The Charger Blog

Director of Undergraduate Recruitment Discusses Admissions Programs and Scholarships

Caitlin Locke, director of undergraduate recruitment for the University of New Haven, answers frequently asked questions about applying Early Decision and Early Action, the University’s application, and available scholarships.

August 26, 2022

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Maxcy Hall at the University of New Haven.
Maxcy Hall at the University of New Haven.

The University of New Haven is actively recruiting its undergraduate Class of 2027, which will join the University community next fall. Learn about some of the ways to apply, as well as the advantages and deadlines for each.

Renee Chmiel: What are the requirements of the Early Decision admission program?
Caitlin Locke: The main point to note about Early Decision is that it’s a binding decision. Essentially, applying Early Decision means you are planning to attend the University, if admitted – so it’s a pretty important choice! To help ensure all questions about binding Early Decision are answered prior to the application review, we require applicants to complete a contract that notifies them of the details they’re agreeing to through Early Decision. Applicants for Early Decision must also complete an interview with one of our admissions counselors.

RC: What are the advantages of applying Early Decision?
CL: Early Decision is a great fit for students who are very confident that the University is their first-choice school. While it’s a significant decision to choose the binding form of admission, it brings a speedy admissions decision and a “signed, sealed, delivered” feel to the rest of the enrollment process.

If admitted through Early Decision, students are prioritized to receive an as-early-as-possible financial aid offer, and, in turn, their enrollment fee and housing deposit (if living on campus) will be due in February – which is months sooner than the usual May 1 deposit deadline other applicants will follow. From there, they’ll get a jumpstart on all of the next steps – choosing an orientation date, placement testing, housing agreement, etc.

RC: How does the Early Action program work, and how is it different from Early Decision?
CL: Early Action is our non-binding form of early admission. Both Early Decision and Early Action follow December application deadlines – Early Decision applications and materials are due by December 1, and Early Action follows soon after with a December 15 deadline.

Early Action is a very popular choice for applicants because they, like Early Decision applicants, are still getting priority consideration for our academic programs and scholarships, yet they have until May 1 to decide whether or not they wish to enroll.

RC: What is the difference between Early Action I and Early Action II?
CL: Mainly just the timeline! Early Action I is recommended, as it maximizes scholarship opportunities, helps to generate a financial aid offer sooner, and leaves ample time for decision making. Early Action II is a solid choice for students who might need a little extra time past December for the application process, or those who could be adding the University to their list a little later on in the process. Early Action II is a nice alternative to Regular Decision, which tends to be a little more limiting in terms of opportunities for scholarship options and space availability in some programs.

Caitlin Locke
Caitlin Locke

RC: What scholarships are available to students who apply for Early Decision or Early Action? How do students apply?
CL: I often tell prospective students and families that our scholarships and financial aid become available in waves. At the time of acceptance, students accepted for full-time enrollment will be notified of their merit scholarship. Our merit scholarships range from $10,000 to $30,000 annually. Students accepted via Early Decision or Early Action I or II are guaranteed a minimum of $15,000 annually in merit scholarship.

Applicants are automatically evaluated for merit scholarship – no additional application is required. We do offer a few additional scholarships that are awarded separately from the merit scholarships. I often consider this the second wave of scholarship and aid. Some of these additional scholarships include those awarded to students admitted to our Honors program, our Marching Band scholarship, a Phi Theta Kappa scholarship for select transfer students, portfolio scholarships for those admitted into our art and design program or music majors, and our Pompea Scholarships for select Pompea College of Business students.

Here’s a helpful hint: Most of these additional scholarships are awarded prior to March 1. So, in order to be considered, it’s best to make every effort to apply for early admission during the fall season. Lastly, students who file FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and submit it, along with any other requested materials, will receive a financial aid offer to attend the University of New Haven. This offer will outline the full cost of attendance and detail anything else a student may qualify for – this could include scholarship, federal and/or state grants, University grant-in-aid, work study, federal direct loans, etc.

For most, the financial aid offer is one of the most important parts of the decision-making process. FAFSA becomes available on Oct. 1 every year, so if you take my advice and aim to apply for admission during the fall, go ahead and send us your FAFSA then, too, for priority consideration.

RC: What other advantages are there to applying Early Decision and Early Action vs. Regular Decision?
CL: We are excited to share that we’ve added some new incentives for students who select Early Decision or Early Action I or II on their application. First and foremost, Early Decision, and all Early Action admitted students will be guaranteed a minimum of $15,000 for an annual merit scholarship. Our merit scholarships range from $10,000 to $30,000 annually, so it’s a nice peace of mind to know that if admitted through early admission, the minimum an applicant will receive is $15,000 per year.

Additionally, Early Decision and Early Action I or II students will be eligible to receive priority consideration for enrollment into their top choice academic program, priority access to a free summer course as an incoming first-year student, priority housing placement (if applicable), access to our Room-to-Choose housing contest (if applicable), and, of course, early notification of admission.

RC: Do early applicants need to complete any additional steps or need any additional materials?
CL: Only students who select Early Decision are required to fulfill a couple of extra requirements. They will complete an interview with an admissions counselor and submit an Early Decision contract in addition to their application and standard accompanying materials. We receive many questions about interviews, specifically. All students are welcome to complete an interview if they’d like, but only Early Decision applicants are required to do so.

RC: What are the advantages of the new University of New Haven application? Who should apply using this application?
CL: While we anticipate the Common App to remain a very popular way to apply, we are excited to offer an alternative. Our University of New Haven application is an expedited and free way to apply for admission. We understand there can be many hoops to jump through to apply to college, so we’re hopeful this alternative application can help alleviate some of the stressors of the application process.

Additionally, prospective Fall 2023 (Class of 2027) students should watch their inbox for a personalized link to their Fast App – this is our UNewHaven application pre-filled with their information! All they need to do is complete any remaining blank fields, hit submit, and send along their high school transcript, letter of recommendation, and, if applicable, SAT or ACT scores.

RC: What new majors are included on the University of New Haven application?
CL: We’re thrilled to share a couple of new options for our Fall 2023 applicants. New choices include both Interdisciplinary Studies and a Game Development & Interactive Media program – a great accompaniment to our existing programming in Computer Science – Game Design & Development – and our Esports & Gaming majors.

RC: How long does it take for a student who has applied to receive a decision?
CL: Pretty quickly after an application is submitted, the student will gain access to their Application Portal. There, they can track the status of their application, obtain contact information for their admissions counselors, and also upload any missing materials. We guarantee an admissions decision is made within 4-6 weeks of receiving all materials, but many times, we can provide a decision much sooner! And as soon as an admissions decision has been made, students will see an update made to their application portal. They’ll find a decision letter, information on next steps, and, hopefully, some celebratory confetti!

RC: What support does the University offer to students to help them with the admission/enrollment process?
CL: No matter which stage of the application process a student may be in, the admissions office is here to help! We have a team of counselors who support populations of domestic, international, new first-time, transfer, and everything in between. We attend hundreds of college fairs and visit even more high schools throughout the fall so that we can meet students and their families as they are beginning the college application process. Then, we will continue to work with them through the decision-making process, right up through the start of classes.

First-time students will have a counselor assigned to them based on their geographic region, and our transfer students are assigned to a counselor alphabetically. This means all applicants have a primary point of contact at the University to support them through each step of the application and enrollment process. And as students transition to our University community, they’ll meet our Success Advisers from the Center for Student Success, as well as their faculty adviser from their academic program. Not to mention, they’ll start to become acquainted with all of the campus resources and offices on campus such as our Center for Learning Resources, Health Services, University Police Department, Accessibility Resources Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, Myatt Center for Diversity and Inclusion, and Career Services – just to name a few!

RC: How does this process differ for transfer students? Can they apply Early Decision/Early Action?
CL: The application process for transfer students is even more streamlined. All transfer applicants are considered Regular Decision, so there is no specific early or binding option for them. All applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so the sooner an applicant applies and supplies their coordinating application materials, the sooner they can receive an admissions decision. Soon after being admitted, transfer accepted students can expect to receive a Transfer Credit Evaluation. This document is uploaded to their Accepted Student Portal, and it outlines how their credits from prior institutions will transfer to the University of New Haven.

RC: Is there anything else about the application process that you’d like to mention?
CL: In addition to our bustling schedule of college fairs and visits to high schools, we’ll be out and about hosting Instant Decision Days, too! These are events that often take place at high schools where students can receive an on-the-spot admissions decision. While it may sound a little daunting, it’s a memorable and unique way to receive an admissions decision. And for us admissions counselors, getting to accept students to college is one of the best parts of the job.