University Application Deadlines or Cut-Off Dates in for studying in USA

Application Deadlines

When you are planning for abroad education, you will have a lot of questions in your mind right from choosing a college or university to the admission and application process. One such question is “When is the deadline for applying to that college?” Most of the students don’t get a proper answer for this question. It is because there is no single fixed application deadline for most of the Universities. University Application deadlines and dates vary from College to College. It is advisable to check the respective University website for regular updates on the application dates.  

Adding to the ambiguity, there are various types of University application deadlines that are published on the University websites. Understanding them might be a difficult task. But, an aspiring student must understand them in detail before applying to the school of his/her choice.So to make it easy, we have explained all the possible types of the University application deadlines that you need to know for applying to the right university at the right time.

Types of University Application Deadlines

Let us take the case of a student who is applying for Fall Session of 2020 i.e. August/September 2020 intake

Early Action (EA)

Early Action’ requires you to apply early – by November or December 2019. In this case, you will get to know the decision by Mid-December 2019 or early January 2020.  You can apply to as many colleges as you like. You will have ample time to decide on the college of your choice from the list of colleges you got the decision from.  Mostly you are required to accept the offer by the first week of May 2020. One disadvantage could be that most students who apply for EA are relatively very strong profiles and hence rejection rates could be higher.

Restrictive or Single Choice Early Action (EA)

Some colleges offer ‘Restrictive Early Action’. Unlike traditional EA, you are restricted to apply to only one college. However, if you get the offer, it is not mandatory or compulsory to attend that college. You will still have the freedom to apply to other colleges once you get the decision from Restrictive or Single Choice EA College that you applied for.

Early Decision (ED)

 Here also you are required to apply in November 2019 and you will get the decision by Mid-December 2019.  But, here you are required to sign a binding agreement. You can apply only for one college and you must attend it if you get the offer. So, if you are very clear about your choice or are particular about any one particular ED college then only apply for that college and wait for the acceptance.

Besides acceptance and rejection, there is another option called Deferred which means your profile is re-considered in the next phase. You can call the college admission team to understand further steps required when they put you on deferred list.  In that case, mostly you are open to apply for colleges that have ED-II. For ED-II colleges, the rules remain the same but the stipulated time varies. Here you can apply in the month of January 2020 and expect the result in Mid-February 2020. Not all the colleges that have ED-I will have ED-II, so make sure before you start applying.

Note: You are not eligible to apply for the same ED college twice (means if you face rejection or on deferred list in ED-I, you cannot apply for ED-II for the same college)

Below is the list of top colleges that follow ED policies

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Duke University
  • Brown University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Rice University
  • Northwestern University

Guaranteed Admissions

Some universities offer ‘Guaranteed Admissions’. Universities set certain academic criteria and test scores as requirements. If you meet those criteria then you will be given admission to that college. For example, University of California (UC) offers guaranteed admissions to students who are in the top 9% of their high school class and who meet UC admission requirements.

Note: Admissions are guaranteed for the University but not to any particular campus.

Priority Applications

 Here universities send applications to students who are highly qualified.  To lure these highly qualified students they reduce the application requirements, waive application fees and guarantee admissions.  But, these colleges might not be the top colleges and they could be too easy for you to get admission. So, think before applying as you can get better colleges than these ones.

Priority Deadline

 Most of the Public and State Universities offer this type of deadline. Usually the deadline will be in November 2019. It is advisable to utilize this offer as a majority of the students who send their applications during this deadline gets accepted.  And also if you get in through Priority Deadline then your chances of getting scholarships and financial aid is high. 

Regular Deadlines

It is the most common type of University application deadlines. Universities need you to apply before this deadline. The duration may vary from college to college. If you are applying for Fall 2020 Session, usually the University/College Regular Deadline would be somewhere between January 1st and March 1st 2020. Again, it depends on the college you choose.

Scholarship Consideration Deadlines

Some universities specifically offer this deadline and applications beyond this deadline are not considered for scholarships.  So, if you are looking for any financial aid, then you need to apply before this deadline. Usually, this deadline is way before the regular application deadline. Usually scholarship deadlines will be between October 2019 and March 2020.

Rolling Admissions Deadline

Universities with this type of deadline accept applications until the class fills up. And universities don’t wait to get all the applications to review at once and declare the decision. As and when they get the application they review and declare the decision so it is better to consider this and send in your application if the college on your list is offering Rolling Admissions.  It is advisable to apply as early as possible else you end up with no admission. Also, few universities have regular deadlines set for some programs even though they publish them as rolling admission deadlines. So, it is better to connect with the individual university and check their admission process.

Late Application Deadline

Some universities allow late applications. You can opt for this, if you were not able to put in your application within the regular deadline. Like in India, USA also levies charges for late application. Check the university website to find out how much do they charge as it varies from university to university.

Final Deadline

This is the final call for all the students to submit their applications. Beyond this deadline, universities do not accept any applications.

All the schools/colleges don’t have all these types of University application deadlines. To be sure on the dates and deadlines of the University of your choice, please check out their website and get the latest updates as well as connect with their admission department during their working hours.

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