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To EA or not to EA?

By Beth Anne Spacht

March 2, 2017

Guest Post by Erica Riesbeck, Senior Assistant Director of Admission

The college admission process offers a plethora of application 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.

Richmond is excited to announce that we are offering Early Action (EA) for the 2017-18 admission cycle. This opens up a completely new timeline for you. Apply by November 1 under the Early Action plan and hear back by mid-January. It’s non-binding, so you will still have until May 1 to enroll.

That means you will have three options – Early Action, Early Decision, and Regular Decision. Here is the quick breakdown of each decision plan.

  1. Early Action (November 1). No strings attached. Apply early, hear early. Applications may be approved, deferred to Regular Decision, or declined.
  2. Early Decision I (November 1) or Early Decision II (January 15). 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 15). 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. 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.

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

Tags: Admission Tips Application Process

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Tom NicholasTom Nicholas
Senior Assistant Director of Admission 


A Richmond alumnus (Class of 2007), Tom has been working and blogging for the Office of Admission since he graduated. He loves his alma mater and the city that shares its name.

Learn more about Tom


Beth Anne SpachtBeth Anne Spacht
Assistant Director of Admission


Beth Anne was a double major at Richmond (English and Latin American & Iberian Studies) and now enjoys helping prospective students discover the best of her alma mater.

Learn more about Beth Anne

The University of Richmond is a highly ranked liberal arts university offering an extraordinary combination of the liberal arts with law, business, leadership studies, and continuing education. The university is consistently named a best value in higher education by leading publications.

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