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Top 4 International University Admissions Rounds for Undergraduate students

If you're confused about different college admission rounds and want to know more, you've come to the right place. This short article will brief you on different rounds, advantages, and disadvantages and concludes by analysing the right round for your application.

Early Action

The Early Action round allows students to apply to their desired colleges without committing to a binding contract, as in the Early Decision round. Its deadline is usually between October 15th to November 15th. Early Action allows students to apply to other colleges of their choice in rounds such as Regular Decision. It also usually gives an option or a period until May to accept or reject the offer. If the student is willing to take the offer, they can do that earlier than May rather than applying to other colleges in different rounds. The advantage of Early Action is that a student can receive a decision early without a binding contract and can accept if it's their dream college. There are no significant disadvantages while applying to this round.

Early Decision

An Early Decision(ED) is a binding contract, unlike Early Action. In ED, students must withdraw from all other universities they have applied to if admitted to their Early Decision college and are obliged to enrol at the University by contract. One can only opt for the ED option if they are very sure about their college choice and are 100% willing to study there. If rejected, the student can opt for ED for another college, but until then, students must choose only one college. There are a few exceptions when a student can not go for their ED preferred college, and they are; if the student has applied for financial aid and the college cannot assist, then there is an option of being released from the contract. Another option is when the student has extreme family situations which do not allow them to pursue education at the University, they can be released from the contract on a case-by-case basis.

The advantage of Early Decision is that students have a higher chance of getting in as they show the admissions team that they are willing to join if they get in by signing the contract. The disadvantage is that students cannot apply to any other university for the ED round. This is a disadvantage to people having more than 1 desired college to apply to.

Regular Decision

Every University has a regular admission deadline, and many students widely opt for it to apply to their desired colleges. There is no limit to the number of colleges a student can apply to in this round. Decisions are usually made in March or April. To confirm a spot in the desired college, the student must indicate interest and pay the initial deposit by early May. The advantage of a Regular Decision is that it is not binding, and one can accept or reject the offer. The disadvantage is that the decisions are released late in March or April, complicating the student's decision-making.

Rolling Admission

Rolling admission is a type of admission that is only closed if all the seats are filled, and until then, applications will be accepted. The decision is also made quickly in rolling admission, which usually takes between 2-4 weeks. Therefore, it is advisable to apply early if the student is looking for scholarships or financial aid opportunities and to ensure enough time for visa processes. The advantage of the Rolling Admission process is that a student can apply as late as May. The disadvantage is that even though it is released within four weeks, it still delays the process that involves visas, departure, etc.


Students should apply to EA or ED if they have their dream college in mind and have all their application materials ready for submission. Suppose the materials still need to be prepared, and the student has multiple college preferences. In that case, it is advised to go for a regular decision where there is no limit to the number of colleges one can apply to, and one can receive a decision in March-April. For students who make last-minute college application decisions, and want to apply to more colleges at the end of the cycle, rolling admission is better. They can apply late, but they can receive decisions early, irrespective of when they apply in the admission cycle. Every round has its pros and cons; it's up to the student to make a wise choice to list colleges in different rounds accordingly.

Which round will you apply in? Write to us at if you wish to learn more.

By Meghana Mantha

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