Early Action and Early Decision Deadlines

By August 27, 2019 July 13th, 2020 ACT, Admissions, For Students, SAT

A note for the Class of 2021:

This list has not been updated to reflect the changes many colleges have made in response to COVID-19. Several of the schools on this list have extended or removed their EA/ED deadlines. Please check with the schools you are interested in for their updated policies.

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 College*November 15January 15November 1
Albion CollegeDecember 1
Allegheny College*December 1November 15February 1
American University*November 15January 15
Amherst CollegeNovember 1
Appalachian State UniversityNovember 1
Arizona State University, ​Tempe †November 1
Auburn University †November 1
Augustana College*November 1November 1
Austin College*December 1February 1November 1
Babson CollegeNovember 1November 1January 2
Bard College*November 1November 1
Barnard CollegeNovember 1
Bates College*November 15January 1
Baylor UniversityNovember 1November 1
Beloit College*November 1December 1November 1
Bennington College*December 1November 15January 15
Bentley UniversityNovember 15
Berea College †October 31
Berry CollegeNovember 1November 1
Binghamton University, SUNYNovember 1
Biola UniversityNovember 15January 15
Birmingham-​Southern College*November 15November 1
Boston CollegeNovember 1January 1
Boston UniversityNovember 1January 6
Bowdoin College*November 15January 1
Bradley UniversityNovember 1
Brandeis University*November 1January 1
Brigham Young University, ​Provo †November 1
Brown UniversityNovember 1
Bryn Mawr College*November 15January 1
Bucknell University*November 15January 1
Butler UniversityNovember 1
California Institute of TechnologyNovember 1
California Lutheran UniversityNovember 1
Carleton CollegeNovember 15
Carnegie Mellon UniversityNovember 15
Carroll College*November 1
Case Western Reserve UniversityNovember 1November 1January 15
Centre CollegeDecember 1November 15
Chapman UniversityNovember 1November 1
Christopher Newport University*December 1November 15
Claremont McKenna CollegeNovember 1January 5
Clark University*November 1November 1January 15
Clarkson UniversityDecember 1
Coe CollegeDecember 10November 15
Colby College*November 15January 1
Colgate UniversityNovember 15January 15
College of CharlestonDecember 1November 1
College of New JerseyNovember 1January 1
College of St. BenedictNovember 15December 15
College of the Holy Cross*December 15
College of William & MaryNovember 1January 1
College of WoosterNovember 15November 1January 15
Colorado College*November 10November 10January 15
Colorado State UniversityDecember 1
Columbia UniversityNovember 1
Connecticut College*November 15January 1
Cornell College*November 1
Cornell UniversityNovember 1
Creighton UniversityNovember 1
Dartmouth CollegeNovember 1
Davidson CollegeNovember 15December 15
Denison University*November 15January 15
DePaul University*November 15
DePauw UniversityDecember 1November 15January 15
Dickinson College*December 1November 15December 15
Drew University*December 15November 15January 15
Drexel University**November 1November 1
Duke UniversityNovember 1
Earlham College*December 1November 1
Elmhurst CollegeNovember 1
Elon UniversityNovember 1November 1
Emerson College*November 1
Emory UniversityNovember 1November 15
Fairfield University*November 1November 15January 15
Fordham UniversityNovember 1November 1
Franklin and Marshall College*November 15January 15
Furman University*November 1November 1
George Mason University*November 1
George Washington University*November 1January 5
Georgetown UniversityNovember 1
Georgia Institute of TechnologyOctober 15
Gettysburg College*November 15January 15
Goucher College*December 1November 15
Grinnell CollegeNovember 15December 1
Gustavus Adolphus College*November 1
Hamilton College**November 15January 1
Hampden-Sydney CollegeDecember 15January 15November 15
Hampton University*October 15
Hanover College*November 1December 1
Harvard University^November 1
Harvey Mudd CollegeNovember 15January 5
Haverford CollegeNovember 15January 1
Hendrix CollegeNovember 15February 1
High Point University*November 15November 1February 1
Hillsdale CollegeJanuary 1
Hobart and William Smith Colleges*November 15January 15
Hofstra University*November 15December 15
Hollins UniversityNovember 15November 1
Hope CollegeNovember 1
Howard UniversityNovember 1November 1
Illinois Wesleyan UniversityNovember 15
Indiana University, ​BloomingtonNovember 1
Ithaca College*December 1November 1
James Madison University*November 1
Johns Hopkins UniversityNovember 1
Kalamazoo College*November 1November 1February 1
Kenyon CollegeNovember 15January 15
Knox College*November 1December 1November 1
Lafayette CollegeNovember 15January 15
Lake Forest College*November 1January 15November 1January 15
Lawrence University*November 1December 1October 31
Lehigh UniversityNovember 1January 1
Lewis & Clark CollegeNovember 1November 1
Louisiana State Univ, ​Baton Rouge †December 15
Loyola Marymount UniversityNovember 1November 1
Loyola University Maryland*November 15
Loyola University New OrleansNovember 15February 15
Macalester CollegeNovember 15January 1
Marist College*November 15November 15February 1
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyNovember 1
Mercer UniversityOctober 15
Miami University, ​OxfordNovember 1December 1November 1
Michigan State UniversityNovember 1
Middlebury College**November 1January 1
Mills CollegeNovember 15
Millsaps CollegeNovember 15
Morehouse CollegeNovember 1
Mount Holyoke College*November 15January 1
Muhlenberg College*November 15February 1
New College of FloridaNovember 1
New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNovember 15December 15
New School*November 1—for participating schools
New York University**November 1January 1
North Carolina State Univ, ​RaleighNovember 1
Northeastern UniversityNovember 1November 1
Northwestern UniversityNovember 1
Oberlin CollegeNovember 15January 2
Occidental CollegeNovember 15January 1
Ohio State University, ​ColumbusNovember 1
Ohio UniversityNovember 15
Ohio Wesleyan University*December 1November 15January 15
Oregon State UniversityNovember 1
Penn State, ​University ParkNovember 1
Pepperdine UniversityNovember 1
Pitzer College*November 15January 1
Point Loma Nazarene UniversityNovember 15
Pomona CollegeNovember 1January 1
Pratt InstituteNovember 1
Presbyterian College (SC)*December 1
Princeton University^November 1
Providence College*November 1November 15January 15
Purdue University, ​West LafayetteNovember 1
Queens University of CharlotteDecember 1February 1November 1
Quinnipiac University*November 1
Randolph-Macon CollegeNovember 15
Reed CollegeNovember 15November 15December 20
Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteNovember 1December 15
Rhode Island School of DesignNovember 1
Rhodes CollegeNovember 15November 1January 1
Rice UniversityNovember 1
Rochester Institute of TechnologyNovember 1January 1
Rollins College*November 1January 5
Rutgers University, ​New BrunswickNovember 1
Rutgers University, ​NewarkNovember 1
Santa Clara UniversityNovember 1November 1January 7
Sarah Lawrence College*November 1November 1January 2
Scripps CollegeNovember 15January 3
Seattle UniversityNovember 15
Seton Hall UniversityNovember 15December 15
Sewanee—​University of the South*December 1November 15January 15
Siena College*February 15December 1
Simmons CollegeNovember 1December 1
Skidmore College*November 15January 15
Smith College*November 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 Annapolis*November 15
St. John’s University (NY)December 1November 15
St. Lawrence University*November 1February 1
St. Mary’s College (IN)*November 15
St. Mary’s College of CaliforniaDecember 15
St. Mary’s College of MarylandNovember 1November 1
St. Michael’s College*November 1December 1
St. Olaf CollegeNovember 15January 8
Stanford University^November 1
Stetson University*November 1January 15
Stevens Institute of TechnologyNovember 15January 15
Stonehill College*November 1December 1February 1
SUNY, ESFDecember 1
SUNY, ​GeneseoNovember 15
Susquehanna University*November 1December 1November 15
Swarthmore CollegeNovember 15January 1
Syracuse UniversityNovember 15January 1
Temple University*November 1
Texas A&M Univ, ​College StationOctober 15—for Engineering only
Texas Christian UniversityNovember 1November 1
Texas Lutheran UniversityNovember 15
The Catholic University of America*November 1November 15January 15
The Cooper UnionDepends on the school
Transylvania University*October 31December 1
Trinity College (Hartford)*November 15January 1
Trinity UniversityNovember 1November 1January 15
Tufts UniversityNovember 1January 1
Tulane UniversityNovember 15November 1November 20
Union College (NY)November 15January 15
United States Coast Guard AcademyOctober 15
University at Albany, ​SUNYNovember 1
University at Buffalo, ​SUNYNovember 15
University of Chicago*November 1November 1January 2
University of CincinnatiDecember 1
University of Colorado, ​BoulderNovember 15
University of DallasNovember 1December 1
University of DaytonNovember 1
University of DelawareNovember 1—test optional for DE residents
University of DenverNovember 1November 1January 15
University of GeorgiaOctober 15
University of Hawaii at Manoa †January 5
University of Illinois, ​ChicagoNovember 1
University of Illinois, ​Urbana–ChampaignNovember 1
University of KentuckyDecember 1
University of Mary Washington*November 15November 1
University of Maryland, ​College Park †November 1
University of Massachusetts, ​AmherstNovember 5
University of MiamiNovember 1December 1January 1
University of Michigan, ​Ann ArborNovember 1
University of Minnesota, ​Twin CitiesNovember 1
University of N Carolina, ​Chapel HillOctober 15
University of N Carolina, ​WilmingtonNovember 15
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 Sound*November 15November 15
University of RedlandsNovember 15November 15
University of RichmondNovember 1November 1January 1
University of Rochester*November 1
University of San Francisco*November 1November 1
University of South CarolinaOctober 15
University of St. Thomas (MN)November 1
University of Texas, ​Austin †November 1
University of Texas, ​Dallas †January 15
University of the PacificNovember 19
University of TulsaNovember 1
University of VermontNovember 1
University of VirginiaNovember 1October 15
University of Wisconsin, ​MadisonNovember 1
Ursinus College*November 1December 1February 1
Vanderbilt UniversityNovember 1January 1
Vassar CollegeNovember 15January 1
Villanova UniversityNovember 1November 1
Virginia Military InstituteNovember 15
Virginia TechDecember 1November 1
Wabash CollegeDecember 1November 1
Wake Forest University*November 15January 1
Washington and Jefferson College*January 15January 4
Washington and Lee UniversityNovember 1January 1
Washington College*December 1November 15
Washington University in St. LouisNovember 1January 2
Wellesley CollegeNovember 1January 1
Wesleyan University*November 15January 1
Westmont CollegeOctober 15November 1
Wheaton College (IL)November 1
Whitman College*November 15January 1
Whittier College*November 15
Willamette University*November 15November 15
Williams CollegeNovember 15
Wofford College*November 15November 1
Worcester Polytechnic Institute*November 1January 1
Yale University^November 1
Yeshiva University*November 1

* = Schools that are test optional
** = Schools that are test flexible
^ = Schools with Restrictive or Single Choice Early Action
† = Schools with a “Priority Deadline”

Ash Kramer

About 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 to administrator. She is currently a PhD candidate at USC and the Director of Curriculum at Compass, where she is lucky to lead a brilliant team creating the very best learning materials for students and their tutors.

Leave a Reply