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Early Action Deadlines for Every College with EA

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jul 10, 2017 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, 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 the admissions decision early. The most common notification is in mid-December, so you should find out whether you were accepted, denied, or deferred before you go on holiday 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, then 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 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 your deposit.

There is one circumstance where early action has a restriction, though. Some schools, namely Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Stanford, offer only a restrictive or single-choice early action plan.

Restrictive early action plans don't obligate you to accept an offer of admission, but they do mean you can't apply to any other schools early action. For most other colleges, you can apply early to as many schools as you want. But if you're applying to Harvard early action, then you can't apply early anywhere else early action. You'll have to wait until regular decision deadlines for your other schools.

Given that early action deadlines are typically in November, what should your application timeline look like?

 

 

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, then you should be prepared with all your application materials before the November deadline. 

There are a bunch of moving parts when it comes to applying to college, so you should start months or even a year in advance planning out each one. Read on for suggestions about how to plan out your SAT or ACT dates, recommendation letters, official transcript, and essays. 

 

Plan Your SAT or ACT Test Dates

Students almost always improve when they retake the SAT or ACT and study in between each administration. If you're applying early action, then the October test date for the SAT is probably the very last opportunity you'd have to take it.

Your SAT scores are released three 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 are available in time. Again, if you want to apply early action, you'd feel less pressure if you're already all set with your test scores by the fall of senior year.

You might take the SAT or ACT for the first time in the spring of sophomore year, then again in the fall of junior year, and finally in the spring of or summer after junior year. Pushing this forward, you could take it first in the fall of junior year and then again in the spring or summer.

If you still see room for improvement, you'd have that last opportunity to test in the fall of senior year. Make sure your list of score recipients is up to date in your College Board or ACT account, since your official score reports 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, so ask by October 1 if your early action deadline is November 1.

It can also be a good idea to ask your junior year teachers at the end of junior year. Your academic work will be fresh in their mind, and they'll have the summer to work on your rec letter.

Since your guidance office handles sending out your official transcript, you should 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 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.

You should start by reading the essay prompts and letting ideas simmer in the back of your mind. You might find the perfect topic pops into your head when you're out for a jog or getting ready for school in the morning. Then you should give yourself time to go through several drafts and revisions, as well as get feedback from teachers and maybe friends and parents.

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 650 words! Give yourself time 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 want to make sure to keep track of everything in an organized way. 

 

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 and ACT. You may take it in the spring of sophomore year, fall of junior year, and spring of junior year. Your last test date will be in the fall of senior year.
  • Ask your teachers and counselor for recommendations by October 1 or at the end of junior year.
  • Request your transcript and any other documents you need your school to send by October 1, as well.
  • Work on your personal essay (and any other essays) over the summer, leaving yourself a few weeks or months to brainstorm, draft, get feedback, and revise.
  • Work on your application throughout the fall of senior year, proofread several times, and make sure it's ready to go by the stated deadlines. 

As you can see, this whole process starts at least four months before the early action deadline, and much earlier including your SAT or ACT testing dates and preparation.

Early action can be a great option, because it shows admissions committees that you're enthusiastic about the school and on top of things. Plus, you can find out months earlier than normal whether you got into your college(s). As long as you plan and prepare in time, then you should have a strong and 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 what their deadlines are. After that, you'll find the complete list of early action schools and deadlines. 

 

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Early Action Deadlines of Popular Schools

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

 

School

EA Deadline

Boston College November 1
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 Illinois at Chicago November 1
University of 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 

 

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

 

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Complete List of Colleges and Early Action Deadlines

This long list of early action schools is in alphabetical order. If you're looking for a particular school and don't feel like scrolling, you might hit "Ctrl + f," type in the first few letters, and be brought right to it.

 

School State Early Action Deadline Notification Website
Abilene Christian University TX November 1   Official Link
Adelphi University NY December 1 December 31 Official Link
Agnes Scott College GA November 15 December 15 Official Link
Assumption College MA November 1 December 15 Official Link
Auburn College AL   December 15  
Augustana College IL November 1 December 1  
Austin College TX December 1  January 15 Official Link
Azusa Pacific University CA November 15 January 15 Official Link
Babson College MA November 1 January 1 Official Link
Bard College NY November 1 January 1 Official Link
Bay Path College MA December 15 January 2 Official Link
Baylor University TX November 1 January 15 Official Link
Becker College MA November 15 December 15 Official Link
Bellarmine University KY November 1 November 15 Official Link
Bennington College VT December 1  January 27 Official Link
Berklee College of Music MA November 1 January 31 Official Link
Binghamton University NY November 1 January 15 Official Link
Biola University CA November 15 January 15 Official Link
Birmingham-Southern College AL November 15 December 15 Official Link
Bloomfield College NJ November 28   Official Link
Boston College MA November 1 December 25 Official Link
Bridgewater State University MA November 15 December 15 Official Link
Bryant University RI November 15 January 15 Official Link
Butler University IN November 1 December 20 Official Link
Caldwell University NJ December 1 December 31 Official Link
California Baptist University CA December 15 January 31 Official Link
California Institute of Technology CA November 1 December 15 Official Link
California Lutheran University CA November 1 January 15 Official Link
Carthage College WI July 26 September 15 Official Link
Case Western Reserve University OH November 1 December 15 Official Link
Catholic University of America DC November 1 December 15 Official Link
Centenary College of Louisiana LA December 15   Official Link
Centre College KY December 1 January 15 Official Link
Chapman University CA November 1 January 10 Official Link
Christendom College VA December 1 December 15 Official Link
Christopher Newport University VA December 1 January 15 Official Link
Clark University MA November 1 December 15 Official Link
Cleveland State University OH May 1   Official Link
Coe College IA December 10   Official Link
Colby-Sawyer College NH December 1   Official Link
College of Charleston SC November 1 January 1 Official Link
College of Idaho ID November 21 December 15 Official Link
College of Mount St. Vincent NY November 15   Official Link
College of Saint Benedict MN November 15 December 15 Official Link
College of St. Rose NY December 1 December 15 Official Link
College of Wooster OH November 15 December 31 Official Link
Colorado College CO November 10 December 18 Official Link
Colorado State University CO December 1   Official Link
Columbia University, School of General Studies NY March 1 May 1 Official Link
Concordia College New York NY November 15 December 15 Official Link
Concordia University Irvine CA December 1 December 15 Official Link
Cornell College IA December 1 February 1 Official Link
Curry College MA December 1 December 15 Official Link
DePaul University IL November 15 January 15 Official Link
DePauw University IN December 1   Official Link
Dickinson College PA December 1 February 1 Official Link
Dowling College NY December 31 Rolling, notification begins January 31 Official Link
Duquesne University PA December 1 January 15 Official Link
Earlham College IN December 1 February 1 Official Link
Eastern Oregon University OR February 1  Rolling Official Link
Eckerd College FL November 15 December 15 Official Link
Elon University NC November 10 December 20 Official Link
Emerson College MA November 1 December 15 Official Link
Emmanuel College GA November 1 December 15 Official Link
Erskine College SC November 1 November 15 Official Link
Fairfield University CT November 1 December 20 Official Link
Fordham University NY November 1 December 20 Official Link
Framingham State University MA November 15 December 15 Official Link
Furman University SC November 15 December 20 Official Link
George Fox University OR November 1 December 15 Official Link
Georgetown University DC November 1 December 15 Official Link
Georgia College and State University GA November 1 December 1 Official Link
Georgia Institute of Technology GA October 15 January 10 Official Link
Georgia State University GA November 15 January 30 Official Link
Gonzaga University WA November 15 January 15 Official Link
Gordon College MA November 15 December 1 Official Link
Goucher College MD December 1 February 1 Official Link
Grace College IN December 1   Official Link
Green Mountain College VT November 1   Official Link
Greensboro College NC December 15 January 15 Official Link
Gustavus Adolphus College MN November 1   Official Link
Hamline University MN December 1 December 20 Official Link
Hampden-Sydney College VA December 15 February 15 Official Link
Hampshire College MA December 1 February 1 Official Link
Hampton University VA November 1 December 15 Official Link
Hanover College IN October 15 December 20 Official Link
Harvard College MA November 1   Official Link
Hellenic College MA December 1   Official Link
Hendrix College AR November 15 December 15 Official Link
High Point University NC November 14 December 18 Official Link
Hillsdale College MI December 15   Official Link
Hofstra University NY November 15 January 15 Official Link
Hollins University VA November 15 December 1 Official Link
Howard University DC November 1 December 24 Official Link
Illinois College IL December 1   Official Link
Illinois Wesleyan University IL November 1   Official Link
Iona College NY December 1 December 19 Official Link
Ithaca College NY December 1 February 1 Official Link
John Carroll University OH December 1 December 20 Official Link
Kalamazoo College MI November 1 December 20 Official Link
Kean University NJ November 15   Official Link
Knox College IL November 1 December 31 Official Link
La Salle University PA October 15 December 15  
Lake Forest College IL October15   Official Link
Lasell College MA November 15 December 1 Official Link
Lawrence University WI November 1   Official Link
Le Moyne College NY November 15 December 15 Official Link
Lenoir-Rhyne Univerity NC November 7 December 21 Official Link
Lesley University MA December 1 December 23 Official Link
Lewis & Clark College OR November 1 December 31 Official Link
LIM College NY November 15 December 15 Official Link
Linfield College OR November 15 January 15 Official Link
Longwood University VA December 1 January 15 Official Link
Loyola Marymount University CA November 1 December 20 Official Link
Loyola University Maryland MD November 15 January 15 Official Link
Lycoming College PA November 15 December 15  
Lynn University FL November 15 December 15 Official Link
Maine Maritime Academy ME November 30 February 1  
Manhattanville College NY December 1 December 31  
Marist College NY November 15 January 30 Official Link
Marlboro College VT January 15 Rolling, notification begins February 1 Official Link
Massachusetts College of Art and Design MA December 1 January 5 Official Link
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts MA December 1 December 15 Official Link
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences MA November 1 December 19 Official Link
Massachusetts Institute of Technology MA November 1 December 20 Official Link
Massachusetts Maritime Academy MA November 1 December 31 Official Link
Master's College CA November 15 December 22 Official Link
McDaniel College MD November 15 December 22 Official Link
Menlo College CA November 15 January 15 Official Link
Merrimack College MA November 15 December 15 Official Link
Miami University OH December 1 February 1 Official Link
Mills College CA November 15 December 1 Official Link
Millsaps College MS November 15 January 15 Official Link
Minneapolis College of Art and Design MN December 1 December 15 Official Link
Molloy College NY December 1 December 15 Official Link
Monmouth University NJ December 1 January 15 Official Link
Montserrat College of Art MA December 1 December 15 Official Link
Morehouse College GA November 1 December 15 Official Link
Mount St. Mary's University MD December 1 December 25 Official Link
New York Institute of Technology NY November 1 December 31 Official Link
North Carolina State University NC October 15 January 30 Official Link
Northeastern University MA November 1 December 31 Official Link
Northwest Nazarene University ID November 15 January 15 Official Link
Northwest University WA January 15 February 15 Official Link
Notre Dame de Namur University CA December 1   Official Link
Oakwood University AL March 30 April 15 Official Link
Oglethorpe University GA November 15 December 20 Official Link
Ohio State University OH November 1 January 15 Official Link
Ohio Wesleyan University OH December 1 January 15 Official Link
Old Dominion University VA December 1 January 15 Official Link
Oregon State University OR November 1 December 20 Official Link
Pace University NY November 1 January 1 Official Link
Patrick Henry College VA November 1 Rolling Official Link
Point Loma Nazarene University CA November 15 December 21 Official Link
Presbyterian College SC November 15 December 15 Official Link
Princeton University NJ November 1  December 15 Official Link
Purchase College NY November 15 December 15  
Radford University VA December 1 January 15 Official Link
Randolph College VA November 15   Official Link
Randolph-Macon College VA November 15 January 1 Official Link
Regis College MA December 1 December 23 Official Link
Rhodes College TN November 15 January 15 Official Link
Rider University NJ November 15 December 15 Official Link
Roger Williams University RI November 1   Official Link
Sacred Heart University CT December 15   Official Link
Saint Anselm College NH November 15 January 15 Official Link
Saint John's University MN November 15 December 15 Official Link
Saint Joseph's University PA November 15 December 25 Official Link
Saint Mary's College of California CA November 15 January 15 Official Link
Saint Michael's College VT November 1 January 1 Official Link
Salisbury University MD December 1 January 15 Official Link
Salve Regina University RI November 1 December 25 Official Link
Santa Clara University CA November 1 December 23 Official Link
School of the Art Institute of Chicago IL November 15 February 15 Official Link
Seattle Pacific University WA November 15 January 5 Official Link
Seattle University WA November 15 December 23 Official Link
Seton Hall University NJ November 15 December 30 Official Link
Sewanee: University of the South TN December 1   Official Link
Shepherd University WV November 15 December 15 Official Link
Siena College NY December 1 January 7 Official Link
Simmons College MA November 1 December 15 Official Link
Soka University of America CA November 1 December 1 Official Link
Southern Methodist University TX November 1 December 31 Official Link
Southern New Hampshire University NH November 15 December 15 Official Link
Southwestern University TX December 1 February 15 Official Link
Spelman College GA November 15 December 31 Official Link
St. John's College MD November 15 December 15 Official Link
St. John's College NM November 15 December 15 Official Link
St. Joseph's College of Maine ME November 15 December 17 Official Link
Stanford University CA November 1 December 15 Official Link
State University of New York at New Paltz NY November 15 December 15 Official Link
State University of New York College at Cortland NY November 15   Official Link
State University of New York College at Oneonta NY November 15 December 15 Official Link
State University of New York Institute of Technology NY November 15 December 15 Official Link
Sterling College VT December 15 January 15 Official Link
Stonehill College MA November 1 December 31 Official Link
Suffolk University MA November 15 December 15 Official Link
Susquehanna University PA November 1 December 1 Official Link
Sweet Briar College VA   December 20  
Tarleton State University TX March 1   Official Link
Temple University PA November 1   Official Link
Texas Christian University TX November 1 January 1  Official Link
Texas Lutheran University TX December 15    
Thomas College ME December 15 December 31 Official Link
Transylvania University KY December 1 December 20 Official Link
Trinity University TX November 1 December 15 Official Link
Trinity Washington University DC December 1 January 1 Official Link
Tulane University LA November 15 December 15 Official Link
Unity College ME December 15   Official Link
University at Buffalo NY November 15 January 15  
University of Akron OH November 1   Official Link
University of Arkansas AR November 1 December 15 Official Link
University of Chicago IL November 1 December 17 Official Link
University of Cincinnati OH December 1   Official Link
University of Colorado Boulder CO November 15 February 1 Official Link
University of Dallas TX November 1 January 15 Official Link
University of Dayton OH November 1 February 15 Official Link
University of Denver CO November 1 January 15 Official Link
University of Evansville IN December 1   Official Link
University of Georgia GA October 15 December 1 Official Link
University of Illinois at Chicago IL November 2   Official Link
University of Kentucky KY December 1 Rolling Official Link
University of Maine ME December 1 January 31 Official Link
University of Maine at Farmington ME November 15 January 8 Official Link
University of Mary Washington VA November 15 January 31 Official Link
University of Maryland MD November 1 January 31 Official Link
University of Maryland Baltimore County MD November 1 December 15 Official Link
University of Massachusetts Amherst MA November 1 Rolling, notification begins December 15 Official Link
University of Massachusetts Boston MA November 1   Official Link
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth MA November 15 December 15 Official Link
University of Massachusetts Lowell MA November 1 December 15 Official Link
University of Miami FL November 1 January 20 Official Link
University of Michigan MI November 1 December 24 Official Link
University of New England ME December 1   Official Link
University of New Hampshire NH November 15 Rolling, notification begins December 15 Official Link
University of New Haven CT December 15 January 15 Official Link
University of North Carolina at Asheville NC November 15 December 15 Official Link
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill NC October 15 January 30 Official Link
University of North Carolina at Charlotte NC November 1 January 20 Official Link
University of North Carolina at Wilmington NC November 1 January 20 Official Link
University of Notre Dame IN November 1 December 21 Official Link
University of Oregon OR November 1 December 15 Official Link
University of Redlands CA November 15 Rolling, notification begins January 15 Official Link
University of Rhode Island RI December 1 January 31 Official Link
University of San Francisco CA November 15 January 1 Official Link
University of Scranton PA November 15 December 15 Official Link
University of St. Thomas TX December 1 December 15 Official Link
University of Tampa FL November 15 December 15 Official Link
University of the Pacific CA November 15  January 15 Official Link
University of Tulsa OK November 1 December 15 Official Link
University of Utah UT December 1 January 15  
University of Vermont VT November 1 December 15 Official Link
University of Virginia VA November 1 January 31 Official Link
University of Virginia's College at Wise VA February 1 February 15 Official Link
Ursinus College PA November 1 Rolling, notification begins February 1 Official Link
Vanguard University of Southern California CA December 1   Official Link
Villanova University PA November 1 December 20 Official Link
Wabash College IN November 1 December 19 Official Link
Warren Wilson College NC November 15    
Washington & Jefferson College PA January 15 February 15 Official Link
Washington College MD December 1 January 15 Official Link
Wells College NY December 15 February 1 Official Link
Wesleyan College GA January 15   Official Link
Westmont College CA October 15 December 15 Official Link
Wheaton College IL November 1 January 1 Official Link
Wheaton College MA November 1 December 31 Official Link
Wheelock College MA December 1  December 20 Official Link
Whittier College CA November 15 December 31 Official Link
Whitworth University WA November 30 Rolling, notification begins December 20 Official Link
Willamette University OR November 15 December 31 Official Link
William Paterson University NJ December 1 January 15 Official Link
Wittenberg University OH December 1 January 1 Official Link
Wofford College SC November 15   Official Link
Worcester Polytechnic Institute MA November 1 December 20 Official Link
Worcester State University MA November 15 December 15  
Yale University CT November 1 December 15 Official Link

 

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

If you apply early action, then you could 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 senior year grades along to your colleges! 

 

What's Next?

While you'll spend a lot of time on your essays and 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 applications.

Are you wondering about the differences between early action and early decision? Did you know that early decision isn't necessarily "early"? Learn more about early decision and how it differs from early action here.

Maybe you're tired of reading articles and just want to learn about how to apply to college from a snazzy infographic. Read your mind, right? Check out this awesome infographic on How to Get Into Your Top-Choice College.

  

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

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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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