Stressed about college application essays? Here’s the answer…

You can help them replace the stress with clarity and calm. 

Have you heard? A lot of colleges will be “test optional” for students in the Class of 2022. Good news, right? It is really good news if your teen struggles with test anxiety or just isn’t a good test taker. So then how will colleges decide which students to admit?

It is going to come down to their application essays

Listen up, families with a college-bound junior in the Class of 2022…

You do not want to miss this upcoming masterclass which is all about writing a college essay that will help your teen get into their top choice schools. COLLEGE ESSAYS MADE EASY is just the help you’ve been looking for.  

By coming to this 90-minute virtual event, you’ll leave with clarity, confidence and peace of mind because you’ll know what to expect and be ready for senior year. Learn how to prepare, how to start writing, how to write a compelling essay and more.

Here are some of the colleges where our students who attended last year’s masterclass were admitted:

  • Boston University
  • Brown
  • Claremont McKenna
  • Cornell College
  • College of Wooster
  • Drexel
  • Georgetown
  • Howard
  • Northwestern
  • Occidental
  • Santa Clara University
  • Spelman
  • Tulane
  • UC, Berkeley
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Michigan
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Yale 

I know what you’re probably thinking… Do I really need to be thinking about this now? I mean they have until the middle of next school year to apply, right? Let me ask you this: 

How good will it feel for your teen to be able to take some time to RELAX before the hectic pace of senior year sets in? 

Time is of the essence. This masterclass will put your junior ahead of the curve and help you free up some time to do other important things, like capturing the right senior photo. 

To learn more about COLLEGE ESSAYS MADE EASY, including when it will be offered (seating is limited!), please go to:

Can’t wait to see you in class!

Rolling Admissions: Benefits and Drawbacks

How Do Rolling Admissions Work? Here’s What You Need to Know

Did you catch one of our recent blogs where we discussed the difference between early action vs. early decision? Today, we’re going to talk about another important admissions process known as rolling admission.

First, let’s recap about early action and early decision applications. 

Early action means a student is notified of their acceptance under a non-binding agreement, and they don’t have to make a decision right away. The deadline is typically May 1 but this can vary.

On the other hand, early decision means a student’s acceptance signifies a binding decision to attend that institution. This agreement is usually made once a student reviews and accepts a financial aid offer (if there is one).

Learn more about early action vs. early decision college applications here

What are rolling admissions? 

Early action and early decision admissions have hard deadlines. Rolling admissions, on the other hand, typically don’t. 

Instead, students can usually submit their application between September and May of senior year, which is a much larger window than most admission processes utilize—but that doesn’t make colleges with rolling admissions any less competitive. 

A Rolling admission applicant tends to hear back about their application within a few weeks. Usually, rolling admissions operate on a first-come, first-served basis. That means colleges will continue to review applications until their class sizes have been met. 

You should keep in mind that although the application window is larger, there are still important deadlines to be aware of for applying to colleges who use rolling admissions. 

That’s just another reason it’s so important to be aware of college application deadlines. 

They can also impact your student and financial aid—here’s how.

To many students, this large window is incredibly appealing. But like anything else, it comes with its advantages and disadvantages. 

To help you decide if a school with a rolling admission program might be right for you, let’s talk more about the benefits and drawbacks.

Are you struggling to find the right college? Sign up for my FREE upcoming master class!


There are plenty of good reasons to apply to a school with rolling admissions. Here are some qualities that make it the right decision for some students: 

  • For colleges without rolling admissions, you’re out of luck once you’ve missed the application deadline. But thanks to their larger window, rolling admissions can be a great option for last-minute applicants.
  • You tend to hear back sooner.
  • Applications are judged upon receipt which can mean less competition but only for early applicants.
  • Applications are non-binding (unlike early decision applications) so you’re able to weigh your options. 


On the other hand, rolling admissions aren’t right for everyone: 

  • Available spots can fill up quickly. Even though the application window is larger, this can mean if you don’t apply early, you’re out of luck. 
  • The longer you wait to apply, the more competitive the admissions process gets.
  • You might be forced to make a decision sooner than you’d like to.

The admissions process isn’t the only thing to consider when applying for post-secondary. 

Things like free laundry can matter too! Here’s more on that.

Colleges with rolling admissions.

Currently, there are no Ivy league schools that utilize rolling admissions, but plenty of other great schools do. A Rolling admission option is also popular for many law schools. Some schools might accept rolling admissions applications for certain programs, while others have firm deadlines.

Some colleges with a rolling admission program include: 

  1. Alaska Pacific University
  2. Barclay College
  3. Daemen College
  4. Goshen College
  5. Kent State University
  6. King College
  7. Minot State University
  8. Montana State University
  9. North Park University
  10. Notre Dame College
  11. Ohio State University
  12. Penn State York
  13. Rivier University
  14. Simpson University
  15. Stillman College
  16. University of Baltimore
  17. University of Central Florida
  18. University of West Alabama
  19. Xavier University
  20. York College

Whether you’re applying with rolling admission, early action, or early decision, there’s help available for the college admissions process! 

If you’re looking for one-on-one guidance to help you get into (or pay for) college, click here for help. 

Want to see more posts like this? Don’t miss these: 

Living off-campus: pros and cons
College application checklist
7 ways to support your child during the college application process

Early Action vs. Early Decision: What’s the Difference? And Important Dates You Need to Know

Early Action vs. Early Decision: What’s the Difference?

Do you know the difference between early action vs. early decision when it comes to college acceptance?

With decision release and application deadline dates fast approaching for early action (EA) and early decision (ED) plans, a lot of questions have come up about what makes the two different. On the same note, prospective students are curious about exactly when they’ll be notified about their acceptance.

Before we get to some important early decision and early action decision release dates, let’s go over exactly what each term means. 

Are you struggling to find the right college? Sign up for my FREE upcoming master class!

What is early action?

Early action plans mean a student is notified of their acceptance, but under a non-binding agreement. That means a student doesn’t have to formally commit to a school or make their decision until the typical date (usually May 1). 

Early action applications are typically sent in around November, and students tend to hear back sometime in January or February. 

What is early decision? 

Unlike early action plans, early decision plans do signify a binding agreement between a student and a college. That means the student must attend that college if they’re accepted. This comes after reviewing and accepting an offer of financial aid for that school if there is one. 

Because of what early decision plans entail, a student can only apply to one school for early decision, but can still apply to other schools with regular admission. 

Early decision applications are usually sent in around mid-November, and students usually hear back by December. But we’ll get to some more specific dates later.

Which schools have early action and early decision plans?

In the United States, there are around 450 schools with EA or ED plans, and some with both. 

Some schools have what’s known as single-choice early action. This means a student must not apply for either EA or ED to any other school. 

When should students apply for early admission?

Early admissions aren’t right for every student. But in some cases, it can pose significant advantages. 

A student must have researched colleges extensively, and made a list of schools that are a good fit socially, academically, vocationally, and financially. 

Without doing the proper research before applying for early decision to a college, a student risks committing themselves to a school that really isn’t the right choice for them. To help you make sure a school is the right fit, click here. 

But now, back to those advantages of EA and ED plans…

The college application and admissions process is notoriously stressful for students and parents alike. (Though it doesn’t have to be! Here are some ways to help your child through the college application process). 

One great thing about early admissions and early decision plans is you can get some of that stress out of the way sooner and enjoy the rest of your senior year. It also means you have more time to secure housing and figure out some of the logistics of attending college. 

These application dates can impact your student and financial aid. You can read more about that right here. 

Early action and early decision release dates for the class of 2024.

Now, let’s get to some important dates for early action and early decision schools. These are just a few examples of the schools with EA and ED plans and their decision release dates.

ED application decision release dates

  • Amherst College: December 15
  • Boston College: December 25
  • Brown University: Mid-December
  • Columbia University: Mid-December
  • Cornell University: Mid-December
  • Duke University: December 15
  • Harvard University: Mid-December
  • New York University: December 15
  • Yale University: Mid-December

EA application decision release dates: 

  • Babson College: January 1
  • Berklee College of Music: January 31
  • Tulane University: December 15
  • University of Chicago: Mid-December 
  • University of Michigan: December 24
  • University of Notre Dame: December 24
  • Wheaton College: January 15

Which schools are you planning to apply for early decision or early application? Let me know in the comments below. 

Are you looking for one-on-one guidance for how to get into (or pay for) college? Click here for help. 

If you enjoyed this post, don’t miss these either: 

Living Off Campus: Pros and Cons
College Application Checklist
Colleges with Free Laundry: A Time and Money Saving Consideration 

How The Different College Application Deadlines Can Impact Your Student and Financial Aid

College application deadlines are not the most exciting topic to consider as your teen prepares for college during high school, but it’s a very important topic one. It’s important because it can make a big difference in terms of what you pay for college as well as impact your student’s chances on getting admitted.

Each year there are different application deadlines that your teen can use for their applications for college. They sound similar, so it can be confusing to understand how they are different. I’ll explain how they can impact your teen and their college future.

One of the deadlines is simply the regular decision deadline that happens every year,  usually around January. The thing to remember is that application deadlines are very unforgiving, so your teen needs to make sure that they meet that deadline.

Regular decision is a standard deadline, and another deadline you may hear about is the “rolling deadline”. The rolling deadline means that your teen can submit their application at any time. Usually they’ll get a notice back of a decision about three or four weeks later (but sometimes it could be sooner, depending on the time of year).

The rolling deadline is one that doesn’t have a specific date. So, it could start perhaps as soon as October and keep going until the final deadline, which means that all the applications have to be in by that time. Or it can be set to go as late as the spring of senior year.

Now that we’ve covered standard and rolling deadlines, I want to review two other deadlines that can be a bit confusing because they start with the same word. One of these deadlines is the “early action deadline”. Early action is non-binding, which means that your teen can apply to an early action deadline and usually they’ll find out the decision perhaps around December. It gives them a little bit of ease, especially if they do get admitted, because they’ll know pretty much where their application stands. Then, if they want to apply to some additional colleges, they still have time to do that under the regular deadline.

The fourth deadline I want to talk about also starts with early, and it’s called “early decision deadline”. Early decision is more strict because this deadline is binding. Every year, there are a lot of families that will apply under the early decision deadline. With the early decision deadline, because it’s binding, you cannot apply to any other colleges that have any type of restrictive deadlines. You want to make sure that you read the fine print on that.

The early decision deadline is one that the parents have to sign off on. Also, the school counselor will be notified as well. The key thing with the early decision deadline is that it means that if your teen is admitted, they must go to that college, regardless of financial aid. This is where sometimes I will see families who decide to do the early decision deadline, because that’s the only one that a particular college offers for them (either early decision or regular).

Generally with the earlier application rounds, the admissions rate is a bit more favorable. Families that want to make sure that their teen has the best shot in terms of admissions will often go ahead and exercise that option to use the early decision deadline. But soon after, if the decision comes back positive in December, you have a short window of time to withdraw all of your other applications and to submit your deposit to hold your space.

That’s a really serious deadline. Sometimes families will say, “Oh, I didn’t know. I thought we would be eligible for financial aid.” They get a surprise that they don’t get any additional aid and then it’s trying to figure out, “Okay, how do we pay for it?”

It’s a deadline that I wouldn’t take lightly. It’s certainly your family’s choice if you decide to do the early decision round, but know that it means that your teen will be going if they get admitted, regardless of what the financial aid is.

At least with the early action option, you have a chance to look through the financial aid offers from other colleges as well. On the flipside, some colleges will offer only the early decision deadline, and then others may have an early action, or they can also have an early decision as well. So you want to be sure you know the deadlines for your student’s college of choice when they begin applying!

One thing I will add about the very late regular decision deadlines is that sometimes colleges will say the deadline is June 1st. They will be filling those seats before then,  so for colleges that may have a very late regular decision deadline doesn’t mean that you can apply on May 31st still find seats available. It’s a point to keep that in mind when your student is scheduling when to submit applications.

Do you have questions about application deadlines and helping your student get into their dream school? Application deadlines can make a big difference in terms of what you could end up paying. In some cases, it can also make a difference as to where your teen gets admitted. I look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions or thought about the process!

If you’re a parent of a high school student preparing for college, I have created a free online training class that answers the most common questions I get from parents: “How to Find The Right College.” It offers insight into the college application process as well as how to get money for college. You can check it out and register for it HERE.

3 Ways Parents Hurt College Chances Without Knowing It

Do you have a high school senior who is now applying to colleges? If so, I have exciting news to share with you so that you do not make the mistake of jeopardizing your teen’s college chances. Unfortunately, I’ve seen this behavior exhibited year after year with parents of seniors. I want to share it with you so that you are both informed and empowered in terms of how you support your teen through the college application process.

August is the time that seniors will be usually setting up their Common Application account. That’s the main portal or tool that they’ll use to have the ability to apply to hundreds of colleges. Ideally seniors will choose eight to ten colleges to apply to using the Common Application website.

One of the things I see is parents working with their first child to go through the college application process and they get a little bit overzealous in terms of helping. When this happens, I warn parents that it’s okay to help, but not do. There are generally three key mistakes I see parents making that jeopardizes their teen’s chances of admissions.

The first mistake parents make is using their teen’s Common Application password to log into their account. A few years ago, the mother of a client of mine was logging in to her son’s account and inadvertently submitted an application with her name on it. That’s embarrassing–and it’s difficult to undo! The Common Application now has accounts created for parents, so you can set up your own account. That way, you can see what the application questions are, how to fill out an application and get some insight without actually logging into your teen’s account.

The second mistake that I see is from parents that will write the application essays for their teens. I know some of you might be horrified by this thought, but it’s true. It happens every year. Unfortunately, that’s a critical way to hurt your teen’s college admissions chances. It’s highly likely that a college admissions officer will recognize the difference between the words a parent would use versus a teenager. An essay written by a parent won’t have the same authenticity that’s needed to be really compelling and stand out. Sometimes, even if you’re not fully writing it but instead trying to write about an experience or offering certain words to use, it will still be obvious. What I recommend is to let your teen invite you to read their application essay and just do that. As much as you can, restrain from commenting on it or suggesting changes. Read it, encourage them, and let them submit their best without you placing judgment on it.

The third and final mistake that I see parents making is having too many readers. I have seen some parents invite family members and other people that they know in the community to read their teens application essay. Just like too many cooks in the kitchen can be a disaster, having your teen respond to three or five different readers stresses them out more and makes the process that much more challenging for them.

To recap, the first key is to get your own Common Application account. The next is to not write your teen’s essays. Thirdly, limit the number of readers for your teen’s application essays. One or two, that should be enough so that it doesn’t confuse them, doesn’t undermine and discourage them in any way. The main thing that your teen needs through this process is confidence. They need assurance that it may be a tough season, but they will get through it and it will be a great experience for their future.