14 12, 2023

Early Decision Notification Dates: College Admissions Announcements

By |2023-12-14T11:00:33-05:00December 14th, 2023|Early Decision, Ivy Leage Admissions|0 Comments

Early Decision Notification Dates: College Admissions Announcements

Understanding Early Decision:

Early Decision (ED) is a college application choice that allows students to apply to their preferred school early in their senior year, typically by November 1st. While this may sound like a no-brainer for eager applicants, there’s a catch: it’s binding. If accepted, students must commit to attending that particular college and withdraw any other college applications. This commitment is a significant decision that requires careful consideration, as it can influence the trajectory of one’s academic career.

Just Tell Me the College ED Notification Dates!

Ok, I get it — here are the top 20 schools’ Early Admissions (ED) notification dates — in other words, when you can expect to hear back from the schools if you applied by Nov 1.  These dates are never written in stone though, as college admissions is fluid and not an exact science.  You will hear something however, and USUALLY by these dates, but don’t assume if you heard nothing that you have been rejected — they will always tell you one way or the other if you have been rejected, deferred, or accepted!

  1. Harvard University: December 12
  2. Stanford University: December 15
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): December 17
  4. Yale University: December 18
  5. Princeton University: December 20
  6. Columbia University: December 22
  7. University of Chicago: December 15
  8. Brown University: December 15
  9. Dartmouth College: December 12
  10. University of Pennsylvania: December 15
  11. Duke University: December 15
  12. California Institute of Technology (Caltech): December 15
  13. Northwestern University: December 15
  14. Johns Hopkins University: December 11
  15. Cornell University: December 8
  16. Rice University: December 12
  17. Vanderbilt University: December 15
  18. University of Notre Dame: December 14
  19. Washington University in St. Louis: December 15
  20. Emory University: December 15

The Rollercoaster of Emotions:

And, yes, it’s stressful!  The anticipation leading up to early decision notifications can be an emotional rollercoaster for college applicants.

The Rest of Your College Admissions Applications:

One of the key advantages of the early decision notification list though is the ability to strategically plan the rest of your submissions. By knowing the notification dates for various colleges, you can create a timeline that aligns with your preferences and priorities. This strategic planning involves carefully selecting which institutions to apply to through early decision and ensuring that all materials are submitted well before the deadline.

Impact on Subsequent Applications:

For those who apply to colleges through the early decision process, it’s important to recognize the impact on subsequent applications. If accepted, students are committed to attending that institution and must withdraw any pending applications to other colleges. This decision significantly influences the overall college admissions strategy, as it limits future options. Therefore, applicants must weigh the pros and cons of early decision carefully.


In the whirlwind of college applications, understanding the early decision timeline is a crucial element for prospective students. Insights into early decision notification dates from the list above provides a valuable resource for navigating this process, shedding light on the broader landscape and helping applicants make informed decisions about where to go to school.

Need more help with your college applications? I’m a former Harvard interviewer and Harvard grad and have been running my award-winning college admissions consulting firm, Ivy League Essay for the last 15 years.

Contact me today for a free consultation and get into the school of your dreams!


Explore my other related Ivy League admissions books too, including the very popular, “How to Ace Your Ivy League College Admissions Interview”

20 09, 2022

Early Action or Early Decision: Ivy College Admissions Consulting

By |2022-09-23T23:07:25-04:00September 20th, 2022|College Admissions, Early Action, Early Decision|1 Comment

Early Action or Early Decision: Ivy College Admissions

Choosing Early Action over Early Decision can be confusing. Make sure you’re making the right choice!

Early Action and Early Decision are both college application STRATEGIES.  In other words, by getting your application in early, you will actually gain an advantage over students who apply regular decision.

How much of an advantage, you ask?  That depends on the school, but in my experience it is usually quite a boost — up to a 10% increase in the chance that you’ll get in.  When you’re talking about schools like Harvard, Princeton or Yale that adds up to be quite significant.

It’s hard to understand the difference between these two “Early” strategies though, and to make it even more difficult, each school has its own definition of the terms.  That’s why it’s always important to look on the school’s actual website so you understand what exactly you will be committing to, should you get in.

Early Action versus Early Decision: The Definitions

  1. Early Action is the less “committed” of the two choices, and you can choose more than one school for EA. In fact, you can apply EA to as many schools as you want. It is non-binding, which means you still have full control over where you want to attend, and can wait to make a decision once all of your other EA application results are in.
  2. Early Decision is binding, however, and for that reason you can only pick one college as your Early Decision school.  You usually find out if you got in mid-December and at that point will have to withdraw all of your other applications.  Only pick ED if you KNOW you would be thrilled to go to your school!

To make things even more confusing, there are also categories like ED 1 and ED 2

All you have to remember is that ED 1 is the earlier November 1 deadline, and ED 2 is basically the exact same thing but in December, if you’re just not ready in November to submit your application.

Then, there’s Single-Choice Early Action (SCEA)

Also known as Restrictive Early Action.  SCEA or REA is also non-binding, meaning you don’t have to go if you get in, however, you cannot apply to other schools’ EA or ED until you receive your decision from the school to which you applied SCEA.

In restrictive early action policies, however, you CAN still apply to public or state universities EA.

Now, some universities offer Single Choice Early Action or Restricted Early Action, which LIMITS your choice even more that the “rules” stated above, which is why it is very important to look at each school’s individual webpage first, to make sure you understand what you are and are NOT committing to.

I usually don’t recommend students apply SCEA or REA for this reason, and keep things simple by applying ED or EA alone.

So, should you apply early?

I think yes. It does give you an advantage, it allows you to receive your college acceptances (or rejections) earlier, it helps you make other plans if you get waitlisted or deferred and it give you more peace of mind.

Personally, I tell my students to do ED only, but that’s for another blog post another day!

If you are currently applying to college and looking for expert tips and advice from a former Harvard admissions interviewer + Harvard grad, contact my Ivy League College Admissions Consulting Services today, and schedule a free phone consultation to get into the school of your dreams!  www.IvyCollegeEssay.com

Check out my other Ivy League College Admissions Consulting blog articles too, for even more tips + advice, such as:

I work with all colleges and universities, but I specialize in the Ivy League, and Ivy League competitive schools!

  • Harvard
  • Princeton
  • Yale
  • Dartmouth
  • Brown
  • Columbia
  • Cornell
  • UPenn
  • MIT
  • Stanford
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