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Important College Application Deadlines You Shouldn’t Miss: UK & US

While counselors try to do their best to make the application and admissions process as seamless as possible, they know that this decision, in particular, can be tricky and confusing. The college application process is often stressful for students, from transcripts and essays to LOR and extracurriculars. Undergraduate students have various options when applying to colleges, and it’s crucial to understand the take note of application deadlines and strategize how you wish to apply


For most courses for 2023 entry, the college application deadline for the UK is 25 January 2023 at 18:00. However, the deadlines for Veterinary and medicine courses every year is 15 October. 


To make your work easy, we have also outlined below a few standard terms that you may need to understand when choosing a college application deadline for the US.  


Read further to learn how each application option works, factors to consider when choosing among your options, and how to determine which way to apply is right for you.


Early Action (EA)

Early action typically means applying early and receiving an early admission decision. The most common early action deadlines are either November 1 or November 15. In general,  the decision can be expected around December. 


It is important to note that Early Action is non-binding and the students who opt for this option are not committed to their Early Action schools and still have until May 1 to either accept or decline their offers of admission. There is also a third option unique to early admissions: getting deferred. Students who are not admitted to Early Action may be deferred to the Regular Decision deadline to be evaluated later. 


Early Decision (ED)

Early Decision can be favorable to students who have carefully thought through their college options and have a clear preference for one college or university. 


Similarly to Early Action, Early Decision students will submit their applications before the Regular Decision deadline and receive their admission decisions soon after. The only and most significant difference between these two is that Early Decision is binding which means that any student who applies and is admitted to a college through Early Decision is expected to enroll. During the application, students are asked to submit an early decision agreement along with their application and by signing this agreement, if selected, they must be admitted to the university. This plan is only recommended if you are sure about the university you are applying to.


A red flag about Early Decision is that you’re binding to an agreement without seeing your financial aid offer. This could pose serious concerns for those depending on financial aid to cover most or all of their tuition expenses.

Restrictive Early Action (REA)

Restrictive early action (REA), also called single-choice early action, is offered by a few high accomplished institutions like Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Notre Dame and Stanford. It is non binding and you aren’t obligated to attend if accepted, but applicants applying REA may not apply to any other schools in the early rounds.


Students should apply to their REA choice only if they are truly ready.  A green flag about applying to a school through restrictive early action is that you are letting the school know that you prioritize their application over any other. 


Regular Decision (RD)

The most common plan amongst the majority of students is Regular Decision where they can apply to as many schools as they would like. This is the same as the deadline for fall intake and at most universities, the regular decision deadline is around the first week of January. Commonly, the Regular Decision deadline is January 1 (Make sure to plan your new year’s accordingly). January 15 is a popular one, as well. As one of the widest application windows, regular decision ensures students have enough time to gather materials, prepare essays, and take essential exams. These deadlines also give you additional time to carefully consider your university options. The disadvantage of waiting until the final application window means that if you get rejected, you’ll have to wait until the following academic term to reapply. Although you could get waitlisted, which means you may or may not get accepted depending on whether any spots are available.


A student’s deadlines affect how they get ready to apply. Make sure to keep track of all your deadlines and plan out each component of your application carefully. Having said that, it’s important to remember that applying early does not necessarily increase your chances of acceptance or means you will get into the college of your dreams. A few components that especially require early and thoughtful planning throughout high school are your test scores, your letters of recommendation, grades, profile and your essays. 


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