While college decision timelines depend on a number of variables, most students who apply in the fall can expect college decisions by mid-March to early April.
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- Most college applicants pursue what is known as regular decision, which means applying in the fall and hearing back in the spring.
- Early action and early decision applicants will hear back between mid-December and late February, depending on the type of application chosen.
- Prospective students can also choose to apply to schools that use rolling admission, which means applying and normally hearing back within a few weeks.
So you’ve applied to college and are eagerly awaiting a decision, but how long do you have to wait?
It depends on when — and how — you applied.
While there is no universal date that all colleges follow, you can expect decisions from schools you applied to within general timeframes.
For example, suppose you decided not to apply using early action or early decision. In that case, you should expect regular admission decisions by mid-March to April 1 of next year.
While you can accept your college decision right after you receive it, make sure to do so by College Decision Day on May 1, 2023. If you miss the deadline to accept, try reaching out to your school’s admissions office.
Timeline for College Admissions Decisions
|Early Action||Mid-December 2022 to Late January 2023|
|Early Decision||Mid to Late December 2022|
|Early Decision II||Mid to Late February 2023|
|Regular Decision||Mid-March 2023 to April 1, 2023|
|Rolling Admissions||Typically opens in September and continues through spring; expect admissions decision 4 to 6 weeks after applying.|
What Is Early Action?
Early action is a nonbinding way to apply sooner than regular decision applicants. It allows you to apply to multiple schools without the risk of being bound to one specific school. Applying early action gets you a decision faster and increases your chances of getting an acceptance than regular decision.
What Is Early Decision I and II?
Early decision is a binding agreement with a university. Under this agreement, you can only apply to one school and must agree to attend if accepted. These applications require signatures from you, your family, and a school counselor.
Early decision II follows the same protocol, but students have longer to apply.
What Is Regular Decision?
Regular Decision is the traditional deadline usually set in late December or January. Schools won’t accept applications after this deadline, and they will only review applications after the deadline.
What Are Rolling Admissions?
Rolling Admissions allow students to apply to colleges within six months without a deadline. You have much more time to apply, though spots may close sooner than later. However, rolling admissions are the least common admissions type.