I read an interesting article from USNews.com that helps students understand the jargons being used by universities or colleges in their admission. And I think that these are very worthy to know so that we could avoid some confusion. These admission jargons and their meanings are provided by the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
Depending on the universities, they may implement restrictive or non restrictive plans to their admission. Restrictive plans include Early Decision I, Early Decision II and Single-Choice Early Action. On the Non-Restrictive Plans, terms such Regular Decision, Rolling Admission and Early Action are being used.
Early Decision I means that you enter into a first-choice institution. This means that you are required to enroll in that university and cancel all others application form other schools if you are admitted and awarded a satisfactory financial aid package. The application deadline for this type of restrictive plan is during November and you are immediately notified as early as December.
There are also some schools that have two sets of Early Decision, hence, the second round of early admission notification is called Early Decision II. The deadline for this is usually set in January with notifications by February. There is also few universities that implement Single-Choice Early Action. Under this restrictive plan, you are expected not to apply early to other school until you get your admission status.
With the Non-Restrictive Plan, the Regular Decision means that you submitted an application on January and receive the decision by April. You can also apply to other institutions and accept the decision by May. Rolling Admission means that your application is reviewed when it was received and decisions are made throughout admission process.
Lastly, the Early Action under the Non-Restrictive Plan means that you can apply in November, receive a decision by December or until February but you are not obliged to accept it. So, take note of these admission clauses in order for you to decide better.