With graduation just a few short months away, high school seniors all over the country are anxiously waiting to receive the highly-anticipated regular decision notifications from their prospective colleges. After months of preparing college applications, the wait is almost over for the class of 2022.
Typically, college admissions offices aim to send out regular decision notifications between mid-March and early April. Last year, the pandemic caused delays to the college admissions cycle, which extended the deadlines by a few weeks. Even the Ivy League schools pushed back their notification dates to April 6, when it had been closer to March 26 during pre-pandemic school years. Last year, particularly in highly competitive colleges, there was a large increase of students who applied for early decision admissions, and it is likely that this spike will continue in 2022.
Now that colleges are resuming to more “normal” circumstances, colleges and universities anticipate that they will be making their regular decision announcements on schedule for the class of 2022. These dates are subject to change, so it is a good idea for students to check the college’s website. The release dates can change based on how quickly college admissions offices are able to process the high volume of regular decision applications.
According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, early decision applications only increase a student’s chances of being admitted by about 11 percent on average, but applying for early decision does give the student the benefit of finding out sooner whether or not they were accepted to that institution. However, some of the top colleges in the nation begin selecting a larger percentage of its applicants during its early decision admissions process. Not all colleges and universities publish their early decision acceptance rates, but some of the schools with the highest early decision acceptance rates include Emory (36.5%), Williams College (33%), UVA (31.6%), Vanderbilt (24.1%), Duke (21%), and Dartmouth (20.1%). Keep in mind that if a student is accepted during early decision, they have the obligation to attend that school. By applying to several schools during regular decision, students have more options of where to attend college and are not “locked in” to one school based on early decision admission.
College admissions deadlines can be very stressful for students who are trying to juggle so many things in their final year of high school. For this reason, many colleges offer an alternative to hard deadlines: rolling admissions. By offering rolling admissions, colleges offer multiple times during the year where students can apply for admissions. Some of the top accredited universities in the nation that offer rolling admissions include: University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania State University, and Purdue University. Although students have the advantage of not worrying about deadlines, they do run the risk of missing out on being admitted to their top choice school. Since many colleges with rolling admissions run on a first-come, first-serve basis, there many not be space for them when they apply.