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Admission Rounds and Deadlines – USA, UK, Canada

The undergraduate admission procedure is quite a daunting task which requires extensive research and months of hard work put in to achieve the admit from a top university. Whether it is the USA, UK, or Canada, students everywhere struggle to understand the application process in the initial days. From when to apply to receiving an admit from a dream college, it is a long journey of profile building, numerous tests, essay writing, and choosing the right application round. 

In this article we will focus on different types of admission rounds and deadlines for a number of geographies, and aim to help young minds understand their options & simplify the process.


Early Decision (ED) – This is a legally binding arrangement in which students apply early and are granted early admission. If accepted, students must enroll at that school and withdraw their applications to other schools. You can apply to only one university in ED. However, you are allowed to apply to other universities in the Early Action and Regular Decision round.

Pros: ED applicants have a higher chance of getting accepted because they show a greater commitment to the institution. If you’re 100% sure of your top choice, it works in your favor to apply to that school in the ED round.

Cons: Decision is binding therefore you are not able to compare other financial aid offers. 

Deadline: 1 November (ED round 1), 1 January (ED round 2)

Results: by 15 December

Examples: Univ. of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Columbia, Univ. of Chicago, etc.

Restrictive Early Action (REA) – This is an admission round where students apply early but with certain restrictions. You cannot apply to any other university that offers REA or even ED application round. Also, you are restricted to apply to only the public universities in the EA category. But similar to ED, you can apply to only 1 college/university.

Pros: REA admits are non-binding, so you are at the liberty to make your decision as per your situation. Chances of getting admitted are higher than the regular round.

Cons: You are not allowed to apply to any private university’s EA program. 

Deadline: 1 November

Results: by 15 December

Examples: Princeton, Caltech, Notre Dame, Yale, etc.

Early Action (EA) – This is a non-binding option where students apply early and receive an early admission decision. This means that you must have all your admissions materials ready early in the school year. And you can apply to as many schools as you like. 

Pros: Chances of getting the admission are slightly higher than the regular round. 

Cons: It is offered at a limited number of universities.

Deadline: 1 November, and 15 November

Results: Second half of January

Examples: Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Parsons, UMass, MIT, etc.

Regular Decision (RD) – This is the most common admission round, where students apply by the regular deadline. The decision is non-binding and all the universities in the USA offer this application round. It is quite popular among the international students or the ones who haven’t been able to complete their profile building time by the EA deadline.

Pros: You can apply to as many universities as you want to. Gives you another chance of the whole process if you did not get admitted to any of your ED or REA university.

Cons: Your application is compared to the entire pool of applicants, so you will not have an advantage like EA, ED, or REA candidates.

Deadline: Mid December – Mid January

Results: February and March

Examples: All the universities have the RD round. 

Rolling Admission – Unlike traditional admissions with set deadlines, rolling admission allows prospective students to apply within a designated time frame, typically starting early in the academic year and continuing until all spots are filled. Application requirements and deadlines may vary between institutions, so it’s crucial to research and understand the specific policies of each college you’re interested in.

Pros: Increased flexibility. Higher acceptance rate. Give opportunities to late applicants.

Cons: Limited enrollment slots. Decisions are made on a first come first serve basis. 

Deadline: Deadlines may vary between institutions, so it’s crucial to research about each college you’re interested in.

Examples: Ohio State, Indiana Univ. Bloomington, Univ. of Alabama, Univ. of Minnesota, etc.

Univ. of California Application – The UCs do not follow the similar application style but have their own application portal. Univ. of California has a single admission round where students can apply to as many UCs they wish to; there are 10 campuses to choose from.

Pros: The UCs are going SAT blind, students can focus more on their high school marks, extracurriculars, essays, etc. 

Cons: Since there is no SAT, the entire assessment process has become quite competitive.

Deadline: 30 November

Examples/Campuses: San Diego, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Davis, etc.

National College Decision Day: You must accept the admission offer and inform the respective university you wish to attend college at, by the 1st of May. 

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The UK

The UK universities application procedure is very different from that of the USA. Yes, it also requires intense research about the colleges and courses, but comparatively less extracurriculars are needed and the major focus is on the high school grades and entrance exams scores. 

As an UK applicant, you apply through one common portal i.e., Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Deadline: 16 October, for Oxbridge and all the Medical courses. 3rd week of January, all the other universities and courses.

Results: Late January to mid-March.

Universities: Oxbridge, King’s, UCL, Edinburgh, etc.

Some universities also have their specific entrance exams, which are compulsory to take for e.g. TSA, MAT, ENGAA, etc.

Registration: August to September

Exam: takes place between September to October

Universities: Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, etc. 


The undergraduate admission process in Canada can vary between universities and the region of applying. As Canada has multiple application portals for each state, it is an extensive process and requires detailed research. Students are advised to start as early as possible to not miss out on any application form.

The most common admission form that students submit is the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC), followed by UBC, and Apply Alberta. There is no limit on the no. of universities you wish to apply to through the OUAC or Apply Alberta forms. 


Deadlines: 12 January (UToronto, UWaterloo, McGill, York, etc.) Result: Late January to March end.


Deadline: 15 January Result: Late January to March end.

Apply Alberta

Deadline: 1 March (The King’s univ., Lakeland College, UAlberta, etc.) Result: April

With the help of the above-mentioned deadlines and information on various application portals for different geographies, you will be able to go through your admission process effortlessly. However, daunting the journey is, if you follow the aforementioned steps and study the timelines, your admission to a foreign university isn’t far away.

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