When will I be accepted into American colleges?

By Maxine Seya

When will I be accepted into American colleges?

- Ahmed Clarkson, college applicant from Freetown, Sierra Leone

Hey Ahmed! This is an important question, especially for international applicants like yourself. Though the answer may seem simple, it comes with a bit of nuance.

There are generally four main times during the year that you will hear about your acceptance, depending on when you applied. Each college will be different and each round of admissions will be different.

There are a few ways to figure this out. Read the application deadlines webpage of your selected colleges very clearly. American colleges make these deadlines and response times very clear for applicants so you know exactly when to submit all application materials for consideration. Though they usually don’t give you a specific date on which you will hear back, they will typically give you an approximate range.

Here’s an example of where you can find admissions decisions on school websites.

Colorado School of Mines — “before the holiday break in December”


University of Pennsylvania — “mid-December” or “by April 1, 2019”


When you hear back will also depend on the admission round you’ve selected. The most popular are Regular Decision, Early Decision, Early Action, Restricted Early Action, Early Decision II, and Rolling Admissions.

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Maxine Seya
Maxine Seya is a former investigative journalist, college consultant, and admissions interviewer. She studied at Peking University (Beijing, China) and Université Paul-Valéry (Montpellier, France) and investigated for CNN and Huffington Post before graduating from Northwestern University. She founded SocratesPost to share the human stories behind the admission gates and offer parents clarity as they help their teens with college.