Early Admission

Definition

The term early admission often refers to programs that allow students to apply to college by November 1 and be admitted by mid-December.  Early admission can also refer to students that have not yet graduated from high school, but are admitted and enroll in college.

Explanation

The term early admission can have two meanings.  More commonly, it refers to the outcome of processes that allow students to apply for enrollment in a college or university ahead of the "normal" admissions timeline.  The following two programs may notify a student they've been accepted for early admission:

  • Early Decision (ED):  an admissions process that allows students to submit an application to a college or university by November 1, which becomes a binding agreement if the student is admitted.
  • Early Action (EA):  an admissions process that allows students to submit an application to a college or university by November 1 instead of the general admission deadline of January 1.

Both of the above programs will inform the applicant of their admissions status by the middle of December.  If approved for enrollment through an ED program, the student is required to enroll in that college or university (it's a binding agreement); EA programs typically do not require the student to enroll.

The term early admission can also refer to a process that allows exceptional students to enter college before graduating from high school.  Students may qualify for early admission after completion of their junior year (rising seniors).  These students will have performed exceptionally well in accelerated high school programs.

Related Terms

apprenticeship, Career and Technical Education, concurrent enrollment, deferred admission, distance learning, early decisioninternship, early action, academic letter of recommendation, official transcript, FERPA