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Early Action Deadlines for Every College With EA

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Aug 4, 2019 6:30:00 PM

College Admissions

 

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If you're in the midst of college application season, then you know it's time to take action. For some of you, that might be early action, which pushes your deadlines up a couple months.

This guide has the complete list of colleges that offer early action, along with advice on the best way to prepare for an early deadline. Before getting to the list, though, let's go over the ins and outs of the early action admission plan.

 

What You Need to Know About Early Action

Many schools offer the option of early action. This plan means that you'll both apply earlier than the regular deadline and find out earlier whether or not you got accepted.

The most common deadlines for early action are November 1 and November 15. These deadlines are not flexible; you must get all your materials, including recommendation letters and test scores, to the school by the stated deadline.

Since you apply early, you'll also be notified of your admissions decision early. The most common notification date is in mid-December, so you should find out whether you were accepted, denied, or deferred before you go on winter break.

The possibility of having your application deferred is another unique feature of applying early action. If the early applicant pool is particularly competitive, then the admissions committee might push your application into the regular decision pool and review it again in January or February. If you get deferred and are very interested in the school, you could call its admissions office and ask if there's anything else you can send to strengthen your application before its next review.

Unlike early decision, early action is not binding. You should have until the national response deadline of May 1 to tell your school whether you'll be attending or not. That means that you can still compare admissions and financial aid offers from other colleges—even if you applied to them regular decision—before accepting an offer and sending in your deposit.

There is one circumstance for which early action has a restriction, though. Some schools, including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Stanford, offer only a restrictive or single-choice early action plan. Restrictive early action plans do not obligate you to accept an offer of admission, but they do mean that you can't apply to any other schools early action.

For most other colleges and universities, you can apply early to as many schools as you want. But if you're applying to Harvard early action, you can't apply early action anywhere else; rather, you have to wait until the regular decision deadlines for your other schools.

Given that early action deadlines are typically in November, what does this mean for your college application timeline?

 

 

Your Timeline for Applying Early Action

There's no point applying early action if you don't have a strong application to send. If you want to apply early, you'll need to prepare all your application materials before the November deadline. There are a bunch of moving parts when it comes to applying to college, so it's best to start the process months or even a year in advance.

Read on for suggestions about how to plan out all major parts of your college application, from your SAT/ACT dates and recommendation letters to your official transcript and essays.

 

Schedule Your SAT or ACT Test Dates

Students almost always improve their scores when they retake the SAT/ACT and study in-between each test administration. If you're applying early action, the October SAT test date will likely be your last opportunity to take it.

SAT scores are typically released within two weeks after you take the test. Fall test dates could be risky in case of delays, and you wouldn't really have time to see these scores before deciding whether or not to send them. Ideally, you'd be finished testing before this October test date if you're applying early action.

Your last opportunity to take the ACT would likely be the September test date, assuming your scores become available in time. Again, if you're applying early action, you will feel less pressure if you're already all set with your test scores by the fall of your senior year.

You might take the SAT/ACT for the first time in the spring of your sophomore year. You could then take it a second time in the fall of your junior year and (if needed) a third time in the spring of or summer after your junior year. Alternatively, you could take it first in the fall of your junior year and then again in the spring and/or summer.

If, after all these attempts, you still see room for improvement in your SAT/ACT scores, you'd have one last opportunity to test in the fall of your senior year. Make sure that your score recipients are up to date in your College Board or ACT, Inc. account, since your official score reports will need to arrive by the deadline.

 

Ask Early for Your Letters of Recommendation and Transcript

Another important consideration is your letters of recommendation. You want to ask at least a month before you deadlines. This means that you should ask by October 1 if your early action deadline is November 1.

It's a good idea to ask your junior-year teachers at the end of your junior year, as your academic work will be fresh in their minds and they'll have the whole summer to work on your rec letters.

Since your guidance office handles sending out your official transcript, make this request a month in advance of deadlines as well.

 

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Work On Your Essays Over the Summer

You also should start thinking about and drafting your personal essay and any other supplemental essays, over the summer before your senior year. You don't want to write your personal essay in a day! It's a very important part of your application that you should spend weeks to months on.

Start by reading the essay prompts and letting ideas simmer in the back of your mind. You might find that the perfect topic pops into your head when you are out for a jog or are getting ready for school in the morning. You should then give yourself ample time to go through several drafts and revisions. Don't forget to get feedback from teachers and ideally friends and parents, too.

Writing your personal essay is a process that takes time; you're trying to present a meaningful and insightful story about your identity in only about 650 words! So use your time wisely to think about, prepare, and revise a strong and memorable personal essay. You'll be glad you did once you get into your busy schedule of classes and activities senior year.

Since gathering and completing all these things takes a few months, you'll want to make sure to keep track of everything in an organized way. We go over how to do this next.

 

Keep Track Of Your Schedule

To recap, here's a possible timeline for the process of applying early action:

  • Leave yourself enough available test dates to take the SAT/ACT. You could take it during the spring of your sophomore year, the fall of your junior year, and a third time in the spring of your junior year. This way, you'll have one last test date in the fall of your senior year.
  • Ask your teachers and counselor for recommendations by October 1, or at the end of your junior year.
  • Request your transcript and any other documents you need your school to send to colleges by October 1.
  • Work on your personal essay (and any other essays) over the summer, leaving yourself a few weeks or even months to brainstorm, draft, get feedback, and revise.
  • Work on your application throughout the fall of your senior year. Be sure to proofread it several times and have it ready to go by the stated deadlines.

As you can see, this whole application process starts at least four months before the early action deadline, and much earlier if you include SAT/ACT test dates and test prep.

Early action can be a great option for students because it proves to admissions committees that you're enthusiastic about the school and on top of things. Plus, you can find out months earlier than normal whether or not you got into your college(s).

Ultimately, as long as you plan and prepare ahead of time, you should have a strong, impressive application to send off to your early action colleges.

Now, let's take a look at some popular schools that offer early action and their early action deadlines. We'll then give you the complete list of early action schools and their deadlines.

 

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Early Action Deadlines of Popular Schools

As you can see, most of the following schools have an early action deadline of November 1, with the exception of UNC Chapel Hill, whose early action deadline is October 15. In the full list below, you'll find even more variation in terms of early action deadlines.

School

EA Deadline

Caltech November 1
Georgetown November 1
Harvard* November 1
MIT November 1
Princeton* November 1
Stanford* November 1
UNC Chapel Hill October 15
University of Chicago November 1
University of Illinois at Chicago November 1
University of Michigan November 1
University of Notre Dame November 1
University of Virginia November 1
Villanova November 1
Yale* November 1

*Indicates Restrictive Early Action

 


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Beyond these popular schools, there are tons of other early action colleges—we'll go over them next.

 

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Complete List of Colleges and Early Action Deadlines

This exhaustive list of early action schools is arranged in alphabetical order. If you're looking for a particular school, use ctrl + F to search for the name and jump directly to it in our list.

 

School State EA Deadline Decision Notification
Abilene Christian University TX November 1
Adelphi University NY December 1 December 31
Agnes Scott College GA November 15 / January 15 December 15 / February 15
Assumption College MA November 1 / December 15 December 15 / January 31
Auburn University AL November 1
Augustana College IL November 1 December 20
Austin College TX December 1 / February 1 January 15 / March 1
Azusa Pacific University CA November 15 Within three weeks
Babson College MA November 1 December 15
Bard College NY November 1 December 31
Bay Path University MA December 15
Baylor University TX November 1 January 15
Becker College MA November 15 Within three weeks
Bellarmine University KY November 1 November
Beloit College WI November 1 / December 1 December 1 / January 1
Bennington College VT December 1 February 1
Berklee College of Music MA November 1 January 31
Binghamton University—SUNY NY November 1 January 15
Biola University CA November 15 / January 15 January 15 / February 15
Birmingham-Southern College AL November 15 December 15
Bloomfield College NJ November 30 December 25
Bridgewater State University MA November 15 December 15
Bryant University RI November 15 January 15
Butler University IN November 1 December 15-31
Caldwell University NJ December 1 December 31
California Baptist University CA December 1
California Institute of Technology CA November 1 December 15
California Lutheran University CA November 1 January 15
Carthage College WI Summer September 15
Case Western Reserve University OH November 1 December 17
The Catholic University of America DC November 1 January 1
Centenary College of Louisiana LA November 15 / December 15
Central Michigan University MI May 1 May 8
Centre College KY December 1 January 15
Chapman University CA November 1 December 31 to February
Christendom College VA December 1 December 15
Christopher Newport University VA December 1 January 15
Clark University MA November 1
Cleveland Institute of Art OH December 1 / January 15 January 15 / February 15
Coe College IA December 10 Within two weeks
College of Charleston SC December 1 January 15
College for Creative Studies MI December 1
College of Idaho ID November 15 / January 15 December 15 / February 14
College of Mount Saint Vincent NY November 15 December 15
College of Saint Benedict MN November 15 / December 15 December 15 / January 15
The College of Saint Rose NY December 1
College of Wooster OH November 15 December 31
Colorado College CO November 1 December 19
Colorado State University CO December 1 December 31
Columbia University, School of General Studies NY January 15 / March 1 March 1 / May 1
Concordia College New York NY November 15
Concordia University Irvine CA November 15 / February 15 December 15 / March 1
Cornell College IA November 1
Cornish College of the Arts >WA December 1 December 15
Curry College MA December 1
Dean College MA November 1 / December 1 December 15 / January 15
Delaware College of Art and Design DE December 1 January 1
DePaul University IL November 15 January 15
DePauw University IN December 1 January 15
Duquesne University PA December 1
Earlham College IN November 15 / January 1 December 15 / February 1
Eastern Oregon University OR February 1 Rolling
Eckerd College FL November 15 December 15
Elon University NC November 1 December 20
Emerson College MA November 1 December 15
Emmanuel College GA November 1 / December 15 After December 15 / After January 15
Fairfield University CT November 1 December 20
Felician College NJ November 15
Fordham University NY November 1 December 19
Framingham State University MA November 15
Furman University SC December 1 February 15
George Fox University OR November 1 December 7
George Mason University VA November 1 December 15
Georgetown University DC November 1 December 15
Georgia College and State University GA October 15 Early December
Georgia Institute of Technology GA October 15 January 15
Georgia State University GA November 15 December 15
Georgian Court University NJ November 15
Gonzaga University WA November 15 January 15
Gordon College MA November 1 / December 1 November 15 / December 15
Goucher College MD December 1 February 1
Grace College IN November 1 November 15
Gustavus Adolphus College MN November 1 November 15
Hamline University MN December 1 December 20
Hampden-Sydney College VA December 15 / January 15
Hampshire College MA January 15 March 1
Hampton University VA October 15 December 31
Hanover College IN November 1 / December 1 Rolling
Harvard University MA November 1 December 15
Hellenic College MA December 1
Hendrix College AR November 15 / February 1 Beginning December 15 / Beginning March 1
High Point University NC November 15 December 16
Hofstra University NY November 15 / December 15 Beginning December 15 / Beginning January 15
Hollins University VA November 15
Howard University DC November 1 December 15
Illinois College IL December 1
Illinois Wesleyan University IL November 15 November 15 to December 15
Iona College NY December 1 December 25
Ithaca College NY December 1 February 1
James Madison University VA November 1
John Carroll University OH December 1 December 21
Kalamazoo College MI November 1 December 20
Kean University NJ January 1 January 31
Knox College IL November 1 / December 1 December 15 / January 15
La Salle University PA November 1 November 30
Lake Forest College IL November 1 / January 15 Rolling
Lasell College MA November 15 December 1
Lawrence University WI November 1 / December 1 December 15 / January 25
Le Moyne College NY November 15 Beginning December 15
Lees-McRae College NC December 1 December 15
Lenoir-Rhyne University NC November 7 November 21
Lesley University MA December 1 January 1
Lewis & Clark College OR November 1 January 1
LIM College NY November 15
Linfield College OR November 1 January 15
LIU Brooklyn NY December 1 December 31
LIU Post NY December 1 December 31
Longwood University VA December 2
Loyola Marymount University CA November 1 December 31
Loyola University Maryland MD November 15 January 15
Lycoming College PA December 1 December 15
Lynn University FL November 15 December 15
Maine Maritime Academy ME November 30 February 1
Manhattanville College NY December 1 Rolling
Marist College NY November 15 January 15
Marlboro College VT January 15 February 1
Massachusetts College of Art and Design MA December 1 Early January
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts MA December 1 December 15
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences MA November 1 / December 1 December 15 / January 15
Massachusetts Institute of Technology MA November 1 December 15
Massachusetts Maritime Academy MA November 1 Before winter break
The Master's University CA November 1
McDaniel College MD November 15 / December 15 December 15 / January 15
Menlo College CA November 15 December 15
Mercer University GA October 15 November 7
Merrimack College MA November 15 / January 15 December 31 / February 28
Miami University OH November 1 / December 1 December 15 / February 1
Michigan State University MI November 1 January 15
Mills College CA November 15 December
Millsaps College MS November 15 January 15
Minneapolis College of Art and Design MN December 1 December 15
Molloy College NY December 1 Decisions "made promptly"
Monmouth University NJ December 1 January 15
Montserrat College of Art MA December 6 December 19
Morehouse College GA November 1 December 15
Mount Saint Mary's University CA December 1 January
Mount St. Mary's University MD November 1 December 25
New York Institute of Technology NY February 15 Rolling
Niagara University NY December 15 January 3
North Carolina State University NC November 1 January 30
Northeastern University MA November 1 February 1
Northwest Nazarene University ID November 1 / December 1 Before March 31
Northwest University WA November 15 / January 15 "Early notification of admission decision"
Oglethorpe University GA November 15 Within two weeks
The Ohio State University OH November 1 January 31
Ohio Wesleyan University OH December 1 December 15
Old Dominion University VA December 1 January 15-31
Oregon State University OR November 1 December 14
Pace University NY December 1
Parsons School of Design (The New School) NY November 1 December 31
Patrick Henry College VA November 1 Rolling
Pennsylvania State University (all undergraduate campuses) PA November 1 December 24
Point Loma Nazarene University CA November 15 December 15
Pratt Institute >NY November 1 Late December to early January
Presbyterian College SC December 1 December 15
Princeton University NJ November 1 December 15
Providence College RI November 1 Early January
Purchase College—SUNY NY November 15
Purdue University IN November 1 January 15
Queens University of Charlotte NC December 1 / February 1 December 31 / March 1
Radford University VA December 1 January 15
Randolph College VA November 15 December 15
Randolph-Macon College VA November 15 January 1
Regis College MA November 15 Rolling
Rhodes College TN November 15 January 15
Rider University NJ November 15 December 20
Roger Williams University RI November 15 December 15
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology IN November 1 December 15
Rutgers—New Brunswick NJ November 1 January 31
Sacred Heart University CT December 15
The Sage Colleges NY December 1
Saint Anselm College NH November 15 January 15
Saint John's University MN November 15 / December 15 December 15 / January 15
Saint Joseph's College of Maine ME November 15 Beginning December 15
Saint Joseph's University PA November 1 December 20
Saint Mary's College of California CA December 15
Saint Michael's College VT December 1 January
Saint Peter's University NJ December 15 January 30
Salem State University MA November 15 Rolling
Salisbury University MD December 1 January 15
Salve Regina University RI November 1 January 1
Santa Clara University CA November 1 December 31
School of the Art Institute of Chicago IL November 15
Seattle Pacific University WA November 1
Seattle University WA November 15 December 21
Seton Hall University NJ November 15 / December 15 December 30 / January 31
Sewanee: The University of the South TN December 1 February 14
Shepherd University WV November 15 Within 10 business days
Siena College NY February 15 Within one week
Simmons College MA November 1 / December 1 December 15 / January 15
Simpson University CA December 1
Soka University of America CA November 1 December 1
Southern Methodist University TX November 1
Southern New Hampshire University NH November 15 December 15
Southwestern University TX December 1 March 1
Spelman College GA November 15 December 31
St. John's College MD November 15 December 15
St. John's College NM November 15 December 15
Stanford University CA November 1 December 15
Sterling College VT December 15 / January 15 January 1 / February 1
Stonehill College MA November 1 January 1
Suffolk University MA November 15 December 20
SUNY Cortland NY November 15 January 1
SUNY New Paltz NY November 15 January 1
SUNY Oneonta NY November 15 January 1
SUNY Polytechnic Institute NY November 15 December 15
Susquehanna University PA November 1 / December 1 December 1 / January 15
Sweet Briar College VA October 1 December 14
Tarleton State University TX March 1
Temple University PA November 1 January 10
Texas Christian University TX November 1 January 1
Texas Lutheran University TX November 15 Within two weeks
Thomas College ME December 15 December 31
Transylvania University KY October 31 / December 1 Early December
Trinity University TX November 1 December 15
Tulane University LA November 15 January 15
United States Coast Guard Academy CT October 15 December 23
Unity College ME December 15
University of Akron OH November 1
University at Albany—SUNY NY November 1
University of Arkansas AR November 1
University at Buffalo—SUNY NY November 15 "Candidates will receive an early response"
University of Chicago IL November 1 December 15
University of Cincinnati OH December 1
University of Colorado Boulder CO November 15 February 1
University of Dallas TX November 1 / December 1
University of Dayton OH November 1
University of Denver CO November 1
University of Evansville IN November 1 December 15
University of Georgia GA October 15 December 1
University of Illinois at Chicago IL November 1 December 1
University of Kentucky KY December 1 Rolling, usually in 4-6 weeks
University of Maine ME December 1
University of Maine at Farmington ME November 15 Rolling
University of Maine at Machias ME December 15
University of Mary Washington VA November 15 January 31
University of Maryland MD November 1 February 1
University of Maryland, Baltimore County MD November 1 February 1
University of Massachusetts Amherst MA November 5 January 15
University of Massachusetts Boston MA November 1
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth MA November 15 December 15
University of Massachusetts Lowell MA November 1
University of Miami FL November 1 Late January to early February
University of Michigan MI November 1 December 24
University of Minnesota—Twin Cities MN November 1 January 31
University of New England ME December 1 December 31
University of New Hampshire NH November 15 January 31
University of New Haven CT December 15 Rolling, usually in 4-6 weeks
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill NC October 15 January 31
University of North Carolina at Charlotte NC November 1 January 30
University of North Carolina at Wilmington NC November 1 January 20
University of Notre Dame IN November 1 December 15
University of Oregon OR November 1 December 15
University of the Pacific CA November 15 January 15
University of Redlands CA November 15
University of Rhode Island RI December 1
University of San Francisco CA November 1 Beginning December 15
University of Scranton PA November 15 Beginning December 15
University of South Carolina SC October 15 December 15
University of St. Thomas TX November 1 December 15
University of Tampa FL November 15 / January 15 December 15 / February 15
University of Tulsa OK November 1 "Decisions will be sent out in the fall"
University of Utah UT November 1 January 15
University of Vermont VT November 1 December 13
University of Virginia VA November 1 February 1
University of Virginia's College at Wise VA December 1 / February 1
University of Wisconsin—Madison WI November 1 December 31
Ursinus College PA November 1 December 15
Utica College NY November 15 December 15
Vanguard University of Southern California CA December 1 / January 15
Villanova University PA November 1 January 15
Wabash College IN December 1 December 31
Warren Wilson College NC November 15
Wartburg College IA December 1
Washington College >MD December 1 January 15
Washington & Jefferson College PA January 15 February 15
Wells College NY December 15
Western Carolina University NC November 15 December 15
Westminster College PA November 15 December 15
Westmont College CA October 15 / November 1 December 1 / Winter break
Wheaton College IL November 1 December 31
Wheaton College MA November 15 January 15
Whittier College CA December 1 December 31
Whitworth University WA November 15 December 20
Willamette University OR November 15 December 30
William Paterson University NJ December 1 (Nursing only)
Wittenberg University OH December 1 January 1
Wofford College SC November 15 February 1
Worcester Polytechnic Institute MA November 1 / January 1 December 20 / February 10
Worcester State University MA November 15
Yale University CT November 1 December 15

 

Most schools with early action allow you to apply to as many colleges as you want. Just double-check that you know whether your school's early action is restrictive or single choice.

By applying early action, you can rest easy come December with the knowledge of where you'll be attending college next fall. Just don't fall prey to senioritis—you'll still be sending your senior-year grades to your colleges after all!

 

What's Next?

While you'll spend a lot of time on your essays and on prepping for tests, you also want to put effort into filling out your application forms. This guide goes into detail about how to write about your extracurricular activities on your college apps.

Are you wondering about the differences between early action and early decision? Did you know that early decision isn't necessarily "early"? Read our expert guide to learn more about early decision and how it differs from early action.

Maybe you're tired of reading articles and just want to learn about how to apply to college from a snazzy infographic. I read your mind, right? Check out this awesome infographic on how to get into your top-choice college.

 

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Rebecca Safier
About the Author

Rebecca graduated with her Master's in Adolescent Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has years of teaching and college counseling experience and is passionate about helping students achieve their goals and improve their well-being. She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT.



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