10 Schools You Should Apply Early Decision To

For all the procrastinators out there–and I know you’re out there!–you may want to listen to this. Do I have your attention yet or are you gonna take another 10 minute nap before reading the rest of this blog? Okay, good. Let’s go.

If you’re not completely familiar with college admissions, one thing you should know is that many schools offer that option to apply regular decision as well as early decision. Early decision isn’t simply applying early; Early decision is an early application plan that allows students to apply early (big surprise there) and hear back early on whether you’re accepted, deferred, or denied. The catch is that by applying early decision, you’re committing to enrolling if you’re admitted.

According to an article from The Daily Beast, there are certain colleges where it seriously helps with your admissions changes by applying early decision. These school have a tendency to admit a huge percentage of early applicants to their total acceptance pool. Why would a school prefer an early app to a regular one? Well, it’s often more about the certainty of enrollment that comes with an early decision application. If you’re accepted through early decision, you’re contractually obliged to go and, ya know, pay thousands of dolla dolla bills for a college education.

So, if your dream school is in this list, and it’s the school that if you got into you would 114% go to, think about applying early:

1. Dickinson College
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 45%

2. Bucknell University
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 45%

3. Davidson College
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 49%

4. Barnard College
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 37%

5. Colorado College
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 28%

6. Bates College
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 47%

7. Carleton College
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 40%

8. Hamilton College
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 52%

9. Johns Hopkins University
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 35%

10. Wesleyan University
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 50%

Are you thinking of applying early decision to any of these schools? Which one? Leave a comment! 

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  1. Kimberly says:

    Before you even consider early admission to any college, you should keep the pros and cons in mind.

    Early decision plans are binding. You agree to attend the college if it accepts you and offers an adequate financial aid package. Although you can apply to only one college for early decision, you may apply to other colleges through the regular admission process. If you’re accepted by your first-choice college early, you must withdraw all other applications. If you can not pay for the college then you can withdraw from the early admission, but that is only if you can’t afford it.


    Head Start: applying as an early decision candidate gives you a head start on the whole college admission process. You will have an earlier deadline for your application, usually November, however you will also receive a decision earlier. If accepted, you can get a head start on other paperwork such as dorm assignments, college interviews, financial aid, etc.

    Admission rates may be higher: Statistics show that colleges and universities accept more early decision candidates than they do regular candidates. Part of this reason is because early decision candidates are positive about their decision to attend the school.

    Two chances: If you are declined as an early decision candidate, you may still be eligible as a regular candidate. Check with the college to see if you would have to resubmit your application for regular admission or if your application will automatically be reverted over to the later deadline.


    Binding: Unlike early action, if you apply as an early decision candidate, your admission is binding; meaning if you are accepted, you have to attend the school. That is why this program is ideal only for students who not only fit the profile of students at the school, but who are certain that they do want to attend the school if accepted. This means that you should also research tuition costs and financial aid eligibility prior to application. Meaning your pretty much stuck at this college.

    Restrictive: You cannot apply to any other “early” programs at any other schools. You can, however, apply to other schools under regular admission guidelines.

    Early Decision is definitely a program that is perfect for students who are confident in their first choice school. The ideal student is one who knows exactly which school they want to attend and knows that they fit the profile of the current students. Since early decision is binding, it is stressed that upon acceptance you will attend the school and withdraw any other applications you may have out to other schools. This is definitely a program that is reserved for students who are committed and confident in their decision.

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