What You Need To Know About Applying To College This Fall

There are definite advantages to Early Admission, particularly with Early Decision.

What do I need to do to apply for college? originally appeared on Quora, the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Seniors are creating their college lists and determining which colleges they will apply early vs. regular decision. There are definite advantages to Early Admission, particularly with Early Decision. However, there are rules that you need to know about before you can determine if this decision is right for you.

There are several options regarding admission plans, the majority of which are “non-restrictive” or non-binding, meaning that upon acceptance you are not required to attend that particular institution. These non-restrictive options are Regular Admission, Rolling Admission, and Early Action (EA).

Regular admission has deadlines for student applications and involves a specified amount of time in which to receive a decision. Rolling Admission involves admission cycles, during which applications are submitted and decisions rendered at any time within the cycle. The third non-restrictive option is Early Action, where a student can apply early and receive a decision in advance of the institution’s regular response date.

There are also other application plans that have advantages for the student as well as the institution but carry restrictions. The first and more simple of the two is Early Decision (ED), where the student commits to a particular institution (their first choice) and, should they be admitted, they will definitely enroll. This plan involves an early application deadline and an early decision deadline.

Admission rates for students who apply through ED are significantly higher than regular admission rates. One other possible college entry route is Restrictive Early Action (REA), which means students are not permitted to apply via the ED, EA or REA routes to any other institutions. However, the REA approach allows the student until May 1 to enroll if they are accepted.

This question originally appeared on Quora.

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