With the Early Action deadline quickly approaching, students are feeling increasing pressure to get their applications submitted and completed. However, Early Action isn’t always the best choice for a student. I’m here to give you a brief rundown on Early Action vs. our Priority Filing Date, also known as Regular Decision.
The main incentive for people applying Early Action is they have the opportunity to receive an admissions decision a month earlier than those applying by the Priority Filing Date.
- Early Action: Deadline November 1st. Admissions decision by December 24th.
- Priority Filing/Regular Decision: Deadline November 30th. Admissions decision by January 31st.
Some things to keep in mind as you read through this blog:
- The evaluation process is the same for Early Action applicants and Regular Decision applicants. Applying Early Action does not mean easier acceptance to Penn State.
- Applying Early Action is non-binding, so submitting your application earlier does not show your eagerness and interest in attending Penn State.
- There are multiple decisions that could result from applying Early Action: admit, deny, or a deferral for a later decision timeline.
My first suggestion when deciding whether Early Action is right for you is to take a look at your SAT/ACT scores. Often times, people want to retake these standardized tests once during their senior year to try and improve their scores. For most seniors this normally takes place in October. These October test scores usually arrive too late for participation in Early Action to be guaranteed. If this applies to you, and you find yourself feeling discouraged by your SAT/ACT score, retaking the test may be a good option for you, in concurrence with applying by our Priority Filing Date/Regular Decision deadline of November 30th.
Applying using our Priority Filing Date/Regular Decision deadline also gives students more time to work on their application. Senior year is a busy time and you don’t want to rush through your college applications just to meet the Early Action deadline. Whether you need extra time to complete your Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR), or you want to fine tune and perfect your personal statement just a little bit more, the Priority Filing Date/Regular Decision deadline gives you a few extra weeks to focus on your application and ensure you’re putting your best work forward for colleges to see.
I hope you find this post helpful in distinguishing some of the differences between Early Action and Regular Decision, and in making the choice that works best for you when applying. If you have any further questions, feel free to send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to guide you on the track we feel is best!