College Application Deadlines for Fall 2020

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College application deadlines can be terribly confusing for students and their parents. However, once you figure out what all of the deadlines types are, you can formulate an appropriate application strategy.  This is a critical part of the college application process to ensure your student gains admittance and a financial aid package that meets your needs. As soon as students finalize their list of schools, they should sit down with their counselor and plan out when and how they will send out college applications based on what deadline options you want to employ.

Types of College Application Deadlines

Outlined below, you will find clear definitions for each type of college application deadline.  Specific deadlines will vary from college to college and university to university; however, the types of college application deadlines for the Fall of 2020 are listed below.


Early Decision (EDI) and Early Decision II (EDII)

This is the best way to demonstrate interest in a college. It’s important to understand, however, that Early Decision is a binding agreement. In other words, if you apply Early Decision to a college and are accepted, you have to attend that school and withdraw all your other applications. Part of what this means is that you won’t have the opportunity to wait and find out about financial aid and scholarship packages from other schools.

Nevertheless, applying Early Decision can be advantageous because the acceptance rates are often significantly higher than with the Regular Decision pool. For the vast majority of schools, the Early Decision college application deadline is on or around Nov. 1 with decisions being revealed around mid-December.

Some schools offer an Early Decision II option, which oftentimes has a deadline on or around Jan. 1. ED II plans afford students the opportunity to make a binding commitment at a later date. This may be a useful option for students who were denied at their top choice scho