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Early Action Deadlines for Every College with EA

Posted by Rebecca Safier | May 11, 2018 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, 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 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 don't 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, 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 come 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 that 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 also a good idea to ask your junior-year teachers at the end of your junior year. 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 maybe 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 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 also 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, which has an early action deadline of October 15. In the full list below, you'll find even 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

 


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Beyond these popular schools, there are hundreds of other early action collegeswe'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 December 15
Assumption College MA November 1 December 15
Auburn University AL November 1 
Augustana College IL November 1 December 20
Austin College TX December 1  January 15
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
Bennington College VT December 1 February 1
Berklee College of Music MA November 1 January 31
Biola University CA November 15 January 15
Birmingham-Southern College AL November 15 December 15
Bloomfield College NJ November 30 December 25 
Boston College MA November 1 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 December 15
Centre College KY December 1  
Chapman University CA November 1 December 31-February
Christendom College VA December 1 December 15
Christopher Newport University VA December 1 January 15
Clark University MA November 1 December 15
Cleveland State University OH May 1
Coe College IA December 10  
Colby-Sawyer College NH December 1  
College of Charleston SC November 1 January 15
College of Idaho ID November 15 December 15
College of Mount Saint Vincent NY November 15 December 15 
College of Saint Benedict MN November 15 December 15
College of Saint Rose NY December 1
College of Wooster OH November 15 December 31
Colorado College CO November 10 December 20
Colorado State University CO December 1  December 31
Columbia University, School of General Studies NY March 1 May 1
Concordia College New York NY November 15
Concordia University Irvine CA November 15 December 15
Cornell College IA November 1  
Curry College MA December 1  
DePaul University IL November 15 January 15
DePauw University IN December 1  
Dickinson College PA December 1 February 14
Duquesne University PA December 1
Earlham College IN December 1 January 15
Eastern Oregon University OR February 1  Rolling
Eckerd College FL November 15 December 15
Elon University NC November 10 December 20
Emerson College MA November 1 December 15
Emmanuel College GA November 1 After December 15
Erskine College SC November 1 November 15
Fairfield University CT November 1 December 20
Fordham University NY November 1 December 19
Framingham State University MA November 15  
Furman University SC November 1 December 20
George Fox University OR November 1 December 7
Georgetown University DC November 1 December
Georgia College GA November 1 Early December
Georgia Institute of Technology GA October 15 January 12
Georgia State University GA March 1 April 15
Gonzaga University WA November 15 January 15
Gordon College MA November 1 November 15
Goucher College MD December 1 February 1
Grace College IN November 1 November 15
Green Mountain College VT November 1  November 8-15
Greensboro College NC February 1 Rolling
Gustavus Adolphus College MN November 1  November 15
Hamline University MN December 1 December 20
Hampden-Sydney College VA December 15 Within three weeks
Hampshire College MA December 1 February 15
Hampton University VA October 15 December 31
Hanover College IN November 1 Rolling
Harvard College MA November 1  December 15
Hellenic College MA December 1
Hendrix College AR November 15 Beginning December 15
High Point University NC November 15 December 17
Hofstra University NY November 15 Beginning December 15
Hollins University VA November 15  
Howard University DC November 1 December 15
Illinois College IL December 1  
Illinois Wesleyan University IL November 15 December 15 
Iona College NY December 1
Ithaca College NY December 1 February 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 15
La Salle University PA November 1 November 30
Lake Forest College IL November 1 Beginning December 15 
Lasell College MA November 15 December 1
Lawrence University WI November 1 December 15 
Le Moyne College NY November 15 Beginning December 15
Lenoir-Rhyne University NC November 16  
Lesley University MA December 1
Lewis & Clark College OR November 1 January 1
LIM College NY November 15  
Linfield College OR November 1 January 15
Longwood University VA December 3  
Loyola Marymount University CA November 1 Late December
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  
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 15
Massachusetts Institute of Technology MA November 1 December 15
Massachusetts Maritime Academy MA November 1 December 20
The Master's University CA November 1  
McDaniel College MD December 15 December 22
Menlo College CA November 15 January 15
Merrimack College MA November 15 December 31
Miami University OH November 1 / December 1 December 15 / February 1
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 St. Mary's University MD November 1 December 25
New York Institute of Technology NY November 1 Rolling
North Carolina State University NC October 15 January 30
Northeastern University MA November 1 February 1
Northwest Nazarene University ID November 15 January 15
Northwest University WA November 15 / January 15 "Early notification of admission decision"
Oakwood University AL March 30 April 15
Oglethorpe University GA November 15 November 30
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
Oregon State University OR November 1 December 20
Pace University NY November 1 / December 1 December 1 / January 1
Patrick Henry College VA November 1 Rolling
Point Loma Nazarene University CA November 15 December 15
Presbyterian College SC December 1 December 15
Princeton University NJ November 1  December 15
Purchase College NY November 15  
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 December 25
Rhodes College TN November 15 January 15
Rider University NJ November 15 December 20
Sacred Heart University CT December 15  
Saint Anselm College NH November 15 January 15
Saint John's University MN November 15 / December 15 December 15 / January 15
Saint Joseph's University PA November 1 December 20
Saint Mary's College of California CA November 15 January 15
Saint Michael's College VT December 1 January
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 23
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 October 15 October 22
Simmons College MA November 1 / December 1 December 15 / January 15
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
Saint Joseph's College ME November 15 December 15
Stanford University CA November 1 December 15
State University of New York at New Paltz NY November 15 January 1
State University of New York College at Cortland NY November 15 January 1 
State University of New York College at Oneonta NY November 15 January 1
State University of New York Polytechnic Institute NY November 15 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
Susquehanna University PA November 1 / December 1 December 1 / January 15
Sweet Briar College VA  November 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 November 30 
Thomas College ME December 15 December 31
Transylvania University KY December 1 Early December
Trinity University TX November 1 / January 1 December 15 / February 15
Trinity Washington University DC December 1 January 1
Tulane University LA November 15 January 15
Unity College ME December 15
University at Buffalo NY November 15
University of Akron OH November 1
University of Arkansas AR November 1  
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 December 15
University of Evansville IN December 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 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 Early February
University of Michigan MI November 1 December 24
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 January 31
University of North Carolina at Asheville NC November 15 December 15
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 Redlands CA November 15
University of Rhode Island RI December 1
University of San Francisco CA November 1 Beginning end of December
University of Scranton PA November 15 Beginning December 15
University of St. Thomas TX November 1 December 15
University of Tampa FL November 15 December 15
University of the Pacific CA November 15  January 15
University of Tulsa OK November 1 December 15
University of Utah UT December 1 January 15
University of Vermont VT November 1 December 13
University of Virginia VA November 1 January 31
University of Virginia's College at Wise VA December 1 / February 1
Ursinus College PA November 1 December 15
Vanguard University CA December 1
Villanova University PA November 1 January 15
Wabash College IN December 1 December 31
Warren Wilson College NC December 15
Washington & Jefferson College PA January 15 February 15
Washington College MD December 1 Rolling, bi-weekly
Wells College NY December 15
Westmont College CA October 15 / November 1 December 1 / December 31
Wheaton College IL November 1 December 31
Wheaton College MA November 1 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
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! 

 

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. 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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