The admission process in the USA is quite different than that of India. In India, we have just one admission cycle in which we can apply for colleges when their application forms are out, while in the USA, the students have the flexibility to apply through Early Admission plan, Regular Admission plan or Rolling Admission plan. Given below are the definitions of these plans to help you understand them better.
Early Admission Plan
As the name suggests, the early admission plan allows students to apply for their chosen institution before the regular admission process starts. Applications for early admission are generally processed during the month of November and students are informed of their acceptance or rejection by mid December. This admission plan helps students avoid the rush period and increases their chance of acceptance due to the availability of seats. There are three ways to apply for the shortlisted colleges under early admission plan.
Early decision application binds a student in a commitment that says he/she is to attend the university/college in exchange for early acceptance and withdraw applications from other universities. Also, the candidate stands to lose his/her enrolment deposit if he/she doesn’t attend the college. The application date usually falls in November under early decision.
Under early action application, the students receive their acceptance early but can wait till regular admission time to make a final decision about the college/university. It allows students to apply to other colleges since the early action application is non-binding. It is beneficial for international students who get time to arrange for financial aid and prepare their move to the US in a planned manner.
Single choice early action
This application is non-binding under which the applicants can apply to only one university/college on the basis of an early action application and are not permitted to apply to any other school till they receive their early action decision. However, after receiving the decision, the applicants can apply to other colleges during the regular admission cycle. Single choice early action application asks students to have their applications completed early.
Regular Admission Plan
Under regular admission application, the applicants need to apply by the deadlines set by the universities and they are not held under any commitment to make an early decision to attend the college if accepted. Also, the applicants can apply to as many institutions as they wish within the stipulated time-frame. The students receive the acceptance decision between 1 January to 1 March.