Admission plans

There are several types of admission to which you can submit applications. Each comes with its own rules and regulations, so it’s important to be aware of these before you apply.

Things to know

  • If you apply early, you are among a smaller applicant pool and will find out your decision by December
  • Some admission plans restrict you from applying to other universities
  • Early decision is binding – if you are admitted, you have to enrol

Early decision

If you apply to a university through the early decision plan, it should be your number one choice of university anywhere in the world.

Early decision is restrictive and binding. This means:

  • You can only apply early to one university
  • If you are admitted, you promise to enrol

You, your family and your school sign a declaration stating you intend to honour the early decision policy. If you break this code and refuse to enrol, it will reflect poorly on your school and any future applicants in the years below you.

Think carefully about your university choices before you opt to apply to one through early decision. You hear back from early applications by December, giving you time to know whether you need to submit regular applications to other universities or not.

Typical deadline: 1 November

Early action

This is non-binding. You are not obliged to enrol at an early action university if you are offered a place.

Certain universities operate restrictive early action plans. For example: Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Yale won’t let you apply to another university through early action.

Typical deadline: 1 November

Regular decision

Students typically apply by 1 January and receive an admissions decision by the end of March. Regular decisions are non-binding and non-restrictive. You can apply to as many US universities as you like through the regular round, but we recommend no more than eight.

Typical deadline: 1 January

Rolling admissions

Some institutions will keep applications open until they have filled all the places available. This can be helpful to students who have not had the time to prepare an application for the usual deadlines. Applications could be open as late as the June before you enrol.

However, the later you apply, the more unlikely it is that funding will be available, and you will have less time to arrange your visa and flights.