Important Vocabulary for College Admissions

Students as you apply and begin receiving communications from your intended institutions please see below so you are aware of the potential vocabulary you may encounter.

Rolling Admission: This is a first come, first served deadline. The school considers each application as soon as all required materials have been received. The institution then notifies each applicant of acceptance or rejection as soon as possible (2-8 weeks). If accepted, the student is not obligated to attend.

Regular Admission: Non-rolling admission that has set a deadline which applicants must meet. No matter how high the quality of the applicant, if he/she does not meet this deadline, the applicant will not be considered. Applicants usually receive decisions in March or April. If accepted, the student is not obligated to attend.

Early Decision: This is the earliest and most serious deadline. This is an appropriate means of applying for the student who is ABSOLUTELY certain that he/she will attend this school if accepted. It is LEGALLY BINDING. This means that if a student is accepted early decision, they are legally obligated to attend that school. You can only apply to one school Early Decision. It is important that you understand and follow the regulations they set forth in their Early Decision Agreement. Early Decision deadlines vary by institution, but are typically on or around November 1st.

Early Action: This is an appropriate means of applying for the student who is an early-planner and has all of their materials ready to submit. Deadlines are typically November 1st, and applicants receive their decisions in January or February. There are no obligations to attend the school if accepted.

Waitlisted: This can happen when you meet the admission requirements, but the college has already accepted the number of applicants it has room for. If a spot becomes available later on, you may be offered a place.The college won’t make you this offer, though, until after the May 1 decision deadline has passed. If you’re on the waiting list, it’s hard to know what your chances of acceptance are.

Candidate Reply Deadline: This refers to the deadline, by which you must notify all of your schools of whether or not you are accepting or rejecting their offer of admission. Once you have made a decision, you must notify your other schools and decline their acceptance offer; these schools may now offer your spot to someone on their waiting list.

Superscore: There are some colleges/universities that will consider your highest section scores across all of the dates you took the SAT. Call your institution(s) of interest for specifics.