I posted this short video in which I talk about the difference between Early Decision (BINDING) and Early Action (not binding) a few months back, but now that it’s October, students and parents are looking more closely at these options for college admission.
This image below shows the differences between the various types of admission choices that most colleges give their students.
All colleges do not offer all of these options; check the Admissions office’s webpage to see what choices they have. Most Early Decision and Early Action deadlines are either November 1 or November 15 (there are a few December 1 and 15 deadlines), and most colleges with early deadlines will inform students of their admission decision between December 15 and January 31. Most selective/highly selective colleges do not release their regular decision decisions until late March. With the exception of EARLY DECISION applications, students have until May 1 to decide which college they will attend.
Now is also a great time to determine your EFC – Expected Family Contribution – this is the dollar figure that the federal government determines you should be able to pay annually for your child’s college education. It’s best to start the application process knowing this number, so you know how much of a gap there will be between the sticker price and what you can afford to pay. I like to use the EFC calculator on the College Board’s website.
And even though it’s only October – don’t be afraid to let those applications go and HIT SUBMIT!