Skip to content

College Deadlines That Seniors Should Be Aware Of?


Senior year has arrived, which means that college application deadlines are just around the corner. The process of shortlisting your college and filling out an application may involve sitting down with your school career counselor, taking PSAT, talking to your teachers and parents, and more importantly, maintaining good grades.  When it comes to college applications, time is key. From taking the SAT to writing your personal statement, the process takes months to complete. In this detailed guide, we will take a look at college application deadlines that seniors should be aware of.

What Are The Options For College Application Deadlines?

It can be difficult to know exactly when to apply to a prospective college since there are numerous college application deadlines to go over and choose from. Almost every college offers four options to students:

  • Regular decision
  • Early action
  • Early decision
  • Rolling admissions

Regular Decision Deadline

Regular decision college application implies that you are applying according to the deadline for the upcoming fall semester enrollment. Colleges typically specify a deadline, usually between January and February, for fall enrollment. Regular decision college application is the most common type.  Most students apply to various colleges under regular decision applications. Students can hear back from colleges in March or April, depending on the prospective college. If accepted, you will have until May 1st to reply to the offer.

In case you don’t hear anything back, you may follow up before May 1st. The regular decision offers students the most time to take standardized tests, prepare essays, and gather materials as it has the widest application window. So, you will have plenty of time to carefully consider all of your options.

The downside of regular decision is that if you are deferred or rejected, you would have to wait until the next semester or academic year to reapply.

Who Is the Ideal Candidate To Apply?

Applying at the time of regular decision works great if you are applying to different schools and want to compare your choices. This way, you also get plenty of time to create a well-prepared application as opposed to the early admission process.

Regular Decision Deadline – January 01st For Top Schools

  • Boston College
  • Harvard
  • MIT
  • Brandeis
  • Princeton
  • Columbia
  • Cornell

Early Action Deadline

Early action college deadline is a less-explored option for many students. It enables you to apply to multiple schools before regular applicants. Many colleges admire students who apply earlier than other students as it shows that you are interested and serious about the program, and you have invested a lot of time and hard work to apply earlier.

You will typically have between November 1st and November 15th to apply, but you should check with each of the prospective schools as the deadlines could vary. As a result, you will also hear from various schools earlier, typically in January or February. Hence, you will have plenty of time than other students to respond to the offer by May 1st.  With more and more applicants applying each year, early action is also getting pretty competitive, and deferral policies are getting common. In case of a deferral, you will have to get in touch with the admissions office and inquire about your situation.

Who Is The Ideal Candidate To Apply?

An early action deadline is ideal for students who want to apply early without having to commit to any school. Early action does not require you to commit to accept the offer from any particular school you get admitted to. There are not many disadvantages to early action, but you will have to ensure that you are ready with a top-notch application to amaze the admissions committee. It is perfect for those who want to pay more attention to their senior year without worrying about college applications.

Early Action Deadline – November 01st For Top Schools

  • Stanford
  • CalTech
  • Harvard
  • MIT
  • George Town
  • Yale

Early Decision Deadline

Early decision is parallel to early action, where students have the option to apply early and receive an early response from schools on November 1st or 15th. However, unlike early action, students applying for early decision get a binding offer from colleges to enroll. This means once you get accepted, students will have to pay a nonrefundable deposit for confirmation of their admission and withdraw their applications from other schools. So, if you are planning to apply for early decision, you should be set on what school you want to go to and what career you want to pursue.

Who Is The Ideal Candidate To Apply?

Early decisions may not be a viable option for every student. One major red flag is that you are entering into an agreement without any financial aid. This can be a serious concern for those who are dependent on financial aid. Some schools may provide several options for aid, but there is no guarantee for any sort of adjustment. If a particular college offers insufficient financial aid, the student has the option to turn it down at the stipulated time of acceptance of offer. Early decision deadline is ideal for students who are certain about where they want to go and have no financial constraints.

Early Decision Deadline – November 01st for Top Schools

  • Brown
  • Boston College
  • New York University
  • Duke
  • Emory
  • Dartmouth
  • Cornell
  • University of Pennsylvania

Rolling Admissions College Application Deadline

If you require more time or flexibility to submit your college application, rolling admissions is the right option for you. Under rolling admissions, colleges evaluate and shortlist applications as they come in without setting a fixed deadline until all slots are filled. Generally, you should apply at the earliest when the admissions open to having higher chances of acceptance.

Who Is the Ideal Candidate To Apply?

Rolling admission is a great option for those who want flexibility and don’t want to be pressed with strict college deadlines. So, if you want to gain some work experience to increase your chances or want to take your SATs again, rolling admissions might be the correct choice for you.


The entire process of a college application can take about 100 hours or more. To ensure that all of your efforts pay off, you will have to be completely prepared with your college applications on time. Don’t let all the hard work go up in smoke by missing your college application deadlines!