ivy 500Visiting colleges with your teen is an adventure like no other. The combination family travel (even if it’s just the mom and teen) and the desire to make the most of each campus visit requires a little planning to ensure success. Setting the right expectations and knowing what questions to ask while on the campus tour or meeting with admissions professionals can make a big difference. Colleges and universities typically offer several opportunities to apply before the regular admission application deadline. Ask about pros and cons of each when visiting campus.

Types of Admission

Early Decision – for students who are really sure of their first-choice school and are ready to accept an offer of admission (and finanical aid package, if applicable). Early Decision application deadines typically fall between October 30 – December 1. Students are notified during December and January. Deadlines vary by school.


Early Action – for students who want to apply early (before the regular application deadline). The offer of admission is non-binding, meaning you are not under any obligation to accept the offer of admission.

Rolling Admission – Rolling Admissions – means applications are accepted on an on-going basis and are reviewed as they come in. Students are typically notified withing 2-4 weeks following submission.

Regular Admission – means you will apply by a specified date that usually falls between January and March, after which application review typically begins. Students will be notified by a certain date in the spring (usually by early April since the national candidate reply date to accept the offer of admission is May 1).

For more information about visiting campus and early decision considerations, check out our first college visit planning Traveling Mom video: