Admit it. Early returns

Admit it: when applying to highly-selective colleges, utilizing the early admission option can be an effective strategy since admission rates for early applicants are higher. Schools benefit from these policies since they are predictors in crafting a freshmen class. College admissions offices across the country have similar missions:  increase the applicant pool, improve the yield and identify students that will return after their freshmen year and graduate within six years. Early admission policies assist in fulfilling these goals.

While working with students this fall, noticeable changes to many of the early admissions policies emerged:  application dates are sooner, policies are becoming more specific and technology is holding bigger stakes in the application process. Not knowing these changes could jeopardize your applications.   Crisp Consulting + Coaching offers details on some of the changes to early admission and early decision policies that could affect your college applications.

Earlier Policies. Many colleges and universities have earlier deadlines for their early action and early decision applicants. Check these policies and the dates to which they adhere:


  • Early Action: These non-binding early applications demonstrate intent to enroll and notify applicants earlier in the admissions process. Although students are informed of admissions decisions earlier, they may apply to more than one college with the Early Action policy, and students are not obligated to attend if accepted. These deadlines begin November 1 for schools such as Furman University, University of Chicago, MIT and University of North Carolina.


  • Restrictive Early Action: Restrictive Early Action is a non-binding admissions policy. Students may apply to other Early Action schools, but they cannot apply to Early Decision schools. These application dates begin November 1 and include Boston College and Georgetown University.


  • Single-Choice Early Action: This is a non-binding admissions policy, but students may not apply to either Early Decision or other Early Action schools. These deadlines begin November 1 and include schools such as Harvard University, Princeton University and Yale University.

These earlier deadlines provide admissions offices with more time to review applications while allowing less time for seniors to prepare for admission.

Earlier Adapters. Technology continues to influence admissions offices. The Common Application and the  Universal College Application are now being exclusively used by many schools.   The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is now using the Common Application and  American University is now using it exclusively. In addition, admissions offices are reducing extra support staff and transitioning to on-line readers. Although each admissions cycle comes with changes, these revisions and modification to early admissions policies will affect students applying to college. Knowing these policies, their deadlines and crafting a strong application based on your personal strengths and passions is a strategy that will assist you in the college admissions process.

Crisp Consulting + Coaching has information regarding admission, education and school options on our Facebook page, Google+, Twitter and  YouTube Channel.  Click here to schedule your free forty-five minute college, graduate school or boarding school admissions consultation.  Learn how Crisp Consulting + Coaching assists families in navigating the admissions process.

Brian D. Crisp is an independent educational consultant with Crisp Consulting + Coaching who works with families in Asheville, Charleston, Raleigh-Durham and Savannah to optimize and realize their unique educational fit and admission success. As a former professor, administrator, and teacher, Brian has the knowledge and skills to counsel families in all aspects of educational planning.

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