Saint Joseph's University

Preparing a Regular Decision Application

Regular Decision.  “Isn’t it a little late to be applying to college?”  This article is here to demystify the regular decision application.  

First, what is a regular decision application?  Regular Decision (RD) is a college application which falls into the regular, commonly accepted timeframe for applying to an institution.  In recent years, this can be viewed as a ‘later’ application date, falling anywhere from February-March.

Second, why would a student apply Regular Decision?  With a bulk of students feeling the pressure to have their college list together by September, the Regular Decision application can be viewed negatively.  This is a misconception. The following are advantages to applying Regular Decision:

  1. You discover a school later in your college search.  With Regular Decision, you can still apply and possibly attend the school of your dreams!
  2. Senior year is going stellar.  Regular decision is a great option for students who are trying to boost their academic prowess. For example, maybe you are on a great upward trend in your senior year courses.  A regular decision application allows admission counselors to review the first marking period grades of your senior year. This can help an applicant bolster their academic rigor, if enrolled in challenging courses and succeeding in their recent coursework.  Upward academic trends in junior and senior year are stronger indicators of a student’s college preparedness and success.
  3. You want to strengthen your test scores.  Maybe you want to see if you will be more successful on a different standardized test from your original.  By applying Regular Decision you have the opportunity to submit your late fall/early winter exam scores for consideration.  
  4. More time for an amazing letter of recommendation.  Applying Regular Decision allows more time for the individual crafting your letter of recommendation to take the time and write a letter specific to you.  With November as the common early application deadline month, counselors, teachers, and coaches are under time constraints when getting early letters of recommendation completed and submitted by the deadline.  Regular Decision allows for more time between asking for a letter, and the letter to be submitted.
  5. The ‘late’ stigma of applying regular decision is false.  Schools are evaluating students on the same criteria when determining admission.  Admission committees will have a general idea of what the school is searching for with the class as a whole.  Applying Regular Decision is an opportunity to connect with admission counselors, show your interest, and visit campus–so give us a call.  Share why you are applying to our school! This will craft a connection to you as an applicant which spans beyond the date of your application.

Bottom line:  When considering a college’s application timeline utilize your resources, admission counselors and your school counselor to find what is the best fit application for you!  

-Ashley Creegan, Admission Counselor