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Early Action and Early Decision Deadlines

By June 27, 2021July 14th, 2024ACT, Admissions, For Students, SAT
Of the 400+ schools that Compass tracks, a little over 75% offer some form of Early Action (EA) and Early Decision (ED). Both can have an impact on students planning to test in the fall of 12th grade.


Early Action is non-binding, meaning that an admitted student can still decide not to attend. Early Decision, on the other hand, is binding. Students applying Early Decision agree to enroll if accepted and offered an adequate financial aid package.

While some schools allow students to apply to multiple Early Action / Decision programs, most will require a student who is accepted Early Decision to withdraw applications from other colleges. Highly selective institutions—for example, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Notre Dame, Texas A&M (Engineering), and Yale—have restrictive policies that limit a student to one early application.

Further complicating matters is the presence of 1 and 2 as labels for different early application windows. Early 1 is usually in November with Early 2 in December, or in the case of Early Decision 2, as late as January. Generally, colleges will notify Early 1 students by the end of December and Early 2 as late as February. Both allow ample time for decision making before the May 1 decision deadline.


Your counselor can help you determine whether applying Early Action or Early Decision at your top college is right for you. However, if you’re considering applying early, you will want to make sure that you have a complete set of scores that shows you at your best. We recommend most students plan early and have one or two scores ready by the end of junior year. Students who have waited until 12th Grade to take any test should not delay. In many cases, the September ACT and October SAT are the last test dates that offer reliable delivery of scores before the earliest of early deadlines. The July ACT (not available in NY) and August SAT have also become popular dates for tying up testing.

It’s always a good idea to check with the admission office of the college of your choice for specific policies. Some admission offices will let you submit test scores after the deadline, so long as the office receives them before your application is reviewed. One college told us that if you call and say your scores are on their way, they’ll put your application at the bottom of the pile. Of course, it’s probably best not to depend on an exception like this, and who wants to be on the bottom of the pile? If you get your testing finished early, you’ll be well positioned for early applications.


Please note that this list is not meant to be exhaustive and schools reserve the right to change these deadlines at any time; please check the individual websites for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Adelphi UniversityDecember 1
Agnes Scott CollegeNovember 15January 15November 1
Albion CollegeDecember 1
Allegheny CollegeDecember 1November 15February 1
American UniversityNovember 15January 15
Amherst CollegeNovember 1
Appalachian State UniversityNovember 1
Arizona State University—Tempe†November 1
Auburn University†December 1
Augustana CollegeNovember 1November 1
Austin CollegeDecember 1February 1November 1
Babson CollegeNovember 1November 1January 3
Bard CollegeNovember 1November 1
Barnard CollegeNovember 1
Bates CollegeNovember 15January 1
Baylor UniversityNovember 1November 1February 1
Beloit CollegeNovember 1December 1November 1
Bennington CollegeDecember 1November 15January 15
Bentley UniversityNovember 15
Berea College†October 31
Berry CollegeNovember 1November 1
Binghamton University, SUNYNovember 1
Biola UniversityNovember 15January 15
Birmingham-Southern CollegeNovember 16November 2
Boston CollegeNovember 1January 1
Boston UniversityNovember 1January 4
Bowdoin CollegeNovember 15January 5
Bradley UniversityNovember 1
Brandeis UniversityNovember 1January 1
Brigham Young University—Provo†November 2
Brown UniversityNovember 1
Bryn Mawr CollegeNovember 15January 1
Bucknell UniversityNovember 15January 15
Butler UniversityNovember 1
California Institute of Technology^November 1
California Lutheran UniversityNovember 1
Carleton CollegeNovember 15
Carnegie Mellon UniversityNovember 1
Carroll CollegeNovember 1
Case Western Reserve UniversityNovember 1November 1January 15
Centre CollegeDecember 1November 15
Chapman UniversityNovember 1November 1
Christopher Newport UniversityDecember 1November 15
Claremont McKenna CollegeNovember 1January 11
Clark UniversityNovember 15November 15January 15
Clarkson UniversityDecember 1
Coe CollegeDecember 10November 15
Colby CollegeNovember 15January 1
Colgate UniversityNovember 15January 15
College of CharlestonDecember 1October 15
College of New JerseyNovember 1January 1
College of St. Benedict†November 15December 15
College of the Holy CrossNovember 15January 15
College of William & MaryNovember 1January 1
College of WoosterNovember 25November 1January 15
Colorado CollegeNovember 1November 1January 15
Colorado State UniversityDecember 1
Columbia UniversityNovember 1
Connecticut CollegeNovember 15January 15
Cornell UniversityNovember 16
Creighton UniversityNovember 6
Dartmouth CollegeNovember 1
Davidson CollegeNovember 15January 4
Denison UniversityNovember 15January 15
DePaul UniversityNovember 15
DePauw UniversityDecember 1November 15January 15
Dickinson CollegeNovember 15January 15
Drew UniversityDecember 1November 1January 15
Drexel UniversityNovember 1November 1
Duke UniversityNovember 1
Earlham CollegeDecember 1
Elmhurst CollegeNovember 1
Elon UniversityNovember 1November 1
Emerson CollegeNovember 1November 1December 1
Emory UniversityNovember 1January 1
Fairfield UniversityNovember 1November 15January 15
Fordham UniversityNovember 1November 1
Franklin and Marshall CollegeNovember 15January 15
Furman UniversityDecember 1November 15January 15
George Mason UniversityNovember 1
George Washington UniversityNovember 1January 5
Georgetown UniversityNovember 1
Georgia Institute of TechnologyOctober 18November 1
Gettysburg CollegeNovember 15January 15
Goucher CollegeDecember 1November 15
Grinnell CollegeNovember 15January 1
Gustavus Adolphus CollegeNovember 1
Hamilton CollegeNovember 15January 5
Hampden-Sydney CollegeOctober 15December 1November 1
Hampton UniversityNovember 1
Hanover CollegeNovember 1December 1November 1
Harvard University^November 1
Harvey Mudd CollegeNovember 15January 5
Haverford CollegeNovember 15January 5
Hendrix CollegeNovember 15February 1
High Point UniversityNovember 15November 1February 1
Hillsdale CollegeNovember 1
Hobart and William Smith CollegesNovember 15January 15
Hofstra UniversityNovember 15December 15
Hollins UniversityNovember 15November 1
Hope CollegeNovember 1
Illinois Wesleyan UniversityNovember 15
Indiana University—BloomingtonNovember 1
Ithaca CollegeDecember 1November 1
James Madison UniversityNovember 1
Johns Hopkins UniversityNovember 1January 3
Kalamazoo CollegeNovember 1November 1February 1
Kenyon CollegeNovember 15January 15
Knox CollegeNovember 1December 1November 1
Lafayette CollegeNovember 15January 15
Lake Forest CollegeNovember 1January 15November 1January 15
Lawrence UniversityNovember 1December 1November 1
Lehigh UniversityNovember 1January 1
Lewis & Clark CollegeNovember 1November 1
Louisiana State Univ—Baton Rouge†December 15
Loyola Marymount UniversityNovember 1November 1January 15
Loyola University MarylandNovember 15
Loyola University New Orleans†November 15February 15
Macalester CollegeNovember 1November 1January 1
Marist CollegeDecember 1December 1February 1
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyNovember 1
Mercer UniversityNovember 15
Miami University—Oxford†November 1December 1November 1
Michigan State UniversityNovember 1
Middlebury CollegeNovember 15January 4
Millsaps CollegeNovember 15
Morehouse CollegeNovember 1
Mount Holyoke CollegeNovember 15January 5
Muhlenberg CollegeNovember 15February 1
New College of Florida†February 28
New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNovember 15December 15
New SchoolNovember 1‚ for participating schools
New York UniversityNovember 1January 1
North Carolina State Univ—RaleighNovember 1
Northeastern UniversityNovember 1November 1January 1
Northwestern UniversityNovember 1
Oberlin CollegeNovember 15January 2
Occidental CollegeNovember 15February 1
Ohio State University—ColumbusNovember 1
Ohio UniversityNovember 15
Ohio Wesleyan University†December 1November 15
Oregon State UniversityNovember 2
Penn State—University ParkNovember 1
Pepperdine UniversityNovember 1
Pitzer CollegeNovember 15January 1
Point Loma Nazarene UniversityNovember 15
Pomona CollegeNovember 15January 8
Pratt InstituteNovember 1
Presbyterian College (SC)December 1
Princeton University^November 1
Providence CollegeNovember 15November 15January 15
Purdue University—West LafayetteNovember 1
Queens University of CharlotteDecember 1February 1November 1
Quinnipiac UniversityNovember 15January 1November 1
Randolph-Macon CollegeNovember 15
Reed CollegeNovember 15November 15December 20
Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteDecember 1November 1December 15
Rhode Island School of DesignNovember 1
Rhodes CollegeNovember 15November 1January 15
Rice UniversityNovember 1
Rochester Institute of TechnologyNovember 1January 1
Rollins CollegeNovember 15January 5
Rutgers University—New BrunswickNovember 1
Rutgers University—NewarkNovember 1
Santa Clara UniversityNovember 1November 1January 7
Sarah Lawrence CollegeNovember 1November 1January 15
Scripps CollegeNovember 15January 5
Seattle UniversityNovember 15
Seton Hall UniversityNovember 15December 15
Sewanee: The University of the SouthDecember 1November 15January 15
Siena CollegeFebruary 15December 1
Simmons CollegeNovember 1December 1
Skidmore CollegeNovember 15January 15
Smith CollegeNovember 15January 1
Soka University of AmericaNovember 1
Southern Methodist UniversityNovember 1November 1January 15
Southwestern UniversityDecember 1November 1
Spelman CollegeNovember 15November 1
St. John Fisher CollegeDecember 1
St. John's College AnnapolisNovember 15November 1
St. John's University (NY)December 1November 15
St. Lawrence UniversityNovember 1February 1
St. Mary's College (IN)November 15
St. Mary's College of CaliforniaNovember 15
St. Mary's College of MarylandNovember 1November 1
St. Michael's CollegeNovember 1December 15
St. Olaf CollegeNovember 1November 1January 15
Stanford University^November 1
Stetson UniversityNovember 1January 15
Stevens Institute of TechnologyNovember 15January 15
Stonehill CollegeNovember 15January 15December 1February 1
SUNY—ESFDecember 15
SUNY—GeneseoNovember 1December 1
Susquehanna UniversityNovember 1December 1November 15
Swarthmore CollegeNovember 15January 3
Syracuse UniversityNovember 15January 1
Temple UniversityNovember 1
Texas A&M Univ—College StationOctober 15‚ for Engineering only
Texas Christian UniversityNovember 1November 1
Texas Lutheran UniversityNovember 15
The Catholic University of AmericaNovember 1November 1January 15
The Cooper UnionDepends on the school
Transylvania UniversityOctober 31December 1
Trinity College (Hartford)November 15January 15
Trinity UniversityNovember 1November 1January 15
Tufts UniversityNovember 1January 4
Tulane UniversityNovember 15November 1January 8
Union College (NY)November 15January 15
United States Coast Guard AcademyOctober 15
University at Albany—SUNYNovember 15
University at Buffalo—SUNYNovember 15
University of ChicagoNovember 1November 1January 4
University of CincinnatiDecember 1
University of Colorado—BoulderNovember 15
University of DallasNovember 1December 1
University of DaytonNovember 1
University of DelawareNovember 1
University of DenverNovember 1November 1January 15
University of GeorgiaOctober 15
University of Hawaii at Manoa †January 5
University of Illinois—ChicagoNovember 2
University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign†November 1
University of KentuckyDecember 1
University of Mary WashingtonNovember 15November 1
University of Maryland—College Park †November 1
University of Massachusetts—AmherstNovember 5
University of MiamiNovember 1November 1January 1
University of Michigan—Ann ArborNovember 1
University of Minnesota—Twin CitiesNovember 1December 1
University of N Carolina—Chapel HillOctober 15
University of N Carolina—WilmingtonNovember 1
University of New HampshireNovember 15
University of Notre Dame^November 1
The University of OklahomaNovember 1
University of OregonNovember 1
University of PennsylvaniaNovember 1
University of Puget SoundNovember 1November 1
University of RedlandsNovember 15November 15
University of RichmondNovember 1November 1January 1
University of RochesterNovember 1January 5
University of San FranciscoNovember 1November 1
University of South CarolinaOctober 15
University of St. Thomas (MN)November 1
University of Texas—Austin †November 1
University of Texas—Dallas †December 1
University of the PacificNovember 15
University of TulsaNovember 1
University of VermontNovember 1
University of VirginiaNovember 1November 1
University of Wisconsin—MadisonNovember 1
Ursinus CollegeNovember 8December 1February 15
Vanderbilt UniversityNovember 1January 1
Vassar CollegeNovember 15January 4
Villanova UniversityNovember 1November 1January 15
Virginia Military InstituteNovember 15
Virginia TechDecember 1November 1
Wabash CollegeDecember 1November 15
Wake Forest UniversityNovember 15January 1
Washington and Jefferson CollegeJanuary 15December 15
Washington and Lee UniversityNovember 1January 1
Washington CollegeDecember 1November 15
Washington University in St. LouisNovember 1January 2
Wellesley CollegeNovember 1January 1
Wesleyan UniversityNovember 15January 1
Westmont CollegeOctober 15November 1
Wheaton College (IL)October 15November 15
Whitman CollegeNovember 15January 10
Whittier CollegeNovember 15
Willamette UniversityNovember 15December 15
Williams CollegeNovember 16
Wofford CollegeNovember 15November 1
Worcester Polytechnic InstituteNovember 1January 1November 1January 1
Yale University^November 10
Yeshiva UniversityNovember 1

^ = Schools with Restrictive or Single Choice Early Action
† = Schools with a “Priority Deadline”

Ash Kramer

With a career in test prep and higher education that began in the late 90s, Ash has held a variety of educational roles from tutor and writing instructor to administrator. She serves as the Chief Product Officer at Compass, where she is lucky to lead a brilliant team creating the very best digital learning materials.

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