There are a variety of ways for a prospective student to submit his or her application to a college. One can see information about the ways in the admissions policy page of the college. These college application options provide students with a liberty and flexibility in college application so that the students can manage their course of actions as per their plans.
Regardless of the option you choose, it’s best to submit your application by the first week of November while in your senior year. This gives you the best change for admission and the most opportunities for getting scholarships and other financial aid. In the worst-case scenario, if you don’t get into the university of your choice, you’ll know by January, which means you still have time to implement a back-up option (like a school with rolling admissions).
The general application option for undergraduate study in many US Colleges are:
Early Decision (ED)
Under this admissions program, you agree to attend the college if accepted, and you can’t apply to any other college. If you receive an acceptance letter, you must withdraw any other applications to other schools. Since this option is binding, you need to be sure about your choice and realistic about your application. Make sure you get your guidance counselor’s opinion before you submit an application with early decision.
Colleges with Early Action Option
Early Action (EA)
Like early decision, you are applying only to your top-choice school. However, unlike early decision, you are not bound to attend if accepted and you can apply early action to more than one university. You can accept an offer as soon as you receive it or wait to make your final selection in the spring after you’ve found out where else you’ve been accepted.
Colleges with Early Decision Option
This is the most common option for four-year colleges and universities. All students must submit their applications by a specific date, usually between November and January. The admissions board then reviews all the applications and sends out acceptances and rejection letters on the same date.
Common at large state universities, schools that provide rolling admissions allow students to apply at any time during their admissions period; typically, September through July. The school then evaluates each college application as it’s received and sends acceptance letters to students who meet their requirements. Since admission is granted on a first-come, first-serve basis, you’ll want to submit your application as early as possible.