Let’s now consider the other types of policies on the spectrum. Regular Admission is basically identical to Rolling Admission minus the flexible deadline. Through Regular Admission, the college sets an application deadline, usually in January, and students are notified around May.
It’s in the central part of the spectrum that things start getting a little more complicated, namely with Early Action, and Restrictive or Single Choice Early action.
Unlike Early Decision, Early Action is non-binding. With Early Action, you have the enormous advantage of applying early and knowing the outcome relatively earlier, but you are not obliged to go to that specific school if you were to be accepted. In most cases, you have until May 1st to confirm the enrollment and to look around for other options.
The Single Choice Early Action, also known as Restrictive Early Action is, in probably the one that generates the most confusion in our experience. Let’s start by saying that it concerns the smallest pool of schools, namely Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Mit. With this policy, you can apply ONLY to an early action institution and you cannot apply anywhere else with Early Decision. You are not bound though, unlike with Early Decision and that is why Single Choice Early Action or Restrictive Early Action is still less stringent than Early Decision proper.
To conclude, we hope that this post has dissipated a bit of confusion and anxiety that comes with so many school policies. We hope to have equipped you with the basic knowledge necessary to decide the best course of action. This blog entry is not meant to be exhaustive and include all the possible advantages and disadvantages of each policy. We still encourage you carefully check the official webpage of each college you are contemplating and read their admission guidelines carefully.