Early Action

Fall 2012 Colleges with Early Action Plans

For seventeen years, high school counselor Cigus Vanni has created and maintained a series of lists that are great tools for students -- and counselors. We're delighted he is allowing us to share these lists with our readers. Because of their length, we are featuring them as separate posts. Last week, we posted 2012-2013 Schools that require or recommend Subject Tests. Today, we are featuring 2012 colleges and universities with Early Action plans. 

Early action plans are typically nonrestrictive. Students apply by a deadline that is earlier than the school's Regular Decision deadline and receive a decision earlier than the regular response date. Applicants are free to apply to other colleges and are not required to commit to a school until May 1, the National Candidates Reply Date.

However, please note, that a handful of schools listed here have Restrictive Early Action plans -- including Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Boston College, and several others. These plans note the schools' requirements for admission under these plans in bold. If you are applying under a Restrictive Early Action plan, check the website of that college to understand the specifics of their restrictions and requirements. 

If you applied early... Or not...

If you applied under an early decision, early action or restrictive early action plan, don't miss our series of posts on the next steps if you were accepted, deferred, or denied. And don't miss our advice on doing the right thing here.

And if you did not jump on the early bandwagon and opted for applying under a regular decision plan, don't miss our debunking of the media madness headlines that you're seeing lately. All the seats at the schools on your list have not been taken by early admits. No need to panic. We explain and do the math here.

Trophy hunting...

Before we exit the subject of early admission this week, we'd like to leave you with a final thought in this excerpt from our book:

Students: Do the Right Thing!

You have applied under early action, rolling admission, or restrictive early action and you’re in.


We now encourage you to do the right thing. If you know you will not enroll at some of the other colleges on your list, don’t apply to them. Go back through that original list and cross off those schools. Or, if you’ve already sent in your applications, let those colleges know your plans.

Don’t collect trophies in the form of admission letters from colleges you will never attend.

Next steps: Denied Early Admission

What can students do if they are denied admission under early decision, early action, or restrictive early action?

If you are denied under ED, EA, or REA, this decision is final and you will not be reconsidered. You cannot reapply for consideration under a regular decision plan.

A denial under an early plan may seem harsh, coming at this time of year, right around the holidays. But accept it as valuable guidance. The school is sending you a strong signal early on that you’re not in the running and will be best served by placing your attention elsewhere— on your applications to the other wonderful schools on your list.

So, first and foremost, proceed with completing your applications to the other schools on your list. Move on and let yourself get excited about these other schools!

Remember, too, as we cautioned yesterday, to be in close touch with your teachers and counselors who are writing your recommendations before the winter break.  Be sure all your recommenders are prepared to send out more letters to the remaining schools on your list before school lets out for the holidays.

Next steps: Deferred under an Early Plan

Today, we look at next steps for students who have been deferred under an under early decision (ED), early action (EA), or restrictive early action (REA) plan.

Deferred under Early Decision, Early Action, or Restrictive Early Action

If deferred under ED, EA or REA, students are placed in the regular admission pool for later consideration. You do not have to reapply, but there are some actions you should be taking at the school where you have been deferred if that school remains a top choice for you:

Does Early Decision Fill Most of the Seats in the Freshman Class?

Does Early Decision Fill Most of the Seats in the Freshman Class?

Get ready for a slew of headlines trumpeting the arrival of decisions for those who applied under early action or early decision plans. Some students have already begun to receive their decisions for this admission season and more will hear in the coming week. For students who opted to take advantage of the additional time afforded by applying regular decision, this time may nevertheless be worrisome as the media trumpet stories about the record numbers of early applicants. One of the most persistent storylines is that early decision fills most of the seats in the freshman class. NOT! Read on in this excerpt from the book to understand the real story:

“The college you’re applying to has filled half its freshman class with early decision applicants!”

You may have heard things like this and worried there won’t be enough room left if you apply under regular decision. But this is a case where the numbers are deceiving. Let’s do the math.