Skip to content

5 Application Deadlines that every Parent must Understand

I get questions all the time from parents who want to discuss application deadlines. These deadlines are super-important because they can make a difference in where your teen is admitted and how much your family pays for college! There are 5 admissions deadlines that every parent of a college-bound teen must understand.

Early Action

Your teen will submit their Early Action application usually in November and receive a response by mid-December. Early Action is NON-BINDING. This is important because while the teen may know their admissions decision in December, they still have until May 1 to decide if they’d like to enroll. The student will therefore have time to learn admissions decisions from other colleges and their financial awards before deciding. I generally encourage students to apply to 1-2 colleges through early action.

Restricted Early Action

Restricted Early Action is the same as Early Action except you can only apply to ONE college if they have a Restricted Early Action policy. Here are the colleges with Restricted Early Action:

  • Boston College
  • Georgetown University
  • Hampden-Sydney College
  • Hampshire College
  • Harvard College
  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • Susquehanna University
  • University of San Diego
  • University of San Francisco
  • Wellesley College
  • Yale University

Be sure to read the fine print for your college of interest.

Early Decision

Early Decision is similar to Early Action with one caveat . . . is binding. This means that if your teen is admitted through Early Decision then they must enroll in that college regardless of any financial award. That can be a bit risky for families unless they are sure that they will qualify for a need-based award or sure that they can pay the tuition and fees in full without assistance.

When a student applies through Early Decision, the parent must consent. It’s rather serious.

Rolling Admissions

A rolling admissions deadline means that a student can apply at any time and usually receive a response in 2-4 weeks. The colleges on a rolling admissions basis accept students first come. However, one thing that students should know is that the seats fill early. Even though a college may state in their policy that the admissions is rolling until March, all of their seats for an incoming freshman class may be filled by late January/early February.

Regular Decision

The majority of colleges will have a Regular Decision deadline even if they do not have any early deadlines. Most regular decision deadlines are January through March. Students will learn the admissions outcomes in late March, early April. The universal response date for all regular decision deadlines is May 1.

Check out our Parent 2 Parent audio clip on application deadlines!

About This Blog

This blog is valued by busy parents of college-bound teens. The topics covered in these posts are mined from years of listening to parents talk about their dreams for their children’s education.

This blog is written from the heart… as it’s my passion and life calling!

Let’s Get Started!

What grade is your child in?

This helps us send you a downloadable,
grade-specific roadmap + relevant,
instant guidance right to your inbox.

error: Content is protected !!