Understanding Application Plan Options

October 19, 2020
A post by Erica Riesbeck, Associate Director of Admission

The college admission process offers a plethora of application plan options: Rolling, Early Action, Restrictive Early Action, Single-Choice Early Action, Early Decision, sometimes Early Decision I and Early Decision II, and Regular Decision. There are also scholarship deadlines and priority deadlines, and don’t forget separate deadlines for financial aid forms such as the FAFSA and CSS Profile. Are you tired just reading about the many options? Be prepared. You are going to need a lot of organizational tools.

At Richmond, you will have three options to choose from – Early Action, Early Decision, and Regular Decision. Here is the quick breakdown of each decision plan.

  1. Early Action (November 1) If you're looking for an application plan that allows you to find out your admission decision early but still weigh your financial options, Early Action might be a great fit for you. Apply by November 1 and hear back by mid-January. It’s non-binding, so you will still have until May 1 to enroll. No strings attached. Apply early, hear early. Applications may be approved, deferred to Regular Decision, or declined. If you're deciding between EA or ED, here's a helpful guide.
  2. Early Decision I (November 1) or Early Decision II (January 1). This is a big commitment and you need to be 99% sure that Richmond is your future home. Like Early Action, applications may be approved, deferred to Regular Decision, or declined. But unlike Early Action, you must deposit and enroll upon acceptance. Why Early Decision over Early Action? The applicant pool is significantly smaller in Early Decision, and the acceptance rate is higher. How much higher, you ask? Well, that depends on the applicant pool and can vary from year to year.
  3. Regular Decision (January 1). It gives you extra time. Time to show off a strong senior year or continue your upward trend. Time to take SAT or ACT tests through January/February if applicable. The deposit deadline is May 1, whether you apply Regular Decision or Early Action.

Scholarship alert: no matter which plan you apply under, make sure your application is on file no later than December 1 if you want to be considered for the Richmond Scholars Program, our most prestigious merit scholarship. If you happen to miss that deadline, don't worry. You'll still be considered for our 1/3 tuition Presidential Scholarship.

Pick the decision plan that is best for you. If you aren’t sure, talk to your guidance counselor and your admission representative. Let’s start talking about your options.