Is Early Action the Right Path for You?

Wednesday, October 13, 2021


Katelyn Connolly, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions

Katelyn Connolly, UNH Admissions

Autumn has certainly arrived at the University of New Hampshire. Everywhere you look on campus, brightly colored leaves are bringing out the beauty of the season. In Smith Hall, home of the UNH Undergraduate Admissions Office, our admissions counselors are thrilled to be connecting with prospective students like you, both on-campus and virtually.

As you settle into the rhythm of senior year, the fall has also brought you deeper into your college search process. You’ve likely been reflecting on your achievements as you search for a university where you can continue to grow—inside and outside of the classroom. As you begin to narrow the list of schools you wish to apply to, you’re engaging in important conversations with your parents/guardians and school counselors about the types of academic programs that will help you realize your goals and aspirations. University of New Hampshire is on your list and now you need to decide: when should I submit my application?

The University of New Hampshire offers two application submission deadlines for first-year applicants, an Early Action deadline and a Regular Decision deadline. As you consider applying Early Action or Regular decision, you might be curious to know why a student might want to apply Early Action. As you contemplate this question, it’s important to know our two application deadlines are designed to meet you where you are in your college search process. Having more information about our Early Action deadline can help you make an informed choice about when to submit your application to UNH.

Our first application deadline, November 15, is our Early Action deadline. Applying Early action offers students with a strong interest in UNH the opportunity to receive an admissions decision earlier in the process. Often, prospective students ask: if I submit my application Early Action, when can I expect to hear my admissions decision? Our Admissions Team reviews applications in the order they become complete (a complete application means we have received your application itself and the required materials for review). We notify students on a rolling basis as the admissions decisions are made. Early Action applicants can expect to have received their decision by the end of January.

An Early Action admissions decision is non-binding. While Early Action applicants will know their admissions decision earlier in the process, they will have until May 1 to commit to UNH (just as students admitted under our Regular Decision deadline do). Students who are admitted to UNH as Early Action applicants find they have more time to explore the academic, social and financial fit of UNH. And with more than 100 majors and 275 student organizations, there’s a lot to learn about all the opportunities here! Having more time to explore the possibilities of life as a Wildcat means you can really get to know our UNH community – and the campus you might call home for the next four years.

For Early Action applicants applying for financial aid, the 2022-2023 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is open, and you can submit the FAFSA now. If you apply to UNH early, are admitted and have submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will receive a tentative financial aid package soon after you have been admitted. First-year applicants are reviewed at the time of admission for merit scholarship eligibility, and they will find out if they have been awarded a merit-scholarship at the time of admission. Additionally, many of our colleges have special scholarship programs, where they invite eligible students to apply, and Early Action applicants are given priority consideration.

If you think our Early Action option might be the best choice for you, I have a few parting tips as you take your next steps:

  1. Explore our academic offerings! Your application to UNH allows you to rank your first choice major and your second choice major. We will always evaluate you first for your top choice major, so list the major of greatest interest to you. If we are unable to extend an offer of admissions for your top choice major, we will then evaluate your admissions materials for you second choice major. Should we not be able to extend an offer for your first choice or second choice, we will also review you for general admissibility to the University. 
  2. If you’re applying for Financial Aid, submit your FAFSA to UNH and register to attend one of our upcoming virtual information sessions with our Financial Aid Office to learn more about UNH’s commitment to affordability.
  3. Connect with UNH! Follow us on Instagram @beaunhwildcat to hear directly from current UNH students and get a sneak peek into life as a Wildcat.

I want to remind you that our two application deadlines are designed to meet you where you are in your college search process. The criteria we use to evaluate students who apply under our Early Action deadline and Regular Decision deadline remains consistent. For more information on academic preparation, I encourage you to explore our website and contact your admissions counselor with any questions you may have. Our favorite part of working in admissions is hearing from prospective students like you!

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