Colleges Where Applying Early Decision Helps

SHARE

If you really, really know which college you have to attend, the "early decision" application route could be your best chance at getting in. With early decision, you can take advantage of the higher acceptance rates that many colleges offer to students who apply early. The catch is, if you do get in, you're obligated to enroll there. But that shouldn't be a problem, because it's your first-choice school, right? Early decision applications generally are due in mid-November, and by the end of the year, students are notified whether they've been accepted, deferred to the regular admission pool, or rejected.

The following list shows which colleges have the highest acceptance rates for their early-decision application pool, based on our most recent data. To keep these numbers in perspective, be sure to review the column for how many students applied early: For example, 15 of the 16 students who applied early to Prescott College were admitted. But even at Syracuse University, where more than 800 students applied early decision, that group's acceptance rate was nearly 25 percentage points higher than the overall number.

If you don't see the college you're looking for on this list, check our list of schools that use the "early action" option.

Institution Name Early Decision Deadline Early Decision Acceptance Rate Early Decision # of Applicants Overall Acceptance Rate Overall # of Applicants
Alfred University (NY) 12/1 84.6 52 76.1 2557
Allegheny College (PA) 11/15 70.9 86 60.6 4243
American Jewish University (CA) 12/31 100.0 4 100.0 58
American University (DC) 11/15 75.1 397 52.9 15413
Barnard College (NY) 11/15 47.7 392 28.5 4274
Bates College (ME) 11/15 45.5 549 29.2 5098
Bennington College (VT) 11/15 60.0 75 61.6 1056
Bentley University (MA) 11/1 54.0 187 37.6 7238
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania 11/15 100.0 151 58.6 10840
Bowdoin College (ME) 11/15 30.0 690 18.6 6033
Brandeis University (MA) 11/15 53.1 458 32.4 7724
Brown University (RI) 11/1 22.6 2453 13.7 20633
Bryant University (RI) 11/15 58.6 239 45.1 6253
Bryn Mawr College (PA) 11/15 53.1 130 48.8 2150
Bucknell University (PA) 11/15 65.3 567 29.9 8024
California Polytechnic State University--San Luis Obispo 10/31 25.2 3450 33.5 33352
Carleton College (MN) 11/15 55.2 375 27.5 4956
Carnegie Mellon University (PA) 11/1 29.1 855 37.9 13527
Champlain College (VT) 11/15 74.9 331 73.5 2979
Claremont McKenna College (CA) 11/15 27.8 316 19.2 4178
Clark University (MA) 11/15 73.3 90 56.4 5299
Clarkson University (NY) 12/1 93.8 113 78.7 3204
Colby College (ME) 11/15 46.8 455 30.9 4835
Colgate University (NY) 11/15 51.0 741 23.9 9416
College of New Jersey 11/15 57.3 450 42.4 9692
College of the Atlantic (ME) 12/1 79.5 39 69.1 314
College of the Holy Cross (MA) 12/15 55.7 522 33.8 7227
College of William and Mary (VA) 11/1 53.9 900 34.1 11636
College of Wooster (OH) 12/1 87.4 87 61.7 4504
Colorado College 11/15 41.1 414 26.0 5338
Columbia University (NY) 11/1 23.8 2509 10.0 22584
Connecticut College 11/15 64.8 301 36.6 4716
Cooper Union (NY) 12/1 16.0 449 9.3 3055
Cornell College (IA) 11/1 41.9 105 43.6 2916
Cornell University (NY) 11/1 37.0 3094 20.7 33073
Curry College (MA) 12/1 38.2 136 67.3 3944
Dartmouth College (NH) 11/1 27.9 1428 13.5 16538
Davidson College (NC) 11/15 40.4 549 25.7 4412
Denison University (OH) 12/1 78.4 153 38.2 5305
DePauw University (IN) 11/1 82.0 50 64.6 4064
Dickinson College (PA) 11/15 83.6 348 44.2 5282
Duke University (NC) 11/1 38.3 1239 22.4 18774
Duquesne University (PA) 11/1 71.8 294 75.6 5715
Earlham College (IN) 12/1 97.6 41 75.4 1825
Elmira College (NY) 11/15 90.0 50 74.4 2090
Elon University (NC) 11/1 75.4 422 42.3 9434
Flagler College (FL) 12/1 72.9 573 45.0 2368
Florida Southern College 12/1 98.7 78 67.3 2110
Franklin and Marshall College (PA) 11/15 70.4 582 35.9 5632
Furman University (SC) 11/15 66.4 639 57.3 4414
George Washington University (DC) 11/10 66.8 1159 37.4 19430
Gordon College (MA) 11/15 97.8 45 71.1 1570
Grinnell College (IA) 11/15 68.5 200 43.0 3217
Hamilton College (NY) 11/15 36.4 612 28.1 5073
Hampshire College (MA) 11/15 71.4 98 53.1 2842
Hartwick College (NY) 11/15 84.8 112 83.0 2532
Harvey Mudd College (CA) 11/15 34.0 103 31.1 2532
Hillsdale College (MI) 11/15 80.0 100 64.3 1502
Hobart and William Smith Colleges (NY) 11/15 68.3 265 53.7 4298
Howard University (DC) 11/1 71.2 1745 48.5 9750
Juniata College (PA) 12/1 87.0 92 69.2 2349
Kalamazoo College (MI) 11/10 77.3 22 70.3 2059
Kenyon College (OH) 11/15 55.0 340 31.3 4509
Lafayette College (PA) 2/15 56.2 436 37.2 6357
Lawrence University (WI) 11/15 94.6 37 58.8 2618
Le Moyne College (NY) 12/1 71.4 56 61.2 4212
Lehigh University (PA) 11/15 57.8 939 27.9 12941
Lynchburg College (VA) 11/15 52.2 205 67.9 4501
Macalester College (MN) 11/15 46.8 252 41.1 5041
Marist College (NY) 11/15 77.0 161 37.5 9198
Meredith College (NC) 10/15 53.8 143 69.4 1557
Miami University--Oxford (OH) 11/1 75.6 636 80.4 15009
Moravian College (PA) 2/1 77.3 176 69.7 2098
Nazareth College (NY) 11/15 91.1 45 74.5 2181
Northwestern University (IL) 11/1 39.7 1395 26.2 25013
Ohio Wesleyan University 12/1 31.1 61 64.3 4238
Pomona College (CA) 11/15 21.7 598 15.6 6293
Presbyterian College (SC) 11/1 78.6 56 68.6 1403
Prescott College (AZ) 12/1 93.8 16 76.7 365
Purchase College--SUNY 11/1 29.4 34 24.2 8905
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY) 11/1 49.8 1288 44.1 11249
Rhodes College (TN) 11/1 47.9 140 49.9 3747
Rice University (TX) 11/1 34.0 674 23.0 9813
Rider University (NJ) 11/15 29.4 51 74.0 6829
Rollins College (FL) 11/15 61.5 156 53.2 3485
Russell Sage College (NY) 12/1 90.0 10 74.3 378
Sacred Heart University (CT) 12/1 84.5 193 65.1 7568
Scripps College (CA) 11/1 48.1 81 43.4 1931
Sewanee--University of the South (TN) 11/15 54.1 185 64.0 2488
Skidmore College (NY) 11/15 59.4 497 29.8 7316
Smith College (MA) 11/15 63.7 256 47.7 3771
Southwestern University (TX) 11/1 87.5 64 65.4 1923
St. Anselm College (NH) 11/15 75.9 79 69.9 3835
St. John Fisher College (NY) 12/1 62.6 155 62.4 3231
St. Mary's College (IN) 11/15 90.4 115 79.6 1422
St. Mary's College of Maryland 11/1 43.2 373 51.8 2723
St. Olaf College (MN) 11/15 92.7 151 58.9 3964
Stetson University (FL) 11/1 91.2 34 53.9 4110
Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ) 11/15 69.7 399 51.8 2889
Stonehill College (MA) 11/1 65.7 67 45.0 6838
SUNY Institute of Technology--Utica/Rome 11/1 60.0 35 38.7 1731
SUNY--Fredonia 11/1 62.1 66 51.8 6489
SUNY--Oswego 11/15 53.3 150 47.0 9965
SUNY--Plattsburgh 11/15 51.7 89 49.4 6909
Susquehanna University (PA) 11/15 82.7 173 72.6 2777
Swarthmore College (PA) 11/15 33.8 480 15.7 6121
Sweet Briar College (VA) 12/1 96.9 64 82.7 629
Syracuse University (NY) 11/15 77.4 826 52.5 22079
Tabor College (KS) 12/31 100.0 98 93.6 405
The Citadel (SC) 10/26 72.2 126 75.2 2024
Trinity College (CT) 11/15 69.3 417 41.7 5136
Trinity University (TX) 11/1 72.0 50 58.2 3754
Union College (NY) 11/15 77.1 327 39.2 5271
University at Buffalo--SUNY 11/1 70.5 555 51.9 19784
University of Miami (FL) 11/1 22.2 1210 38.6 21773
University of Puget Sound (WA) 11/15 90.2 132 65.3 5580
University of Rochester (NY) 11/1 46.7 583 42.7 11633
Ursinus College (PA) 1/15 61.9 197 54.7 6192
Vanderbilt University (TN) 11/1 36.2 1468 25.3 16944
Vassar College (NY) 11/15 38.3 582 25.0 7361
Virginia Military Institute 11/15 60.8 283 53.6 1600
Virginia Tech 11/1 54.7 2288 65.4 20615
Wabash College (IN) 11/15 74.6 63 49.1 1365
Wagner College (NY) 1/1 63.3 90 60.8 3012
Wake Forest University (NC) 11/15 50.7 671 38.4 9050
Washington and Jefferson College (PA) 12/1 50.0 8 38.3 6826
Washington and Lee University (VA) 11/15 44.4 428 16.8 6386
Washington College (MD) 11/1 92.6 68 69.0 3413
Wellesley College (MA) 11/1 51.4 208 36.0 4001
Wells College (NY) 12/15 63.2 19 63.8 1117
Wesleyan University (CT) 11/15 45.5 650 27.2 8250
Western Carolina University (NC) 11/15 65.6 1687 51.1 7331
Wheaton College (MA) 11/15 85.6 195 38.8 3832
Whitman College (WA) 11/15 74.5 145 45.8 3096
Williams College (MA) 11/10 37.4 605 17.0 7552
Wittenberg University (OH) 11/15 60.8 51 68.8 3344
Wofford College (SC) 11/15 64.1 587 58.9 2278
TAGS:
colleges
college admissions