• Electronic application via the individual college’s website.
  • Paper application from the college directly, from a College representative who visits school in the fall, at college fairs or your guidance office.
  • Note: Over 315 schools accept the Common Application ( The Common Application is a single application that can be completed, copied, and sent to numerous colleges.


Deadlines vary from as early as September for some competitive programs to as late as July at rolling admissions schools. Regardless, your application should be submitted two weeks prior to any deadline date.


  • Early Decision: By applying early decision, a student commits to attend that college if accepted and does not apply to any other school or withdraws applications to other schools. Application deadline is usually November 1st and notification of decision is often early January. Not every school has an Early Decision option. It is important to discuss the advantages and disadvantages before going Early Decision. Remember that lots of things can change for you in your senior year.
  • Early Action: Although there is an early deadline and early notification of decision, there is no early commitment. Early Action also does not limit applications to other schools. Not every school has an Early Action option.
  • Standard Deadline: Many schools publish a February 1st priority deadline for applications and then offer notification by April 15th. However, every school is different, so it is best to note the date.
  • Rolling Admission: Applications are reviewed as they arrive and applicants are generally notified within 6 to 8 weeks. Places in the incoming class may be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Some schools with rolling admission suggest submitting applications in September.