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The Different Doors to Getting Into Colleges

When we think of the application process, we generally think of the deadline date for regular applications. You have to get the app in before the deadline date or you are just out of luck. The fact is, regular application decisions are only one of the doors to college. There are others.

Early Action.  Early Action is an early application process. It is for students who are ready and willing to enroll if accepted. In fact, if accepted, the student agrees to enroll and not attend any other institution if also accepted there. This is very important. The institution expects you to attend if they make an early decision regarding your enrollment. They consider it very unethical for a student to apply for early action and then chose another school. The college is committing to you and they expect you to reciprocate. If you meet their standards, there is a good chance you will be admitted.

Regular Decision.  This is the standard application process that we are all familiar with. The applications open and there is a standard deadline date for everyone.  This is best if you are undecided or “financial aid shopping” to see who gives you the best financial package. I always recommend applying at several schools just in case your fist choice is not available.

Wait List.  This is for students who didn’t quite make the cut for Early Decision or Regular Decision. If you are on the Wait List, don’t despair. There is a good possibility you will be admitted if you are qualified.  Your institution may have been the second choice for some applicants. Or perhaps another institution offered a better financial aid package. Sometimes people just change their mind about going to college. The fact is, when it comes to crunch time, many people on the Wait List end up getting in if they qualify academically.

Which door is right for you? Probably the regular application door. It gives you the most options. Good luck.

© 2015 Roger D. Chamberlain

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