Most college applicants apply RD (regular decision) and their applications are due January 1st, January 15th, February 1st or later. Some schools accept applications until March or even April 1st. Students applying Early Decision, ED, submit applications as of November 1st or 15th. These students will be notified of their acceptances by December 15th or so. Many schools have something wonderful called 'Early Action" which allows students to apply early, to be notified early, but to not have to commit to just one school early.
Today, Elsa completed her on line applications and pressed the submit button to apply to three schools: two early action and one early decision. If she is accepted to her early decision school, she must withdraw her early action applications. In that case, she will be done and will not need to submit any further applications to any colleges. If she is deferred or rejected to her ED school, she will apply to four or five additional schools. We will hope for acceptances to her EA schools in the interim. My friend Heather's daughter already has one acceptance under her belt. It was from a school with rolling admissions. These schools accept or reject students as the applications roll in. When they have enough acceptances, they simply close their registration for the semester.
We are nervous, excited and a bit in disbelief that the official process has begun!
For more information on rolling, early action, early decision and regular admissions, check out collegeconfidential.com, discussion, parents. This website has been of enormous help to me!
Good luck to all applicants!