Early Decision Deadlines for Every College With ED



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If you’re applying early decision, then you’ve already accomplished something pretty rare in the college application process—you know exactly where you want to go to college!


This guide goes over your timeline for applying early decision and provides a comprehensive list of deadlines for all early decision schools.

Read on to learn everything you will need to know about applying early decision to your dream school.

What You Need to Know About Early Decision


Early decision is a unique option when it comes to applying to college because

it’s binding.

That’s why

you should only apply this way if you’re 100% sure you want to go to the school

and will be able to enroll regardless of the financial aid offer you receive.

If you apply early decision, you’ll

sign a statement of binding agreement to enroll.

Since this is a big commitment, most colleges with early decision also require your parents and school counselor to sign this form, which can usually be found online through the

Common Application

or a school’s individual application form.

Early decision might or might not actually have an early deadline.

The traditional deadlines are in November,

usually the 1st or the 15th, and you’re typically notified of the admissions decision in December.


Some schools now also offer Early Decision II.

Early Decision II is still binding, but the deadline is pushed forward, usually to sometime in January. This option is for applicants who are decided on a specific college but could benefit from a few more months to prepare their applications. Applicants who apply ED II will get their admissions decision earlier than usual, typically in February.

Regardless of whether you apply Early Decision I or II, all early decision applicants have to

accept their offers and send in their deposits quickly after notification,

rather than waiting until the national response date of May 1.

If you’re applying Early Decision I, your challenge is to prepare the strongest application you can by the November deadline. Let’s look at

a possible timeline

for gathering your application materials.

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Timeline for Applying Early Decision


If you’re applying early decision, it’s probably safe to say that you’re excited about attending your school of choice. To make this happen, though, you want to submit the strongest application you can.

For the SAT/ACT, you’ll want to

start prepping months in advance,

even a year or more.

If your early decision deadline is in November,

your last opportunity to take the ACT or SAT will be in

September

or

October

.

At this point, you probably won’t be able to view your scores before deciding whether to send them off to colleges. To put less pressure on yourself, you could test earlier and have your scores all set by the end of your junior year.

You might also


ask your junior-year teachers for recommendations

at the end of junior year,

when your work will be fresh in their minds. At the absolute latest, you want to ask your counselor and teachers for recommendations a month before your deadline. In most cases,

you should ask by October 1.

You also want to give your high school

at least


three weeks’ to a month’s notice for sending off your transcript

and any other official documents that need to be sent to colleges. You might have to fill out a form and pay a small fee.

Finally, you should work on

your personal essay

and any other supplemental application essays over

the summer before senior year.

Writing the personal essay is a process, and you want to give yourself time to brainstorm, draft, get feedback, and revise.

You can spend September and October filling out your college applications, writing about your extracurricular activities, and proofreading what you’ve written for any errors or typos. As long as you start planning and preparing your application months in advance,

you should be good to go for your early decision deadline.

To recap, here’s what your schedule might look like

if you’re applying Early Decision I:


Step 1: Take the SAT or ACT early so you have enough available test dates to retake it, if desired.

You might take the test first in the spring of sophomore year, again in the fall of junior year, and a third time in the spring of junior year. If you move this schedule forward, just remember that the fall of senior year will be your last opportunity to take the test.


Step 2: Ask for teacher recommendations

at the end of junior year, or ask for teacher and counselor recommendations by October 1 at the latest.


Step 3: Make your request for your high school transcript to be sent by October 1.

Depending on your school, you might have to fill out a form and pay a small fee.


Step 4: Work on your personal essay and any other essays

over the summer and fall.


Step 5: Fill out your application in September and October,

making sure to edit for clarity and proofread for errors.

If you’re applying Early Decision II, you’ll have more available test dates to take the SAT/ACT. You might also send your mid-year senior grades on your transcript. Waiting for this later deadline, if available, can be

a good option if you’re not totally satisfied with your academic record and test scores

and feel you could present a stronger candidacy in January.

Now that you have a sense of the early decision application process, let’s look at the

deadlines of some popular schools.

Some offer Early Decision II, while others don’t have that second deadline (these ones say “N/A”).

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Early Decision Deadlines of Popular Schools



School


Deadline for ED I


Deadline for ED II


American University
November 15 January 15

Boston College
November 1 January 1

Boston University
November 1 January 1

Bowdoin College
November 15 January 5

Brandeis University
November 1 January 1

Brown University
November 1 N/A

Colby College
November 15 January 1

Columbia University
November 1 N/A

Cornell University
November 1 N/A

Dartmouth College
November 1 N/A

Duke University
November 1 N/A

Emory University
November 1 January 1

Johns Hopkins University
November 2 January 4

New York University
November 1 January 1

Northwestern University
November 1 N/A

Pomona College
November 15 January 8

Smith College
November 15 January 1

Tufts University
November 1 January 1

University of Chicago
November 2 January 4

University of Pennsylvania
November 1 N/A

Vanderbilt University
November 1 January 1

Wesleyan University
November 15 January 1

It tends to be smaller schools that offer Early Decision II, perhaps so they can have greater control over their enrollment numbers.

The next chart is a comprehensive list of all the schools with early decision and their respective deadlines.

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Early Decision Deadlines of All Schools

The following schools are listed in alphabetical order, so you can either scroll through the chart or use ctrl + F to jump straight to your school of interest.


School

State

Early Decision Deadline

Early Decision II Deadline

Early Decision Notification

Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
NY November 1 N/A December 15

Allegheny College
PA November 15 February 1 Not reported

American University
DC November 15 January 15 December 31, February 15

Amherst College
MA November 16 N/A December 15

Babson College
MA November 1 January 2 December 15, February 15

Barnard College
NY November 1 N/A December 15

Bates College
ME November 15 January 1 December 20, February 15

Beloit College
WI November 1 N/A December 1

Bennington College
VT November 15 January 15 December 14, February 8

Bentley University
MA November 15 January 7 December 31, February 1

Boston College
MA November 1 January 1 December 15, February 15

Boston University
MA November 1 January 1 December 15, February 15

Bowdoin College
ME November 15 January 5 December 15, February 15

Brandeis University
MA November 1 January 1 December 15, February 1

Brown University
RI November 1 N/A December 15

Bryant University
RI November 1 January 15 December 1, February 15

Bryn Mawr College
PA November 15 January 1 Not reported

Bucknell University
PA November 15 January 15 December 15, February 15

Carleton College
MN November 15 January 15 December 15, February 15

Carnegie Mellon University
PA November 1 N/A December 15

Case Western Reserve University
OH November 1 January 15 December 2, February 1

Centre College
KY November 15 N/A January 1

Champlain College
VT December 1 N/A Not reported

Christopher Newport University
VA November 15 N/A December 15

Claremont McKenna College
CA November 1 January 5 December 15, February 15

Clarkson University
NY December 1 N/A January 1

Colby College
ME November 15 January 1 December 15, February 15

Colgate University
NY November 15 January 15 December 15, March 15

College of the Atlantic
ME December 1 January 15 December 15, January 30

College of the Holy Cross
MA November 15 January 15 December 15, Rolling

College of William and Mary
VA November 1 January 1 Early December, early February

College of Wooster
OH November 1 January 15 November 15, February 1

Colorado College
CO November 1 January 15 December 12, February 15

Columbia University
NY November 1 N/A December 15

Connecticut College
CT November 15 January 1 December 15, February 15

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
NY November 1 (engineering), December 1 (architecture) N/A Not reported

Cornell University
NY November 1 N/A December 15

Cox College (Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program)
MO June 1 N/A Not reported

Dartmouth College
NH November 1 N/A December 15

Davidson College
NC November 15 January 2 December 15, February 1

Denison University
OH November 15 January 15 December 15, February 15

DePauw University
IN November 15 January 15 December 1, February 1

Dickinson College
PA November 15 January 15 December 15, February 15

Drew University
NJ November 15 January 15 December 15, February 15

Duke University
NC November 1 N/A December 15

Earlham College
IN November 1 N/A December 15

Elon University
NC November 1 N/A December 1

Emory University
GA November 1 January 1 December 15, February 15

Fairfield University
CT November 15 January 15 December 15, February 15

Flagler College
FL November 1 N/A December 15

Florida Southern College
FL November 1 N/A December 15

Franklin & Marshall College
PA November 15 January 15 December 15, February 15

Furman University
SC November 1 January 15 December 1, February 1

George Washington University
DC November 1 January 5 December 31, February 28

Gettysburg College
PA November 15 January 15 December 15, February 15

Grinnell College
IA November 15 January 1 December 15, Early February

Grove City College
PA November 1 December 1 December 15, January 15

Hamilton College
NY November 15 January 1 December 15, February 15

Hamline University
MN November 1 N/A Not reported

Hampden-Sydney College
VA November 1 N/A Early December

Hampshire College
MA

November 15

January 1 December 15, February 1

Hartwick College
NY November 1 N/A Not reported

Harvey Mudd College
CA November 15 January 5 December 15, February 15

Haverford College
PA November 15 January 1 December 15, February 15

High Point University
NC November 1 February 1 November 23, Rolling

Hillsdale College
MI November 1 N/A Early December

Hobart and William Smith Colleges
NY November 15 January 15 December 15, February 15

Hollins University
VA November 1 N/A Not reported

Ithaca College
NY November 1 N/A December 15

Johns Hopkins University
MD November 2 January 4 December 11, February 12

Juniata College
PA November 15 N/A December 15

Kalamazoo College
MI November 1 February 1 December 1, March 1

Kenyon College
OH November 15 January 15 December 15, February 15

Lafayette College
PA November 15 January 15 December 15, February 15

Lake Forest College
IL November 1 January 15 Beginning December 15

Lawrence University
WI November 1 N/A December 1

Lehigh University
PA November 1 January 1 December 15, February 15

Lewis & Clark College
OR November 1 N/A December 15

Lynchburg College
VA November 15 N/A December 15

Macalester College
MN November 1 January 1 December 15, February 1

Manhattan College
NY November 15 N/A January 1

Marist College
NY November 15 February 1 December 15, February 15

Marlboro College
VT November 15 N/A December 1

Maryland Institute College of Art
MD November 15 N/A December 15

Meredith College
NC October 30 N/A November 15

Merrimack College
MA November 15 N/A December 31

Miami University
OH November 1 N/A December 1

Middlebury College
VT November 1 January 1 December 15, February 15

Moody Bible Institute
IL December 1 N/A January 15

Mount Holyoke College
MA November 16 January 4 January 1, February 1

Muhlenberg College
PA November 15 February 1 December 15, February 15-28

Nazareth College
NY November 15 January 10 Begins December 15, Begins January 25

New York University
NY November 1 January 1 December 15, February 15

Northeastern University
MA November 1 January 1 December 15, February 15

Northwestern University
IL November 1 N/A December 15

Oberlin College
OH November 15 January 2 December 15, February 1

Occidental College
CA November 15 February 1 December 15, February 20

Ohio Wesleyan University
OH November 15 N/A Not reported

Pitzer College
CA November 15 January 1 December 18, February 15

Pomona College
CA November 15 January 8 December 15, February 15

Providence College
RI November 1 January 15 January 1, February 28

Quinnipiac University
CT November 1 N/A December 15

Ramapo College of New Jersey
NJ November 1 N/A December 5

Reed College
OR November 15 December 20 December 15, February 15

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
NY November 1 December 15 December 15, January 15

Rhode Island School of Design
RI November 1 N/A December 15

Rhodes College
TN November 1 January 15 Rolling (within two weeks of submission)

Rice University
TX November 1 N/A December 15

Roanoke College
VA November 18 N/A Rolling

Rochester Institute of Technology
NY November 1 January 1 December 15, January 15

Rollins College
FL November 15 January 5 December 15, February 1

Sacred Heart University
CT December 1 N/A December 15

Saint Mary’s College
IN November 15 N/A December 15

Salisbury University
MD November 15 N/A December 15

Santa Clara University
CA November 1 January 7 December 31, February 15

Sarah Lawrence College
NY November 1 January 2 December 31, Early February

Scripps College
CA November 15 January 5 December 15, February 15

Sewanee: University of the South
TN November 15 N/A December 15

Siena College
NY December 1 N/A Not reported

Skidmore College
NY November 15 January 15 December 15, February 15

Smith College
MA November 15 January 1 December 15, January 31

Southern Methodist University
TX November 1 January 15 December 15, March 1

Spelman College
GA November 1 N/A December 15

Springfield College
MA December 1 January 15 Not reported

St. John Fisher College
NY December 1 N/A Rolling

St. Lawrence University
NY November 1 February 1 Rolling

St. Mary’s College of Maryland
MD November 1 N/A December 1

St. Olaf College
MN November 15 January 8 December 15, February 1

State University of New York College at Geneseo
NY November 15 N/A December 15

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
NY December 1 N/A Rolling

State University of New York Maritime College
NY December 2 N/A Not reported

Sterling College
VT November 15 N/A December 1

Stevens Institute of Technology
NJ November 15 January 15 December 15, February 15

Stonehill College
MA December 1 February 1

December 31, February 15


Susquehanna University
PA November 15 N/A December 1

Swarthmore College
PA November 15 January 1 December 15, February 15

Syracuse University
NY November 15 Varies by program Beginning December 15, Beginning January 15

Texas Christian University
TX November 1 N/A January 1

The College of New Jersey
NJ November 1 January 1 December 1, February 1

The Jewish Theological Seminary (List College)
NY November 1 January 15 December 15, February 15

Trinity College
CT November 15 January 15 December 15, February 15

Trinity University
TX November 1 February 1 December 1, February 15

Tufts University
MA November 1 January 1 December 15, February 15

Tulane University
LA November 1 January 6 December 15, January 18

Union College
NY November 15 January 15 December 15, February 15

University of Chicago
IL November 2 January 4 December 15, February 15

University of Miami
FL November 1 January 1 December 31, February 15-28

University of Pennsylvania
PA November 1 N/A December 15

University of Puget Sound
WA November 15 N/A December 15

University of Richmond
VA November 1 January 1 December 15, February 15

University of Rochester
NY November 1 January 5 December 15, February 15

University of San Francisco
CA November 1 N/A Beginning December 15

University of Virginia
VA November 1 N/A December 15

Ursinus College
PA December 1 February 15 December 15, Rolling

Vanderbilt University
TN November 1 January 1 December 15, February 15

Vassar College
NY November 15 January 1 December 15, end of January

Villanova University
PA November 1 January 15 December 15, March 1

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
VA November 1 N/A December 15

Wabash College
IN November 15 N/A December 5

Wake Forest University
NC November 15 January 1 Rolling, February 15

Warren Wilson College
NC November 1 N/A Not reported

Washington & Jefferson College
PA December 15 N/A January 15

Washington and Lee University
VA November 1 January 1 Late December, Late January

Washington College
MD November 15 N/A December 15

Washington University in St. Louis
MO November 1 January 2 December 15, February 14

Webb Institute
NY November 1 N/A December 15

Wellesley College
MA November 1 January 1 December 15, February 15

Wells College
NY December 1 N/A Not reported

Wesleyan College
GA November 15 N/A Not reported

Wesleyan University
CT November 15 January 1 December 15, February 15

Wheaton College
IL November 15 January 15 December 15, February 1

Whitman College
WA November 15 January 15 December 15, February 15

Willamette University
OR November 15 N/A December 30

Williams College
MA November 15 N/A December 15

Wittenberg University
OH November 1 N/A December 1

Wofford College
SC November 1 N/A December 1

Early decision can be a great option as it communicates to your school of choice how

enthusiastic and committed you are to attending.

If your school offers Early Decision II and you feel you could benefit from a few more months to work on your application, it makes sense to wait for this later deadline. Either way, you’ll find out earlier than regular notification if you got into your first-choice school!

What’s Next?


Want to apply early but aren’t sure about signing a binding agreement?

This guide has the

comprehensive list of all the colleges that offer early action

.


Not sure applying early to college is right for you?

Then take a look at the

the most common college application deadlines

to get an idea of what your application timeline could look like.


As you fill out your college applications, you want to think about how to present your high school resume in the best possible light.

Read our expert guide for tips on

how to write about your extracurricular activities on your college application

.


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