Regular Decision applications, which are the most common, are made in the
spring semester of the senior year and typically have a deadline in January or
February. Notification of acceptance is usually mailed in mid-March or early
April, and admitted students must make their final college choice by May 1.
If you are certain about which college you want to attend, Early Decision is a
good option because it allows you to apply early to your first-choice school.
You may apply to other colleges, but you may have only one ED application
pending at any time. The typical ED application deadline is in November and
notification of acceptance is mailed in December.
Some schools offer a second round of Early Decision (ED2) that allows a
student to apply at a later date, but still with the features of Early
Decision. ED2 is a less time-sensitive option for letting a school know it is
your first choice.
If admitted under ED, you are obliged to enroll, unless the financial aid
award is inadequate. The institution will require a nonrefundable deposit well
before May 1. Immediately upon acceptance of an ED admission offer, you must
withdraw all other applications and make no subsequent applications.
More flexible than ED, Early Action is a non-binding early application
process. You can apply to a preferred institution and, like with ED, receive
notification of acceptance well in advance of the normal response dates in the
spring. The deadline is usually in the fall of senior year, with notification
of acceptance mailed during the winter. (Colgate does not offer Early
Applications to other colleges are permitted. If admitted under Early Action,
you will not be required to make a commitment prior to May 1, but are
encouraged to do so as soon as your final choice is made.
Some institutions review applications as they are received, and make
offers of admission on a rolling basis. You may apply to other colleges. The
deadline for acceptance of Rolling Admission offers is the same as for Regular
Decision, typically May 1. You will not be required to make a commitment prior
to May 1, but are encouraged to do so as soon as your final college choice is
Institutions keep Wait Lists of applicants to whom they do not initially
offer or deny admission, but instead extend the possibility of admission in the
future. Typically, institutions will either extend offers of admission or
release the Wait List by early summer.