By Sherry Diorio
College "Early Decision" vs "Early Action"
If a college offers an "Early Action" plan, that means that is a nonbinding option that would enable a student to get a decision early. "Early Decision" is a binding option that a student would only use for a school that is definitely their #1 school. Early Action and Early Decision deadlines are usually in November. For example, The University of Michigan Early Action deadline is November 1st. If a student is applying for Early Decision, they should make an appointment with their school counselor to go over the required paperwork.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) opens on October 1st. You must complete the FAFSA to be considered for financial aid, including loans. You should log on to create an ID. It takes a few days to process the ID. www.fafsa.ed.gov -Some colleges require parents/guardians to submit the FAFSA AND CSS/Financial Profile. Check to see which schools require both: cssprofile.collegeboard.org/
To complete the FAFSA for 2019-2020, you will use your 2017 income tax return.
THE COMMON APPLICATION
The common application is a generic college application that students can complete once and send to numerous colleges. The common application website has a list of participating colleges. Each college may have their own specific addendums to submit in addition to the common application. All this information is on the common app website. Students create their profile, complete the application, add their colleges, add their teachers for recommendation and add their school counselor - www.commonapp.org
PENN STATE UNIVERSITY 2018-2019 NEW APPLICATION
Students can apply to PSU Through either the common app for through the PSU application. PSU switched to "Self Report Academics" this year. This means, if a student uses the PSU application, the student will report on the application their gpa, rank and all their classes and grades for 9-11. Students can choose either application to apply to PSU. We recommend submitting your PSU application as early as possible.