. Um, every school is gonna be a little bit different. And so that’s why you have to go to their website. You have to go to their information. Um, I know that some schools have early decision as early as you know, October. Okay. Um, you know, there are a couple in, in the Southeast portion of the country.
Um, and you know, I’m not, I’m not gonna be, I’m not gonna name, drop any institutions. That’s not my job on, on this particular webinar. But, um, there are some that have, or earlier deadlines that are, have some that have later deadlines, there’s no pro or con to it. Um, it’s just when their deadlines are set.
Um, and so. Again, the best advice I can give is if you’re looking at XYZ school, check out their website, make sure that you’re, um, checking, you know, when they’re requiring your application to be submitted. Okay. I think we have time for a couple of more questions. Um, would it be wrong to assume that applying early action might be harder because the smaller pool you’re in is also more competitive?
Um, that’s not traditionally how I think about it. Um, I think that I can see that point. Um, but I would say that, um, again, someone that is you’re not ready to be admitted, um, would be, would simply be deferred from the process and considered in a regular decision pool. Um, if that might be the case. . Um, but for the most part, um, I view early applications as an advantage, um, because from an admission enrollment perspective, it is to the advantage of the admission office, um, and enrollment strategy, um, to get acceptances out and try to get, start filling their deposits and start receiving deposits.
The sooner we can get deposits, the happier emission offices are. Um, because then we don’t get stressed in gray hairs around May 1st gray response. Um, how soon should a student take the SAT as it relates to early action or regular decision? It seems that the SAT scores aren’t available for. Yeah.
So, um, again, the way that we typically approach this is that, you know, a test date within the same month of the application deadline would be considered. Um, and so, um, you know, we would be able to receive that, score by the time, um, by the time, we had to make a decision.but yeah, absolutely. You know, I think that the October, November tests are really probably the ones that you want to consider, um, if you’re gonna be applying early.
Okay. Um, let’s see. Next question is, um, this is specifically, can you apply both coalition in, in the common app? um, yeah, you can use both applications. Um, you can only submit one application per school. So if a school accepts both coalition and both common app, you would have to choose one or the other.
Okay. And this will be our last question. Um, does it make sense to consider the early decision and highly competitive programs, um, such as the three plus three PT program, does it give a potential candidate an edge? So look, I think the moral of the story is if you learn again, learn something from the strategy of early decision, is it gives everyone an edge, regardless of what program you apply to.
Um, for some special programs, they may not accept early decision. And so you wanna double check on that. Um, for instance, you know, like a accelerated medical program, for instance, you might not be able to apply early decision. Um, so. You wanna check with your specific school, that you’re looking at, for that type of situation.
Okay. So that was our last question for this evening. Thank you everyone for coming out tonight and thank you, Brian. We will now be ending our webinar, but before we end, I just wanna share with you all that we do have more upcoming webinars for this month. So please check them out on our website that’s app.CollegeAdvisor.com.
And thank you. Thank you, Brian. Again for sharing with us. Awesome. Thanks everyone. Have a good.