With college admission rates continuing to decline at the nation’s more selective schools, many students are taking advantage of Early Action programs. There’s a higher chance of acceptance to a higher education institution if the student applies early, but there are several important things to consider before applying for an Early Action plan.
First, there are two types of Early Action programs: restrictive (binding) and non-restrictive (non-binding). Restrictive Early Action allows candidates to apply to only a single Early Action institution. Non-restrictive Early Action permits candidates to apply to multiple schools on an Early Action basis. With both types of programs, the applicant is still permitted to reject offers.
Next, Early Action usually requires students to submit an application by November 1st or 15th of their senior year. If you’re a senior and are considering applying for Early Action, October is the month to complete it.
In order for SAT or ACT test results to reach the schools in time, applicants must take the exam no later than the October or November test date. Program specifics vary from school to school, so be sure to ask the admissions office what their policy is on the submission of test scores. Some schools will consider test scores received after the application deadline provided that all of the other application materials have been submitted on time.
Though the timing for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is not ideal for Early Action applicants, you can still complete the CSS/Financial Aid Profile, which will detail your family’s financial circumstances. Some schools require that profile as early as October.
Another benefit of Early Action is the opportunity for students to apply elsewhere if they are denied admission at their top-choice school, or if the amount of the financial aid award isn’t sufficient even if they are accepted. Some schools that reject applicants for Early Action will place those students in the general admission pool and consider their applications again prior to the April 1st notification date.
If you have questions about how to prepare for early action admissions this month, contact the individual institutions or to get prepared for testing, contact Sandweiss Test Prep today!