The Colgate Scene
September 2002

An admission glossary

[Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]

Regular Decision
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.

Early Decision
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.

Early Action
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 Action.)

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.

Rolling Admission
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 made.

Wait List
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.

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