There are different college admission application forms, and each college determines what form it requires. Most applications are electronic and submitted online, but some may allow or require paper submissions.
Know what application forms you will use:
- Common Application: More than 300 colleges across the country participate in the Common Application, an online application system in which the student's information is entered once and can be sent to multiple colleges. A college using this system may also require completion of a supplemental form specific to that college.
- SUNY & CUNY: Applications for the State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) allow for applying to more than one college within each system.
- College's own application: Some colleges have their own application forms. These may be available on their websites or through links emailed to prospective students.
Each college sets its own application deadline. Some colleges may have different deadlines for different programs, with some applications due as early as October of your senior year in high school.
Make sure you know the application plans at the colleges where you'll apply, and when the deadlines are:
- Early Action: Early action plans allow students to apply early and receive an early response from the college. You do not have to commit to the college until the May 1 deadline. Early action plans are nonbinding. The submission deadline for Early Action is often early in the fall. Standardized tests, if needed, must be taken by October to meet this deadline.
- Early Decision: Early decision plans also allow students to apply early and receive an early response from college, but the decision is binding — a student who is accepted as an early decision applicant must attend the college. Standardized tests, if needed, must be taken by October to meet this deadline.
- Regular Admissions: The deadline date may be in December or January, and notifications are distributed before the end of March. Accepted students have until May 1 to make a decision.
- Rolling Admissions: There is no set deadline. You can apply anytime during the college's admissions period, typically September through July. Applications are reviewed as received. You should plan on applying as early as possible.