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Articles / Applying to College / Switching from Regular Decision to Early Action After Submission

Switching from Regular Decision to Early Action After Submission

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Nov. 4, 2015

Question: I intended to apply Restricted Early Action but I selected Regular Decision instead. I emailed the university. Should I email Common App as well and ask them to change my application? Or will the university contact Common App to change my application? Is that even possible?

Don’t deal with the Common App folks at all. This snafu is between you and your university. If the REA deadline was November 1, and if you don’t hear back from the university by tomorrow (November 5), you should telephone the admission office and ask what you have to do to get your status switched to REA. This is rarely a big deal, but you maybe asked to send a signed snail-mail letter to validate your request (although your email might suffice).

Meanwhile (and this is the biggie) …

Does your high school counselor know that you are applying Early Action? If your counselor thinks you are an RD candidate, it’s possible that your recommendation, transcript, and other school paperwork won’t be ready for the Early round.  So you need to check with your counselor immediately to ascertain that these materials have either already been sent in time for the EA deadline or can go out promptly.  If your counselor expected you to be applying RD but is now willing to hustle to get your stuff expedited right away, be sure to show your gratitude for this extra effort. In fact, start baking today (although, at this crazy time of year, many counselors will prefer a bottle of brandy rather than a batch of brownies). 😉


Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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