All Harvard Admission Deadlines for 2024-25 Academic Year

From Harvard Business School to Havard College, here’s your one-stop shop for all Harvard admission deadlines and decision dates for academic year 2024-25 .  Plus all application links!

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Harvard Business School: HBS MBA

Submit your online application by 12 noon boston time:.

  • Round 1 : Sep 6, 2023
  • Round 2: Jan 3, 2024

The MBA Admissions Board Will Notify You About Its Decision by:

  • Round 1 : Dec 6, 2023
  • Round 2: Mar 27, 2024

Source for Harvard admission deadlines: HBS application page

Harvard Kennedy School: HKS Master’s Program

Application deadline: December 1, 2023 at 12 p.m. ET

Financial Aid deadline: Early January 2024 Decision letters are typically mailed by March, 2024

HKS application page

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences: SEAS

Please find the Harvard admission deadlines for SEAS below:

SEAS Undergraduate Program

  • Early Action Application Deadline: November 1, 2023
  • Regular Action Application Deadline: January 1, 2024
  • Decision letters mailed by: Late March, 2024

SEAS under-graduate admission page

SEAS Graduate Program

  • Application deadline for Ph.D Programs : December 15, 2023 by 5 pm ET
  • Application deadline for Masters Programs for S.M., M.E., and AB-SM : December 1, 2023 by 5 pm ET
  • Decision notifications are made by GSAS and SEAS: Mid February, 2024

SEAS graduate admission page

Harvard College

  • Early Action applicants application deadline: November 1, 2023
  • Regular Action application deadline: January 1, 2024
  • Regular Decision financial aid application deadline: February 1, 2024

Harvard College admission page

Notifications for admission decisions are sent by

  • Regular action applicants: mid-December, 2024
  • Regular action applicants: late March, 2024

Harvard Divinity School

  • Application Deadline for Master of Divinity, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Theology, and Special Student programs: January 4, 2024 by 11:59 pm ET

All applicants: Mid-March, 2024

HDS application page

Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences: GSAS

Gsas harvard admission deadlines for different subject areas (tbd).

Applications are due on: December 1, December 15, or January 2 by 5 pm, depending on your program of study, as follows:

  • African and African American Studies (PhD):  Dec 15, 2023
  • American Studies (PhD): Jan 5, 2024
  • Anthropology Master of Arts (AM), (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Applied Mathematics SEAS (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • Applied Physics SEAS (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning (PhD): Jan 5, 2024
  • Astronomy (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • Bioengineering SEAS (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences DMS HILS (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Biomedical Informatics HILS (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Biological Sciences in Public Health HILS (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Biophysics HILS (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Biostatistics (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Business Administration (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Business Economics (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Celtic Languages and Literatures (AM), (PhD): Jan 5, 2024
  • Chemical Biology HILS (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Chemical Physics (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology HILS (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • The Classics (PhD): Dec 15, 2024
  • Comparative Literature (PhD): Jan 5, 2024
  • Computational Science and Engineering SEAS Master of Science (SM), Master of Engineering (ME): Dec 1, 2023
  • Computer Science SEAS (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • Data Science SEAS Master of Science (SM): Dec 1, 2023
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (PhD): Dec 15, 2024
  • East Asian Languages and Civilizations (PhD): Dec 15, 2024
  • Economics (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Education (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Electrical Engineering (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • Engineering and Applied Sciences Master of Science (SM), Master of Engineering (ME): Dec 1, 2023
  • Engineering and Applied Sciences (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • English (PhD): Jan 5, 2024
  • Environmental Science and Engineering SEAS (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • Film and Visual Studies (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • Germanic Languages and Literatures (PhD): Jan 5, 2024
  • Government (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Health Policy (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • History (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • History of Art and Architecture (PhD): Jan 5, 2024
  • History of Science (AM), (PhD): Dec 1, 2024
  • Human Evolutionary Biology (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • Immunology DMS HILS (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Inner Asian and Altaic Studies (PhD): Jan 5, 2024
  • Linguistics (PhD): Jan 5, 2024
  • Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering SEAS (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • Mathematics (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • Medical Sciences (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Middle Eastern Studies (AM), (PhD): Jan 5, 2024
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology HILS (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Music (AM), (PhD): Jan 5, 2024
  • Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (AM), (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • Neuroscience DMS HILS (PhD): Dec 1, 2024
  • Organismic and Evolutionary Biology HILS (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Organizational Behavior (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Philosophy (PhD): Jan 5, 2023
  • Physics (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • Population Health Sciences (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Psychology (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • Public Policy (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Quantum Science and Engineering: Dec 15, 2023
  • Regional Studies–East Asia Master of Arts (AM): Dec 1, 2023
  • Regional Studies–Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia  Master of Arts (AM): Jan 5, 2023
  • Religion (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Romance Languages and Literatures (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • Slavic Languages and Literatures (PhD): Jan 5, 2024
  • Social Policy (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Sociology (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • South Asian Studies Master of Arts (AM), (PhD): Dec 15, 2023
  • Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology DMS HILS (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Statistics (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Systems, Synthetic and Quantitative Biology HILS (PhD): Dec 1, 2023
  • Virology DMS HILS (PhD): Dec 1, 2023

GSAS degree programs deadlines

Helpful Articles:

How to Write a Grad School Personal Statement or Essay

Harvard Graduate School of Design: GSD

Please find the Harvard admission deadlines for GSD below (by 11:59 pm ET):

  • Application Deadline for Master of Architecture, Master of Urban Planning, Master of Landscape Architecture, Master of Architecture in Urban Design, Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design, and Doctor of Design (MArch, MLA, MUP, MAUD, MLAUD, MRE, DDes): January 3, 2024
  • Application Deadline for Master in Design Studies (MDesS):  January 8, 2024
  • Application Deadline for Master in Design Engineering (MDE):  January 11, 2024
  • GSD Financial Aid deadline: Early February, 2024 (TBD)

GSD admission page

Admission decisions are sent by

All applicants: early March, 2024

Also read:  How to Pay for Harvard as an International Student

Harvard Graduate School of Education: GSE

Application deadlines.

  • Ed.L.D.: December 15, 2023
  • Ph.D.: December 1, 2023
  • Ed.M.: January 5, 2024

GSE admissions page

Harvard Law School: HLS

Application deadline for hls graduate programs.

  • LL.M. Program Deadline: December 1, 2023
  • Visiting Scholar/Visiting Researcher Program Spring Deadline: September 15, 2023
  • Visiting Scholar/Visiting Researcher Program Fall Deadline: April 15, 2024
  • S.J.D. Program Deadline: April 1, 2024

HLS graduate program admission deadlines

J.D. Application Deadline

Submission deadline: February 15, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Decisions will begin releasing by: January, 2024 All applicants notified by: Early April, 2024

HLS J.D. application page

Harvard Medical School: HMS

Hms application deadlines.

  • Deadline to submit the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application:  October 15, 2023
  • Deadline to submit HMS Supplemental Application: October 22, 2023
  • Deadline to submit transcripts to AMCAS: October 30, 2023

Notification of Decisions

Applicants selected for interview will be notified by mid January, 2024 All admissions decisions are sent out via email by third week of March, 2024

Deadline for submission of all financial aid application: March, 2024

HMS application deadline page

Harvard School of Dental Medicine: HSDM

  • Online application deadline: December 15, 2023 ; Apply through the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) AADSAS application service
  • Complete application deadline: January 1, 2024

HSDM application page

Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH)

Phd program in biological sciences in public health.

Application deadline including all materials: December 1, 2023 For those invited, in-person interviews will take place from February 8th – February 9th, 2024 .

PhD BPH application page

Master in Health Care Management Program (MHCM)

Priority application deadline: December 1, 2023

Prospective students may apply after the priority deadline on a space available basis with prior permission from the program. The final, space available application deadline is February 15, 2024 .

MHCM application page

You can find the Harvard admission deadlines for other different HSPH programs below:

  • Occupational and Environmental Residency Program (OEMR): October 15, 2023
  • MHCM priority deadline, MPH, MPH-Epidemiology (online/on-campus), SM, DrPH, PhD in Biological Sciences, PhD in Biostatistics, PhD in Population Health Sciences: December 01, 2023
  • Biological Sciences in Public Health (BPH): December 1, 2023
  • PhD in Health Policy: December 1, 2023
  • Joint JD/MPH Program with Harvard Law School: January 15, 2024
  • Global Health Delivery Intensive, Program in Clinical Effectiveness non-degree deadline: February 1, 2024
  • MHCM final deadline: February 15, 2024  (Priority application deadline : December 1, 2023)
  • Global Infectious Diseases Summer Program and Summer Session for Public Health Studies non-degree deadline: March 1, 2024

Tip from HSPH admissions office: Try to submit application for admission and all supporting documents by mid-November for your application to be processed by SOPHAS in time to meet the Dec 1 deadline.

Financial Aid & Notification of Decisions

All admissions decisions are sent out via email in February and March, 2024

Deadline for submission of all financial aid application: January, 2024

HSPH admission deadlines page

Global Health Delivery Project

Application deadline: February 2024

Acceptance letters are sent by late March 2024

GHDI admission deadlines page

For any other programs, please find updated requirements & Harvard admission deadlines here on the Harvard official pages.

How Long Do College/ Masters Applications Take?

Also check out:

Harvard Application Process: Easy Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

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Harvard University Admissions

Harvard University has an acceptance rate of 3%. Half the applicants admitted to Harvard University who submitted test scores have an SAT score between 1490 and 1580 or an ACT score of 34 and 36. However, one quarter of admitted applicants achieved scores above these ranges and one quarter scored below these ranges. The application deadline at Harvard University is Jan. 1.

Admissions officials at Harvard University consider a student's GPA an academic factor. An applicant's high school class rank is not considered but letters of recommendation are considered by admissions officials at Harvard University. To see additional academic factors along with other school data, learn more about College Compass .

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Prospective Undergraduate Students

All prospective undergraduate students, including those intending to study engineering and applied sciences, must apply directly to harvard college . students do not need to declare their intended concentration until their sophomore year. , undergraduate application process dates: .

  • November 1  - Early Action  Deadline
  • January 1 - Regular Decision Deadline
  • Late March - Decision letters mailed
  • May 1 - Reply date for admitted students

Harvard College Application Requirements

For more information about financial aid, campus visits, and to apply:

Harvard College Admissions Office and Griffin Financial Aid Office 

86 Brattle Street Cambridge, MA 02138  

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The Ultimate Guide to Applying to Harvard

What’s covered:, average stats of accepted harvard university students, harvard university application process, harvard university financial aid, what are your chances of acceptance.

Harvard is a member of the Ivy League—a collection of eight private colleges in the Northeast known for their rich histories, selective admissions, and impressive student outcomes—and the oldest college in the U.S. However, in many ways, Harvard is in a league of its own, thanks to its superb academics, renowned professors, fantastic location, unrivaled resources, and exceptional students. Consequently, Harvard is one of the most prestigious colleges in the world and attracts top applicants from across the globe. 

As you’d expect, a glimpse at the academic performance of students accepted to Harvard shows that they performed extraordinarily well in the classroom and on standardized tests. 

  • Average GPA and rank: 4.2 and 93.1% graduated in the top 10% of their high school class 
  • Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1480-1580/33-36

Note: Great grades and attention-grabbing test scores alone won’t assure you a spot at Harvard, but they will get your foot in the door and application read. Harvard practices test-optional admissions—that is, you can choose whether or not to submit your test scores. If you’ve scored within the middle 50%, submitting your scores is generally considered a smart strategy, especially if you’re on the high end of the range.  

Selective schools like Harvard use a tool known as the Academic Index to screen applicants–a calculation of an applicant’s academic performance into a single numerical score. Failure to meet a school’s academic benchmarks may automatically disqualify an applicant unless they’re an under-represented minority, legacy, or recruited athlete.

Planning on applying to Harvard University? Here’s what to expect. 

Application Overview

Harvard accepts both the Common Application and the Coalition Application—the university has no preference as to which of the two applications are used. There is an $85 application fee and fee waivers are available for qualifying students.

Harvard has two paths to admission: restrictive early action (REA) and regular decision (RD). The REA deadline is November 1 and the deadline for RD is January 1. REA is a non-binding early admission program that limits an applicant’s other early action and early decision options. Harvard claims that REA does not offer an advantage, although those applying for REA have historically been accepted at a higher rate than those who apply for RD. 

  • Restrictive early action acceptance rate: 7.9%
  • Regular decision acceptance rate: 4.01%

Application Components

  • Two teacher evaluations
  • School report which includes a high school transcript and counselor letter
  • Mid-year school report 
  • Final school report (for admitted students only)
  • SAT/ACT (optional)
  • Supplemental essays

Supplemental Essays: Harvard requires applicants to compose two supplemental essays and provides them with the option to respond to a third. Generally, it’s a smart strategy to complete optional essays—it demonstrates your interest in the school and provides an opportunity for the applicant to share more about themselves. 

  • Prompt 1: Your intellectual life may extend beyond the academic requirements of your particular school. Please use the space below to list additional intellectual activities that you have not mentioned or detailed elsewhere in your application. These could include, but are not limited to, supervised or self-directed projects not done as school work, training experiences, online courses not run by your school, or summer academic or research programs not described elsewhere. (150 words)
  • Prompt 2: Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (50-150 words) 
  • Prompt 3 (optional): You may wish to include an additional essay if you feel that the college application forms do not provide sufficient opportunity to convey important information about yourself or your accomplishments. You may write on a topic of your choice, or you may choose from one of the following topics: (ideally about 500 words)
  • Unusual circumstances in your life.
  • Travel, living, or working experiences in your own or other communities.
  • What you would want your future college roommate to know about you.
  • An intellectual experience (course, project, book, discussion, paper, poetry, or research topic in engineering, mathematics, science or other modes of inquiry) that has meant the most to you.
  • How you hope to use your college education.
  • A list of books you have read during the past twelve months.
  • The Harvard College Honor code declares that we “hold honesty as the foundation of our community.” As you consider entering this community that is committed to honesty, please reflect on a time when you or someone you observed had to make a choice about whether to act with integrity and honesty.
  • The mission of Harvard College is to educate our students to be citizens and citizen-leaders for society. What would you do to contribute to the lives of your classmates in advancing this mission?
  • Each year a substantial number of students admitted to Harvard defer their admission for one year or take time off during college. If you decided in the future to choose either option, what would you like to do?
  • Harvard has long recognized the importance of student body diversity of all kinds. We welcome you to write about distinctive aspects of your background, personal development or the intellectual interests you might bring to your Harvard classmates.
  • If none of the suggested prompts are appealing, applicants are welcome to write on a topic of their choice. 

CollegeVine can help ease some anxiety over completing Harvard’s supplemental essays. Our article How to Write the Harvard University Supplemental Essays 2022-2023 provides a good guideline for the process and offers advice for creating attention-grabbing essays. Do you already have drafts of your essays? CollegeVine Essay Review provides free essay feedback from other students and paid expert essay evaluation. 

Supplemental Materials: Typically, the standard application provides Harvard with enough information to make admissions decisions. However, some students will want to share more about themselves, especially those with unique talents or accomplishments, such as musicians and artists. 

Interviews: Applicants are assigned an interview at the discretion of the Admissions Committee and, in part, based on the availability of alumni in the area. Applications are considered complete without an interview—a student’s application contains enough information to make admissions decisions.

When Will You Hear Back?

Students who applied for restrictive early action can expect to receive notification by mid-December. Those admitted through REA are not required to accept an offer of admission until May 1. Students who applied for regular decision receive notification by the end of March.

Financial Aid Generosity

The price of tuition, fees, room, and board at Harvard for the 2022-23 academic year is $76,763. Despite Harvard’s high sticker price, for 90% of Americans, it’s more affordable than public universities and international students receive the exact same financial aid as American students.

The average parent contribution at Harvard is $12,000 and 20% of Harvard families pay nothing. In the 2022-23 academic year, students from families with annual incomes of up to $75,000 aren’t expected to contribute to the cost of their child’s education. Families with annual incomes between $75,000 and $150,000 will contribute between 0 and 10% of their income. 

Harvard practices need-blind admissions , meaning it doesn’t consider the financial situation of applicants when making admissions decisions. Harvard also meets 100% of the demonstrated need of its students. In fact, all of Harvard’s awards are based on need—the university doesn’t offer merit scholarships.

Interested in learning more about the actual cost of attending Harvard University? Check out our article What Does It Really Cost to Attend Harvard? .

How to Apply for Financial Aid

Harvard requires applicants to submit their CSS profile, IDOCV, and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Those applying for restrictive early action must have all three in by November 1, while those applying for regular decision are required to submit all three by February 1.

Harvard University is known for its super-selective admissions, but just how hard is it for you personally to get in? CollegeVine can shed some light on your chances of acceptance at Harvard. Our free Chancing Engine uses factors like academics, extracurriculars, and demographics to estimate your individual odds of admission at Harvard, along with hundreds of other schools across the country. It can also provide valuable insight into how to improve your profile!

Learn more about Harvard , including its diversity, majors offered, and how long your application should take.

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November Degree Candidates

Students who finish degree requirements in the summer or defend dissertations in early September.

Prospective graduates should not participate in Spring registration in November.

November 2023 Graduation Deadlines

Applications open: .

Friday, June 30, 2023

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Students who finish degree requirements in the fall term.

March 2024 Graduation Deadlines

Applications open:.

Monday, October 2, 2023

Applications Due:

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Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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Students who finish degree requirements in the spring term.

Prospective graduates should not participate in Fall registration in April.

May 2024 Graduation Deadlines

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  • We will only contact you if there is a problem with your application. 
  • If you have any questions or concerns about the status of your application, please reach out to your department.

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Welcome! 

Applications to degree programs for the 2024-2025 academic year are now closed. 

Click here to Access the Applicant Portal

We’re delighted that you are interested in pursuing academic studies at the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Harvard Griffin GSAS). Whether you intend to study toward a master’s or PhD degree, join a visiting students program, or participate in one of our outreach programs, we are looking forward to reviewing your application. For information about tuition and fees, see the Cost of Attendance section.

Harvard does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, national origin, political beliefs, veteran status, or disability unrelated to job or course of study requirements, and we actively seek applicants from historically underrepresented communities. We hope you’ll consider applying. 

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Get Started 

Step 1: choose a program. .

You have several options for study at Harvard Griffin GSAS. 

Degree Programs 

The school offers master’s and PhD degrees in programs based in the arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering and applied sciences. Many programs also allow a student to conduct more focused research by choosing an area of study. Review the programs on offer to decide which program best meets your academic goals. 

Are you a Harvard student looking for information on the AB/AM and AB/SM programs? Visit the Harvard AB/AM and AB/SM programs page.

Non-Degree Programs 

The Visiting Students Program offers you the opportunity to take classes and conduct research with faculty. 

Outreach Programs 

If you are looking for a short-term research experience, consider a paid summer internship  organized by Harvard Griffin GSAS, Harvard departments, and Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals. The School also offers the  Research Scholar Initiative , a post-baccalaureate program that enables college graduates to take part in a long-term research experience. 

Step 2: Make a note of the application deadline and review admissions policies.

Application deadlines vary by program and are noted on the relevant program page . You should also review our admissions policies .

Step 3: Determine whether you need to take standardized tests and register early. 

Degree programs may require Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test or subject test scores. Applicants who are non-native English speakers may be required to demonstrate English proficiency by submitting scores from an English Language test (TOEFL or IELTS). Review the admissions policy on English proficiency for more information.  

Step 4: Complete your application by the deadline. 

The degree program application becomes available in September. You should review Completing Your Application before starting your application. All components of the application to a degree program are due by 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on the deadline date.

Applications for the Visiting Students Program are accepted twice a year.

For application information about our Outreach Programs , visit your program page of interest.  

Who should I contact if I have a question about a specific program? 

If you still have questions after carefully reviewing your degree program of interest, reach out to the contact noted on the program’s page. 

Can I enroll in courses instead of applying to a degree program? 

If you are interested in taking courses for academic credit outside of a formal degree program, you may apply for Visiting Student status by the appropriate deadline. Please visit the website or contact [email protected] to learn more. 

Harvard Integrated Life Sciences (HILS) Applicants 

While prospective degree program applicants are encouraged to carefully choose the HILS program that best fits their academic goals, interested applicants may apply to up to three programs and pay only one application fee. If you elect to apply to three programs, only two may be programs in the Department of Medical Sciences (these programs are biomedical informatics, biological and biomedical sciences, immunology, neuroscience, speech and hearing bioscience and technology, and virology). The fee waiver for additional applications is ONLY available for those applying to multiple programs in the HILS federation. For more information, please consult the HILS page . See Completing Your Application for information about fee waivers related to financial hardship. 

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College Application Deadlines

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College Application Deadlines – Introduction

Understanding college application deadlines is a key part of planning for the college admissions process . You may have just started building your college list. Or, maybe you are already looking forward to submitting college applications. Either way, your college application deadlines will have a significant impact on your college application process .

Nowadays, it’s easy to see all your college application deadlines on platforms like the Common Application and Coalition Application. But what does it actually mean to apply early? How are the college application deadlines different? What’s important to consider when choosing a college application deadline?

If you are looking for college application guidance on navigating college application deadlines, you’re in the right place! With terms like Early Decision, Regular Decision, Early Action, rolling admission, and Restrictive Early Action, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are many nuances to understanding college application deadlines, and we’re here to help.

In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about figuring out when your college applications are due .

First, we will answer questions about different college application deadlines you might encounter when submitting college applications.

College Application Deadline Guide covers:

  • What are Regular Decision, Early Decision, and Early Action?
  • What’s the difference between Early Action and Early Decision?
  • What are the pros and cons of Early Action vs Early Decision?
  • What are the differences between Early Action vs Regular Decision and Early Decision vs Regular Decision?
  • Can you apply Early Action to multiple schools?
  • Does Early Decision increase chances of admission, or does Early Action increase chances of admission?
  • Does Early Decision increase chances of admission, and does Early Action increase chances of admission?
  • The 2022 Harvard Early Decision deadline
  • The typical UPenn Early Decision acceptance rate
  • The 2022 Cornell Early Decision deadline
  • The average Duke Early Decision acceptance rate
  • More deadlines for top schools, like the Stanford Early Action and MIT Early Action deadlines
  • Deadlines for UC schools and CSU schools
  • Deadlines for international college applications

We hope that this helps you as you think about submitting college applications and choosing the right college application deadlines for different schools. 

To begin our deep dive into college application deadlines, let’s start by discussing the most common type of college application deadline: Regular Decision.

What are the Regular Decision deadlines?

Regular Decision is the most popular of all the college application types.

At most schools, the deadline for Regular Decision is in early January.

To prepare for these college application deadlines, most students start their applications at the beginning of their senior year. Typically, the Common Application opens on the first of August each year.

The importance of starting early

College Application Deadlines

If you plan to start applications in early fall, it may feel like college application deadlines are ages away. However, senior year is often the busiest time for students. Between classes, extracurriculars, and spending time with friends, college application deadlines can sneak up on you quickly. This is especially true if you are working towards an Early Decision or Early Action deadline. Because of this, many students find themselves working on and submitting college applications over their winter break.

Even if you aren’t planning to apply to Early Action colleges or Early Decision colleges, start early. You’ll ease stress and have the flexibility to work on your applications a little at a time. As you plan your college admissions timeline, you should finish submitting college applications by the end of December. Give yourself a few days to finalize your application materials before submitting college applications to your selected schools.

Now, let’s look at some specific college application deadlines. For most schools, the Regular Decision deadline falls in the first week of January. 

Examples of Regular Decision deadlines

  • Columbia Regular Decision deadline: January 1 st
  • Yale Regular Decision deadline: January 2 nd  
  • Stanford Regular Decision deadline: January 5 th

While January is the norm for many schools, some schools’ Regular Decision deadlines fall well before the end of the year. For example, the UC application deadline falls quite early on November 30 th , closer to many other schools’ Early Decision deadline. This is another reason to plan ahead for college application deadlines.

Researching college application deadlines

As soon as you finalize the schools on your college list, confirm your school’s college application deadlines. A great resource to find your college application deadlines is the Common Application site . If you navigate to the “My Colleges” tab on the Common Application, you’ll find a list of your schools. Then, if you click each school, you’ll find the school’s contact information followed by their college application deadlines.

Depending on accepted college application types, you’ll see an Early Decision deadline, an Early Action deadline, and a Regular Decision deadline. While the Common Application is a trusted resource, we recommend double-checking your college application deadlines with each school’s website. You should also check each school’s Early Action vs Early Decision deadline, as some schools offer both, one, or none.

Don’t miss your Regular Decision deadlines

Remember, if you miss the Regular Decision deadline, you’ve likely also missed the Early Action deadline and Early Decision deadline. In other words, you won’t have another chance to submit your application. Be mindful of submitting college applications by your college application deadlines and confirming your college application deadlines for every school. If you miss the Regular Decision deadline, you have a few options, including taking a gap year . That being said, if you’re planning for college, missing the deadline is a non-starter.

As stated, Regular Decision is the most common type of college application deadline. However, there are other college application types. For every school on your list, decide whether to apply through Regular Decision or an earlier college application deadline. The college application deadline you choose will determine when you can expect to get your admissions decision. Generally speaking, most early applicants will receive an admissions decision sometime in early December, and regular applications will hear back around March. If you choose to apply to an Ivy League school Regular Decision, you’ll hear back on Ivy Day in the spring.

Later on, we’ll discuss Early Action vs Early Decision, plus Early Action vs Regular Decision and Early Decision vs Regular Decision. For now, we’ll move on to applying to Early Decision colleges. 

What does Early Decision mean?

Now, let’s talk about one of the most exciting (and sometimes nerve-wracking) college application deadlines: Early Decision. The Early Decision deadline is usually the earliest of the college application deadlines. In most cases, the Early Decision deadline is in early to mid-November, and decisions come by December. Early Decision colleges only allow students to apply to one school, meaning you can’t apply Early Decision to multiple schools. 

College Application Deadlines

Unlike other college application deadlines, Early Decision is binding . That means that by applying Early Decision, you commit to enrolling if accepted. So, you should think carefully about which school’s Early Decision deadline you choose to apply for. This is one of the biggest differences between Early Action vs Early Decision—we’ll discuss this difference more later.

Deciding to apply by the Early Decision deadline can also have a major impact on financial aid. Financial aid is an important consideration for many applicants. If you want to compare aid packages between multiple schools, you likely should not apply Early Decision. Whether you’re a first-generation student or a legacy applicant, sufficient aid is seldom guaranteed, so think carefully.

Let’s keep looking at the differences between Early Action vs Early Decision vs Regular Decision college application deadlines. 

Early Decision Outcomes and Alternatives

Early Decision colleges will give one of three admissions decisions. You can expect to receive an acceptance, a rejection, or a deferral. If you’re deferred, your application will be reconsidered within the Regular Decision pool. Remember, while you can only submit one Early Decision application, there’s no limit on Regular Decision applications. If you’re deferred, you could send a letter of continued interest while you wait.

However, if you are deferred, you’ll be released from your binding Early Decision agreement. So, if you are deferred and subsequently accepted within the Regular Decision review process, you aren’t obligated to enroll. This can be helpful for students who know their dream school but are still flexible.

Some schools also have an Early Decision II program. This type of application is still binding, but you won’t need to submit your application until January. This is good if you want the benefits of Early Decision but can’t meet the first Early Decision deadline. For schools that value demonstrated interest, applying Early Decision II can significantly increase your admissions odds.

When considering Early Action vs Early Decision, it’s important to remember that not every school has an Early Decision program. With that in mind, let’s finish our introduction to college application deadlines with the last of the college application types: Early Action.

What is Early Action?

If you’re debating between Early Action vs Early Decision, understanding the ins and outs of both is key. Early Action has many similarities with Early Decision. Your application is due by an earlier November deadline, with an admissions decision in December. Also similar to Early Decision colleges, Early Action colleges will either accept, reject, or defer applicants. Most public institutions have Early Action programs.

Examples of Early Action deadlines for public universities:

  • University of Georgia : October 15 th  
  • North Carolina State University : November 1 st  
  • Ohio State University : November 1 st  
  • University of Oregon : November 1 st  
  • University of Virginia : November 1 st  
  • University of Colorado Boulder : November 15 th  
  • University of Maine : November 30 th  
  • University of Kentucky : December 1 st  

Remember, college application deadlines can change from year to year, so be sure to confirm your school’s Early Action deadline.

When considering Early Action vs Early Decision, there is one key difference to consider. Early Action is non-binding , which means you can apply early without committing to attending the school if accepted. There are several benefits to choosing Early Action vs Regular Decision. Early Action has a smaller (and often more competitive) applicant pool, quicker admissions decisions, and flexibility to apply to other schools.

Can you apply early action to multiple schools?

Since Early Action is non-binding, you may be asking yourself: can you apply Early Action to multiple schools? In most cases, the answer is yes (the one exception is Restrictive Early Action, which we will discuss later). When submitting college applications, you can apply Early Action to multiple schools. You could also submit one Early Decision application and then apply Early Action to different schools. However, students accepted into Early Decision colleges must attend, regardless of any other applications.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the difference between Early Action and Early Decision.

The Difference Between Early Action And Early Decision

College Application Deadlines

Early Action vs Early Decision: these two college application deadlines have a lot in common. So, what’s the difference between Early Action and Early Decision? 

As previously stated, when looking at Early Action vs Early Decision, Early Action is non-binding while Early Decision is binding . If you’re accepted Early Decision, you have to enroll.

With this key difference in mind, submitting college applications by the Early Action deadline may be better for some students. For example, those looking to compare financial aid packages at different schools can consider multiple offers. In another example, perhaps you’re not 100% positive about one of the Early Decision colleges on your college list. In this case, applying to one of your Early Action colleges can yield an admissions decision before you apply elsewhere. So, there are plenty of reasons students apply Early Action.

Does Early Decision increase chances?

You might also ask, does Early Decision increase chances ? Yes. Applying to Early Decision colleges often provides a larger boost in admissions odds because early applicants are obligated to enroll. By admitting more students in the Early Decision cycle, schools can boost their yield rates, which can increase their rankings. 

When comparing Early Action vs Early Decision, you might want to keep your admissions odds in mind. If you’re wondering, does Early Action increase chances too? , the answer is often yes. However, the admissions boost for Early Action colleges is often far smaller than for Early Decision colleges. Overall, you shouldn’t apply Early Action to a given college just to increase your admissions odds. 

When debating Early Action vs Early Decision, keep in mind that not all schools have Early Decision plans. For instance, Harvard , Yale , Princeton , and Stanford do not have an Early Decision deadline. Instead, they use a single-choice Early Action policy, also known as Restrictive Early Action. If you have questions about Restrictive Early Action, don’t worry. Later, we’ll discuss Early Action colleges. We’ll also answer the question, “Can you apply Early Action to multiple schools?”

Rolling Admission Schools

As you research college application deadlines, you might come across schools with a rolling admission process. In rolling admission, a school accepts and evaluates applications throughout a given window, offering acceptances on a “rolling” basis. With a rolling admission process, you might expect to hear back 8–12 weeks after your application has been submitted.

Some schools offer rolling admission after their typical application period; others offer rolling admission concurrently with other college application deadlines. For example, Michigan State opens rolling admission after its Regular Decision deadline. On the other hand, Penn State opens its rolling admission process at the same time as they do Early Action.

If you’re applying under rolling admission, you’ll want to submit your application on the early side. Throughout the admissions process, places will fill up at rolling admission schools. So, the earlier you apply, the better your odds will be. 

Now that we’ve discussed Early Action vs Early Decision, let’s see how these college application deadlines compare to Regular Decision. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Early Action vs Regular Decision

College Application Deadlines

If you compare Early Action vs Regular Decision, you’ll see many similarities. Unlike Early Decision, you can send out as many of these applications as you want. Moreover, there’s no obligation to enroll at any school that accepts you Early Action. The only key difference between Early Action and Regular Decision is the application timeline .

If you apply by a school’s Early Action deadline, you’ll receive a decision in December. If you apply by a school’s Regular Decision deadline, you’ll receive a decision in the spring, typically in March. As a result of this timeline, some students are deferred during the Early Action cycle. This means their applications will be reconsidered during the regular cycle.

Many students consider Early Action vs Early Decision and decide that Early Decision is too much of a commitment. If that’s you, then we highly encourage you to research the many great Early Action colleges out there. We all know submitting college applications can be stressful enough. Successfully completing one early can give you a confidence boost as you prepare to tackle other applications in December.

Early Decision vs Regular Decision

Conversely, maybe you’ve found your dream school and weighed the benefits of Early Action vs Early Decision. Now, you’re considering applying Early Decision. If this is you, remember the key differences between the Early Decision and Regular Decision cycles.

College Application Deadlines

Early Decision is binding, while Regular Decision, of course, is not. Early Decision will give you an admissions decision far earlier than if you applied Regular Decision (unless you are deferred). However, you won’t have a chance to weigh different financial aid packages. There are some key questions to consider when deciding which admissions cycle to apply under.

Ask yourself the following questions

  • Would you be excited to attend this school over any other if accepted?
  • Are you confident that you could attend this school regardless of your financial aid outcome?

Don’t forget that you can submit other Early Action and Regular Decision applications, too. If you do decide to apply Early Decision, don’t put off starting your other college applications so you stand out . After all, Early Decision colleges hand out hundreds of deferrals and rejections every year. If you’re not accepted, a safety net of other applications can spare you unnecessary stress and panic when submitting college applications in January.

Another question when debating Early Action vs Early Decision is, “Can you apply Early Action to multiple schools?”. In most cases, the answer is yes—you can apply to multiple Early Action colleges. If you’re only applying to Early Action colleges, you can essentially complete a standard Regular Decision application cycle early.

As mentioned above, Regular Decision and Early Action are similar in that there’s no application limit. They’re non-binding, so you can apply to one or twelve or twenty schools if you want. (We recommend keeping your application count to twelve and under, though.) However, some Early Action colleges have single-choice Early Action policies, also known as Restrictive Early Action.

What is Restrictive Early Action?

Under Restrictive Early Action (used by Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford), students cannot apply Early Action to another private institution. However, you aren’t obligated to attend if you’re accepted. To put it differently, you’ll be limited to a single non-binding Early Action application. You can, however, apply Early Action to a public university. Of course, you should still plan to submit the rest of your applications ahead of the Regular Decision deadline.

When comparing Early Action vs Early Decision, you can think of Restrictive Early Action as a non-binding Early Decision. You still get benefits from a smaller applicant pool and a higher acceptance rate, but without the commitment to attend. Additionally, Restrictive Early Action only allows you to apply to one private Early Action deadline, just like you can only apply to one Early Decision deadline.

Restrictive Early Action – How and Why

For instance, you could not apply Early Action to both Harvard and Yale, as both are Restrictive Early Action. However, you could choose the Early Action deadline for both Harvard and UT Austin. You should be strategic about not only which schools you apply to, but also which college application deadlines you choose. This way, you can maximize your odds of admission to your top schools and prepare for any scenario.

Since Early Action is always non-binding, why even have Restrictive Early Action vs Early Action vs Early Decision policies? Well, financial aid awards heavily influence many students applying Early Action vs Early Decision, and ultimately what school they attend. Certain students want or need the flexibility to back out of an acceptance if they can’t afford to attend. Top schools offer Early Action vs Early Decision to make early application more financially accessible to students who need to compare aid packages.

Hopefully, this discussion of Early Action vs Early Decision vs Regular Decision has given you a better idea of what to expect so you can plan out your college application deadlines. Next, we’re going to look at how applying in different application cycles affects acceptance rates. That way, you can learn whether applying by a school’s Early Decision or Early Action deadline increases your admissions odds. 

College Application Deadlines and Acceptance Rates

College Application Deadlines

It’s important to understand trends in college admissions before you start submitting college applications or building your college list. This includes understanding the different college application types , like Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision, and rolling admission. 

As you learn more about college application deadlines, you’ve likely thought about the link between college application deadlines and acceptance rates. 

We explored the distinction between Early Action vs Early Decision earlier in this guide.

When will admissions decisions arrive?

As a refresher , Early Decision college application deadlines are typically in early to mid-November. If you apply to college under the ED deadline, you can expect to receive your admission decision in mid-December. The Early Action deadline is also in early to mid-November. If you apply via Early Action, you can also expect to receive your admission decision in mid-December. 

For Regular Decision deadlines, you must submit your college application between early January and mid-February. When you apply Regular Decision, your admission decision will arrive in mid-March to early April. 

There’s another college application type called rolling admission. Rolling admission deadlines vary, as you can expect from the name. If you apply to a college that offers rolling admission, you can expect to receive your admission decision 8-12 weeks after submission. However, note that the timeline for rolling admission can vary across different schools. 

Early Action vs Early Decision acceptance rates 

There are varying college application deadlines and acceptance rates for every college and university in the United States. Each of the college application types—Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision, and rolling admission—will have corresponding college application deadlines. You’ll need to research the college application deadlines for each school you plan to apply to. As you build your college list, you’ll need to decide whether to apply via Early Action vs Early Decision, Regular Decision, or rolling admission. 

So, does Early Decision increase the chances of admission? Does Early Action increase the chances of admission? What’s the difference between Early Action and Early Decision, Early Decision vs Regular Decision, and rolling admission? 

We’ll explain the answers to all these questions (and more) in the following sections of this guide. For our first piece of college application guidance, let’s discuss how the Early Decision college application deadline influences acceptance rates. 

College Application Deadlines

Early Decision

Before you start submitting college applications, you might want to know what each school’s acceptance rate is based on the various college application deadlines. This matters even more at highly competitive colleges and universities. Understanding how acceptance rates change based on college application deadlines can help you decide whether to apply Early Action vs Early Decision, Regular Decision, or rolling admission.  

So, does Early Decision increase chances of admission?

At most schools, the answer is yes. Applying through an Early Decision college application deadline does increase your chances of admission.

The acceptance rates for Early Action vs Early Decision are generally higher than Regular Decision acceptance rates. Later on, we’ll look at some examples of this for certain Ivy League schools. 

However, just because acceptance rates are higher for ED does not mean that you will be guaranteed admission if you apply by this college application deadline. Applicants who are submitting college applications through the Early Action vs Early Decision college application deadlines are generally equally qualified. In most cases, they might be more qualified than applicants who are submitting college applications through a Regular Decision college application deadline. This means that the EA/ED college application deadlines often create a more competitive admissions pool, which can also account for higher EA/ED acceptance rates. Keep this in mind as you review college application deadlines and acceptance rates. 

Early Action 

Now that we know that applying to an ED college application deadline can increase your chances of admission, let’s talk about the Early Action deadline.

Does Early Action increase chances of admission? The answer is also yes, but less significantly.  

Applying to an Early Action deadline does not significantly boost your chances of admission like ED does.

However, most Early Action colleges will show higher acceptance rates if you apply to their Early Application college application deadline vs their RD deadline.

Applying through a Restrictive Early Action deadline can also slightly improve your chances of admission. However, once again, the REA deadline at most elite schools attracts a pool of highly competitive applicants. So, while the acceptance rate for Restrictive Early Action at Harvard, for instance, might be higher than the RD acceptance rate, you should be cautious about applying those numbers on an individual basis. You’ll want to review the acceptance rates for these early college application deadlines as you are deciding between Early Action vs Early Decision. 

In general, you’ll find that the Early Decision (or even Early Action) acceptance rate is higher than a school’s overall acceptance rate. In other words, your chances of admission might change based on the college application deadline you apply under. Much of this has to do with the college rankings system. 

Why are college acceptance rates higher in Early Decision cycles? 

By accepting more students in the early cycle of college application deadlines (like Early Decision or Early Action), schools decrease their Regular Decision acceptance rates. This can increase their rankings. 

Also, and more importantly, schools care deeply about their yield rates. This means that they want as many students as possible to accept their admission offers. So, by accepting more students in a binding Early Decision cycle, schools also increase their yield rates.

However, keep in mind that Early Action vs Early Decision pools are often filled with highly qualified applicants. So, in some part, the inflated acceptance rates you’ll see result from the strength of applicants, not from lower admissions standards. 

Considering the impact on admissions

To recap, applying Early Action vs Early Decision can impact your chances of admission. If you are planning to apply to top colleges and universities, you should review the Early Action vs. Early Decision college application deadlines (and acceptance rates). Use these stats to give yourself the best chance of being accepted. 

Before you finalize which college application deadline you plan to apply under, be sure to do your research. You’ll want to review the college application deadlines and corresponding acceptance rates for each of the colleges on your list. Additionally, you’ll want to consider the advantages and disadvantages that each college application type brings with it. 

For more general information about all things college applications, check out our How to Apply for College page . 

Early Action vs Regular Decision Acceptance Rates

Now that we understand some reasons why Early Action acceptance rates are higher and the difference between Early Action vs Early Decision, let’s look at some statistics. 

Harvard University

College Application Deadlines

Harvard uses a single-choice Restrictive Early Action plan. This means students cannot apply early to any other private institution if they choose to apply to Harvard under this college application deadline. 

The Harvard overall acceptance rate is just 3%. However, last year, the Harvard Early Action acceptance rate was nearly 8%. Even though it is not the largest increase, it is an important consideration as you determine which college application deadline to submit your Common Application through. 

Harvard does not consider demonstrated interest, nor is its Restrictive Early Action (REA) program binding. So, while the Early Action acceptance rate is certainly higher, it still likely won’t make a huge difference in the admissions process. The Harvard Early Action pool is competitive, and you’ll need strong grades, scores, and essays to get in, regardless of the college application deadline you choose. 

Duke University

College Application Deadlines

The Duke Early Decision acceptance rate is around 20%, while the school’s overall acceptance rate is around 8%. So, like Harvard, applicants who are submitting college applications through Early Decision will see a significantly higher acceptance rate at Duke. 

Although the Duke Early Decision acceptance rate is significantly higher, there are other factors to consider before you choose to apply by their ED college application deadline. 

No demonstrated interest

For instance, Duke does not officially track demonstrated interest. However, by applying to the Early Decision college application deadline and committing to attend, applicants admitted through Duke Early Decision contribute to a higher yield rate. As evidenced by the Duke Early Decision acceptance rate, applying to the Duke Early Decision college application deadline might actively increase your admissions odds. 

Although acceptance rates for Harvard and Duke were higher in the early college application deadlines, this won’t always be the case for other Early Action colleges or other top colleges and universities. If you know that you want to apply to elite universities, we encourage you to do your research on each institution’s college application deadlines and acceptance rates. 

Does Early Decision increase chances? 

If you are having a hard time deciding between Early Action vs Early Decision, that’s okay. Let’s examine how applying to an Early Action vs Early Decision college application deadline might increase your chances of admission. 

Often, applying Early Decision can increase your chances of admission. While this is not the case at every school, statistically speaking, many colleges have incentives to accept more students through a binding Early Decision cycle. In other words, if colleges can offer you admission through an earlier college application deadline, they could be rewarded for doing so.

Still, keep in mind that this varies by school and by college application deadline. Schools that value engagement and demonstrated interest are more likely to prioritize Early Decision applicants. This could be one way for you to determine whether an Early Action vs Early Decision college application deadline is right for you. 

Beyond acceptance rates

Once again, Early Decision pools also are often filled with prepared and qualified applicants who would have higher chances of admission in any cycle, regardless of the college application deadline. So, at the end of the day, an acceptance rate can only tell you so much. 

While applying to an Early Decision deadline can certainly increase your admissions odds, you shouldn’t apply Early Decision to a school just because you think it will help you get in . Remember, Early Decision college application deadlines are binding , so if you are granted admission to a college via an ED college application deadline, you will be required to attend. 

Instead, you should choose your Early Decision school because you genuinely want to attend that college and are prepared to enroll should you be accepted. 

Does Early Action increase chances? 

Now that we know more about how applying to an ED college application deadline increases your chances of admission, can the same be said of Early Action colleges? 

college application deadlines

Based on numbers alone, Early Action acceptance rates tend to be higher than their Regular Decision counterparts. However, that does not mean that applying by the Early Action college application deadline will dramatically increase your admissions odds. Understanding this could help you decide whether applying Early Action vs. Early Decision is right for you. 

Maybe a small boost

It might give your application a bit of a boost to apply by an Early Action college application deadline, but it likely won’t make a massive difference. Overall, Early Decision cycles give applicants far more of an advantage than Early Action ones do, and even that advantage is complicated by a variety of factors. 

In general, you should largely look at your Early Action admissions odds as similar to your Regular Decision admissions odds as you review college application deadlines. 

If you’re still unsure whether to apply by an Early Action vs Early Decision deadline, that’s okay! Let’s look at college application deadlines for Ivy League colleges (where applying to early college application deadlines can help increase your chances of acceptance). 

Ivy League College Application Deadlines 

Determining whether to apply to Early Action vs Early Decision can be a tough decision, but it doesn’t have to be. By doing your research on college application deadlines early, you can have the information you need to make a smart choice between Early Action vs Early Decision. 

Next, we’ll explore how college application deadlines impact acceptance rates at some Ivy League universities. But first, let’s look at the Ivy League college application deadlines . 

In an effort to simplify the college admissions process, the Ivy League colleges have provided some college application guidance regarding their college application deadlines, called the Ivy League Agreement.

The Ivy League Agreement details the admissions procedures of the Ivy League schools, including the timing of decisions, early college application types, and college application deadlines.

If you are submitting college applications to Ivy League schools, you can expect your admission decision letters to arrive at one of two times. Moreover, if you applied by the Restrictive Early Action or Early Decision deadline, you can expect to hear back by mid-December. Also, keep in mind that if you applied by the Regular Decision deadline, you can expect to hear back by late March/early April.

Only one Ivy League college

It’s important to note that you can only apply to one Ivy League college through an early application deadline. For example, if you are planning on submitting college applications to Yale and Cornell, you wouldn’t be able to apply Restrictive Early Action to Yale and Early Decision to Cornell under these guidelines. 

In other words, if you choose to submit your application by the Cornell Early Decision deadline, you will have to apply to Yale under the Regular Decision deadline. This is another important factor to consider as you decide whether to apply Early Action vs Early Decision. 

The Early Decision colleges in the Ivy League are Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, and UPenn. The Restrictive Early Action colleges in the Ivy League are Princeton, Harvard, and Yale. 

Generally, you can expect to see higher acceptance rates from Ivy League colleges if you are submitting college applications through the early college application deadlines. 

In other words, you may increase your admissions odds at Early Action colleges and Early Decision colleges if you apply by the Early Action deadline or Early Decision deadline. However, how large the actual percentage increase is for Early Action vs. Early Decision is different for every school. 

Always a “reach”

College Application Deadlines

The Ivy League colleges are considered “reach” schools for all applicants based on their low college acceptance rates. So, if you are looking to increase your admissions odds and you want to attend an Ivy League college, you should consider submitting college applications to your school of choice by the early college application deadline. 

Please note that the Ivy League college application deadlines listed above are for the 2022-2023 admissions cycle. Before you decide whether Early Action vs Early Decision is right for you, you’ll want to verify the college application deadlines for the colleges on your list. Although the college application deadlines won’t change drastically per admissions cycle, they can change each year. 

You can view the college application deadlines for the colleges on your list by visiting their respective websites. Or, you can view the college application deadlines on the Common Application . 

Harvard Early Decision 

College Application Deadlines

The term “Harvard Early Decision” is a bit of a misnomer. In truth, Harvard does not have an Early Decision deadline or program – instead, it has a Restrictive Early Action program. 

This means that if you apply Restrictive Early Action (REA) to Harvard , you cannot apply to the Early Decision deadline to any school, nor Early Action to any other private institution. The key word here is restrictive – applying REA prevents you from submitting college applications to other ED or EA college application deadlines. Instead, you’ll have to apply via Regular Decision or rolling admission to other colleges and universities. 

The Harvard Restrictive Early Action deadline is November 1, and the Regular Decision deadline is January 1. You’ll apply to Harvard via the Common Application, regardless of which college application deadline you choose. 

For more information on Harvard admissions, including FAQs about Harvard’s college application deadlines, visit their website . 

Does Yale Have Early Decision? 

No – like Harvard, Yale only has a single-choice Early Action program. The Yale Early Action deadline is November 1. Also, like Harvard, this is a Restrictive Early Action deadline.

Basically, this means you cannot apply Early Decision to any school or Early Action to any other private institution. Instead, you’ll have to apply through a Regular Decision deadline or a rolling admission deadline. 

Like the other Early Action colleges, there is also a Yale Regular Decision deadline. The Yale Regular Decision deadline is January 2. 

You’ll also utilize the Common Application to apply to Yale . Visit the Yale admissions page to learn more about the single-choice Early Action deadline and Yale Regular Decision deadline. 

UPenn Early Decision Acceptance Rate

College Application Deadlines

One of the Ivy League’s Early Decision colleges is the University of Pennsylvania . The Early Decision deadline at UPenn is November 1 , and the Regular Decision deadline is January 5. Like Harvard and Yale, you can also apply to UPenn via the Common Application. 

The UPenn Early Decision acceptance rate can change each year and is influenced by the total number of applicants. However, you can expect the UPenn Early Decision acceptance rate to be higher than the Regular Decision acceptance rate. 

For the entering class of 2026, the UPenn Early Decision acceptance rate was about 16% , slightly higher than the Regular Decision acceptance rate of around 9% . So, you may increase your admissions odds at UPenn if you decide to apply through the Early Decision deadline. 

Cornell Early Decision 

Another one of the Ivy’s Early Decision colleges is Cornell University . Like UPenn, the Cornell Early Decision deadline is November 1. If you plan to apply to Cornell, you can also use the Common Application. 

The Cornell Early Decision acceptance rate is about 21% , which is significantly higher than the Regular Decision acceptance rate of around 9%. 

As you can see, you may increase your admissions odds at these Early Decision colleges, UPenn and Cornell , if you apply by the ED college application deadline. 

Columbia Regular Decision Deadline 

College Application Deadlines

The Columbia Regular Decision deadline is earlier than the RD deadline for the Early Decision colleges – January 1 . The ED college application deadline at Columbia is the same as the other Early Decision colleges – November 1. Columbia is also on the Common Application. 

The Columbia Early Decision acceptance rate is roughly 10% , which is more than double the Regular Decision acceptance rate of around 4%. 

If you apply by the Columbia Regular Decision deadline, you’ll face a pretty competitive admissions pool. Because the Columbia ED acceptance rate is higher than the RD acceptance rate, you have a slightly better chance of receiving admission via the Early Decision deadline. 

However, as we mentioned above, you can expect other applicants with strong candidate profiles, including test scores , GPAs , and college essays , to also apply in the ED cycle. Remember, just because a college has a higher ED acceptance rate does not mean you are guaranteed admission if you apply by that early college application deadline. 

Exploring more college application deadlines

We’ve walked through various college application deadlines and what they mean.  Before you begin planning your dorm room and thinking about what organizations you want to join, let’s make sure you fully understand the application process for your dream school . After all, successfully enrolling at a college on the top of your college list begins with an organized and thoughtful application process. 

Now that you understand Early Action vs Early Decision deadlines, you should have some idea of what college application deadlines to plan for. Are you interested in Early Action vs Early Decision? Or Regular Decision vs Restrictive Early Action? Understanding the most appropriate application deadline to choose is critical to your success. Keep reading for more college application guidance. 

Specifics around college application deadlines can vary across different schools. However, there are several commonly understood features of all college application types. As we’ve discussed, the Early Action deadline is an early notification non-binding application plan. Submitting a college application before the Early Action deadline has a lot of advantages. When you apply to Early Action colleges, it can help you plan for the rest of the college application process. 

College Application Deadlines

Restrictive Early Action

We also discussed Restrictive Early Action colleges. Remember, Restrictive Early Action college application deadlines have a caveat. Restrictive Early Action deadlines or Single-Choice Early Action college application deadlines do not require students to enroll if accepted. However, Restrictive Early Action colleges do forbid students from applying to any other private schools during the Early Action or Early Decision period. 

Early Action vs Early Decision

We’ve also talked about the difference between Early Action and Early Decision.  As we’ve discussed, the most rigid college application deadline is typically the Early Decision plan. Early Decision college application deadlines require full commitment from the applicant. If a student is accepted to one of their Early Decision colleges, they must commit and withdraw all other applications. Students should only choose to apply Early Decision if they are 100% sure that the school is their first choice. So, you should think carefully about Early Action vs Early decision.

The Regular Decision college application deadline typically has an early Spring deadline and is a non-binding admissions plan. Under many Regular Decision application plans, you won’t receive an admissions decision until April 1 st . One of the benefits of applying under the Regular Decision college application deadline is admissions committees will see your full senior year grades. One downside of applying Regular Decision is the notification date. Most colleges require you to commit to enroll by May 1 st . That means Regular Decision accepted students often have less than a month to review their financial aid packages, visit campuses, and decide.

The most flexible college application deadline is rolling admissions. Rolling admissions allows students to apply over a much wider application period. Instead of sharing a published deadline and notification date, rolling admission notifications are released as schools evaluate each application. Some schools have an Early Action and Regular Decision college application deadline and then move to rolling admissions in the spring.

Choosing the right college application deadline

Each of these college application deadlines has its own unique characteristics. College application deadlines can also vary from school to school. Wondering about the college application deadlines for the colleges on your list ? Still considering Early Action vs Early Decision? Learning more about schools on your list might help to solve the Early Action vs Early Decision debate. 

For most schools, you can find all college application deadlines on the Common Application. This makes it super easy to stay organized. 

Next, we will review application deadlines at top Early Action colleges and Early Decision colleges. We will focus on the Stanford Early Action deadline, the MIT Early Action deadline, and the Boston University Early Action deadline. We will also discuss the NYU Early Decision deadline and the UVA Early Decision deadline. 

We’ll also spend some time covering Early Action colleges that are not on the Common Application. These include the UC application deadline and the CSU application deadline. We’ll also talk a bit about international college applications. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed over college application deadlines and all the college application types, you are not alone. Application deadlines are much more complicated than just Early Action vs Early Decision. Many students lack information about application timelines. So, keep reading to learn more about college application deadlines at some other schools that might be on your college list. 

Stanford Early Action

College Application Deadlines

As you are likely aware, Stanford University is a top-tier college and is rightfully on many students’ college list. Stanford University offers two of the application cycles mentioned above, Regular Decision and Restrictive Early Action. The application deadline for Stanford Restrictive Early Action is November 1 st . The Stanford Regular Decision deadline is January 5 th . 

This leaves students with only two college application deadlines at Stanford. As you plan your application, think about Early Action vs Early Decision policies. If you want to benefit from the admissions boost you’ll get through Early Decision programs, Stanford might not be the right fit for you. Stanford does not have an Early Decision plan.

The Stanford Early Action plan requires that students refrain from applying to any other colleges under an Early Action, Restrictive Early Action, Early Decision, or other early notification plans. So, if you apply to Stanford Early Action, you can’t apply early anywhere else. 

Similar to Ivy League application deadlines

Stanford is not alone in their approach to Early Action. The Stanford Early Action Plan is similar to Ivy League College application deadlines at Harvard , Yale , and Princeton. 

Not sure if the Restrictive Early Action plan is for you? Then, you should consider applying under the Stanford Regular Decision deadline. This Regular Decision plan is non-binding and allows you to continue submitting college applications throughout your senior year.

If you are interested in Stanford, you may be considering some similar Ivy League institutions. The Ivy League includes eight institutions: Brown University , Columbia University , Cornell University , Dartmouth College , Harvard University , University of Pennsylvania , Princeton University , and Yale University . For some Ivy League colleges, you’ll be able to apply Early Decision. For others, you can only apply through Restrictive Early Action. 

MIT Early Action

College Application Deadlines

Not all selective colleges have a Restrictive Early Action plan. Unlike Stanford University and Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers an Early Action plan instead of a Restrictive Early Action plan. This means you can apply to MIT while submitting college applications to other schools. The MIT Early Action plan allows students to keep their options. The MIT Early Action deadline is November 1 st and is a non-binding college application deadline. 

Not quite ready to apply to MIT during the Early Action college application deadline? MIT offers students the opportunity to apply Regular Decision as well. The MIT Regular Decision application deadline is January 5 th . Wondering about Early Action vs Early Decision deadline at MIT? MIT wants you to know that there is no difference between the two application cycles outside of the dates and the binding agreement. Deciding between Early Action vs Early Decision at MIT is all about whether MIT is your #1 choice. 

Boston University Early Action

College Application Deadlines

Unlike MIT, Boston University presents applicants with two very different college application deadline choices. There is no Boston University Early Action plan. Instead, applicants must choose between the BU Early Decision plan or the BU Regular Decision Plan. BU is very upfront about who should apply Early Decision and who might benefit from waiting until Regular Decision. In the absence of a Boston University Early Action plan, it is critical to make an informed decision when applying to BU. 

BU even offers students two Early Decision plans to choose from. BU Early Decision 1 is for the students who are certain that BU is their first choice. However, BU also allows students to apply Early Decision II. Both BU college application deadlines require students to enter a binding admissions agreement should they be accepted. The Early Decision I deadline is November 1 st and the Early Decision II Deadline is January 4 th . And, if applying Early Decision to BU isn’t the best fit, you can still apply during the Regular Decision Cycle. The college application deadline for Regular Decision is also January 4 th . 

NYU Early Decision

NYU is at the top of many students’ college lists. Like the other schools we’ve discussed NYU provides several college application deadlines to choose from. You won’t have to decide on Early Action vs Early decision because NYU doesn’t offer an Early Action plan. New York University has three application plans to choose from: Early Decision I, Early Decision II, and Regular Decision. The NYU Early Decision I deadline is November 1 st , the NYU Early Decision II Deadline is January 1 st , and the Regular Decision deadline is January 5 th . 

Are you considering Early Decision vs Regular Decision at NYU?

Like other early decision colleges, the NYU Early Decision deadline requires students to enroll should they be admitted. However, there are some exceptions. If a student receives a financial aid package that does not meet enough of their financial need , they can request to be released from the Early Decision plan. Additionally, if a student is admitted into a program that was not listed as their primary major on their application, they are not required to enroll. 

Even if you fall into one of the two situations mentioned above, you will need to either accept or reject the offer by the deadline. Should you accept the offer, your plan is now binding despite the exceptions mentioned above. Declining the Early Decision offer means you withdraw your application for the upcoming academic year. Unfortunately, students are unable to apply Regular Decision after being denied during Early Decision or declining the Early Decision offer. 

UVA Early Decision

College Application Deadlines

Like NYU, The University of Virginia offers an Early Action plan, an Early Decision plan, and a Regular Decision plan. Students can apply to the University of Virginia on the Common App . Both the UVA Early Decision deadline and the Early Action deadline are on November 1 st . The Regular Decision deadline at UVA is January 5 th .  

Wondering about Early Action vs Early decision at UVA ? Like other early decision colleges, the UVA Early Decision plan is a binding admissions plan. Students applying UVA Early Decision will be accepted, deferred, or denied admission in mid-December. Unlike UVA Early Decision, Early Action at UVA is not a binding decision plan. Early Action students will still receive an acceptance, rejection, or deferral. However, they will not be notified until mid-February.  

College application deadlines: California Schools

Most of the Early Action colleges we’ve covered so far are located on the East Coast. But some of the best colleges in the nation can be found on the West Coast, specifically in California. The UC System has more than 200,000 students across its nine campuses. The Cal State system educates more than 400,000 students across 23 campuses in California. 

Are you interested in applying to public colleges in California like Cal State or UC Berkeley? Well, you won’t find any of these schools on the Common Application. And you won’t have to decide on Early Action vs Early decision either. The University of California and California State colleges both have their own platforms for submitting college applications. The college application deadlines for the UC schools fall near those of many of the Early Action colleges we’ve discussed.  Cal State schools also have earlier college application deadlines. However, many of these schools will continue with rolling admissions after the priority deadline.

Does the UC system offer Early Decision?

College Application Deadlines

Submitting college applications to a UC school is straightforward; there is only one UC application deadline. There is no need to contemplate Early Action vs Early Decision for UC schools because the UC system does not offer an Early Decision option.  

Instead, the UC college application deadlines are early enough to appeal to students submitting college applications to Early Action colleges but still give students some additional time. 

Keep reading to learn more about submitting college applications to UC schools and the UC application deadline.

UC Application Deadline

The UC application deadline for first-year students is November 30 th . The University of California system includes a stellar list of California schools like UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Riverside, and many more. Also, the UC Apply platform functions similarly to the Common Application and allows students to submit one application to multiple schools. All UC Schools have the same college application deadlines. 

Since the UC college application deadline falls on a relatively unique date, it is important for students to plan their submissions early. It may feel like an extended Early Action deadline, but it is really an early Regular Decision deadline. Students can best prepare by compiling their UC application materials at the same time as all the other Early Action applications due in the fall.

Interested in learning more about the UC application? Check out this guide . 

CSU Application Deadline

College Application Deadlines

The Cal State system is another highly ranked system in California. Since the Cal State system has many more campuses than the UC System, it can serve a broader and more diverse population of students. Cal State also has a more diverse selection of campus environments, with schools located in small and large cities across the state. UC schools are mostly concentrated in large cities in Northern and Southern California. The California State University system also has its own application platform outside of the Common Application. 

The CSU Early Action deadline is December 1 and the CSU Regular Decision deadline is February 1. CSU does provide some additional flexibility. After the February 1 CSU application deadline, applications are accepted on a rolling basis. This means after the February 1 college application deadline, applicants can continue submitting college applications and still be considered for admission. Remember, rolling admissions depends on space available in the first-year class. So, it is still critical to submit your application by the deadline to increase your odds of admission.

International College Application Deadlines

College Application Deadlines

We’ve covered Early Action colleges and Early Decision colleges across the nation, but maybe you’re interested in colleges outside of the United States. Next, we’ll discuss deadlines for international college applications. You may not have to decide between Early Action vs Early Decision for international colleges. However, a number of international college application deadlines fall considerably earlier than their US counterparts. 

UCAS Application deadlines

The United Kingdom has a platform like the Common Application; the UCAS application . The UCAS application provides college guidance to students researching colleges in the UK and beyond. Selective schools on UCAS such as Oxford College or Cambridge University have early deadlines. Both Oxford and Cambridge require applications to be submitted by October 15 th . Other top colleges in the UK such as the University of Edinburgh have an application deadline of January 25 th . 

The University of Toronto also has a unique structure for its college application deadlines. Each major has a different deadline ranging from January 12 th – June 4 th . Most majors have a deadline of January 12 th . 

International college applications may also have different admission and testing requirements than colleges in the United States. It is critical to research deadlines for international college applications and their requirements before adding them to your college list. 

Submitting college applications as an international student can be challenging. Are you an international student applying to colleges in your home country and in the United States? Check out this article to help guide you throughout the US application process as an international student. 

College Application Deadlines — Five Takeaways

College Application Deadlines

We’ve looked a lot at college application deadlines, exploring Early Decision vs Early Action vs Regular Decision. Now, here are five key takeaways to guide you while submitting college applications and reviewing college application deadlines. 

College Application Deadline Takeaways

#1- think carefully about your choice.

Think about the advantages of Early Decision vs. Early Action college application deadlines. Early Decision college application deadlines are binding. So, you should think carefully before you choose to apply Early Decision to any college.

#2- Consider financial needs

Should you decide to apply Early Decision, you should consider your financial needs closely. This often means sitting down with your family and/or support system and making sure everyone is on the same page about the financial plan. No matter your financial situation, it is important that your Early Decision school is a good financial fit. 

#3- Start Early

Starting your applications early can be a way to put your best foot forward in the college application process. This gives you the opportunity to assess all the college application deadlines and not make any decisions under pressure. This can also increase your odds of admission. Students who are organized and submit applications well in advance of the college application deadline are more likely to succeed. 

#4- Double-check policies

Still considering Early Decision vs Early Action? It’s important to double-check policies surrounding Early Decision, Early Action, and Restrictive Early Action at the schools on your list. You may find that special academic programs, living-learning communities, or merit scholarships require you to apply during a certain application cycle. Early Decision colleges have varying policies, so make sure you research the ED policies at every school carefully. 

#5- Consider early decision acceptance rates

If you are still considering Early Action vs Early Decision college application deadlines, try looking at acceptance rates. At many colleges, Early Decision acceptance rates are slightly higher than Early Action acceptance rates. During Early Decision, colleges take advantage of the binding agreement to fill guaranteed seats in their class. Don’t be afraid to ask your admissions counselor what the Early Action vs Early Decision acceptance rates are. 

College Application Deadlines — Final Thoughts

Now that you know more about college application deadlines, you are well-equipped to begin an informed college search . It may be tempting to start comparing dining halls, recreation centers, and sports teams, but don’t forget to look closely at how college application deadlines will inform your senior year. 

Still comparing the Early Action vs Early Decision deadline? The Early Action vs Regular Decision? Or Early Decision vs. Regular Decision deadline? The truth is, there is no one application type that is better than the other. This decision is all about identifying the best college application deadline for you. 

If you know your top choice school, go for it

If you are confident that a school is your top choice, it may be beneficial to consider its Early Action or Early Decision plan. You may even find that a Restrictive Early Action plan at an Ivy League school is what’s best for you. If you still need more time to consider your options, try looking into a Regular Decision deadline or rolling admissions plan. Submitting college applications can be stressful but knowing your application deadlines can help you navigate this overwhelming process.

Looking for additional college application guidance while submitting your college applications? Need additional help making the decision between Early Action vs Early Decision? CollegeAdvisor is always here to help. Whether you are researching college application deadlines, writing college resumes , requesting recommendation letters , looking for  test-optional colleges , inquiring about a gap year , or deciding how to choose the best major , we have resources to assist you.

College Application Deadlines

This article was written by Stefanie Tedards,  Claire Babbs , and  Chelsea Holley . Looking for more admissions support? Click  here  to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile.   We will help you increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how  CollegeAdvisor.com  can support you in the college application process.

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Applicants interested in applying for entry in the 2025-2026 Academic Year will be able to access the application for admission in September 2024.

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Planning Timeline

To help with your application planning, we provide the following recommended schedule, which is specifically oriented to those applying for the MPH, SM, MHCM, MPH-Epidemiology, DrPH, and dual degree programs. Consult the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences  admissions website for PhD programs timelines.

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  • Generate SOPHAS transcript request forms to be sent to all post-secondary institutions attended in the U.S. and English-language institutions in Canada. For any coursework from colleges or universities outside of the U.S., please submit credentials to World Education Services  for evaluation.

October and November

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Most applicants will be notified of decisions via email.

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With almost 30 courses to choose from in each session, you’re sure to find a topic that piques your interest among the courses offered to Pre-College Program students .

You take one course during a session, and although courses are non-credit and do not have letter grades, they are rigorous.

At the end of the program, you’ll receive a written evaluation from your instructor, as well as a Harvard transcript with a grade of AR or NM (“requirements met” or “requirements not met”). This is a great way to supplement your college application. Please note: You need to attend every class in its entirety to receive a passing grade of “Met All Requirements.”

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How Long is Harvard’s Pre-College Program?

Harvard’s Pre-College Program is a two-week program during which you will live on the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. During these two weeks, you’ll experience what it’s like to live on a college campus, attending classes every day, studying, and participating in program activities. Each summer, we offer three two-week sessions so you can find the program that fits into your summer schedule.

What Will You Get Out of a Pre-College Program?

At Harvard’s Pre-College Program for high school students, you’ll build advanced academic skills—and amazing memories—that will last a lifetime.

You’ll learn to live independently on a college campus. You’ll make new friends from around the world. And with hard work and diligent study, you’ll expand your knowledge in an immersive college class.

These experiences will not only enrich your high school years. They will set you on the path for success as you move onto your college journey.

At the end of the program, you’ll receive a written evaluation from your instructor, as well as a Harvard transcript with a grade of AR or NM (“requirements met” or “requirements not met”). This is a great way to supplement your college application.

Can You Earn College Credit Through the Pre-College Program?

You will not earn college credit through the Pre-College Program.

The Pre-College Program is designed to allow you to explore the expectations of college academics without the pressure of grades. You can explore a subject you think you may want to major in, or you can explore an interesting topic just for fun.

However, Pre-College Program courses are intensive . Each day, you will be in class for three hours and you should expect to have 2-4 hours of homework. To successfully complete the program, you’ll have to attend and participate in every class and complete all assignments.

Do Pre-College Programs Help with College Admissions?

Participation in a Pre-College Program at Harvard can help with college admissions in several important ways.

Successfully completing a pre-college program demonstrates your ability to succeed in a rigorous college course . It also shows admissions committees that you are a motivated and dedicated student who is willing to put in the extra effort to succeed.

Most importantly, however, our Pre-College Program is designed to offer you tools to navigate the college admissions process successfully .

Our college readiness activities include workshops on how to write your college admissions essay, seminars on understanding the financial aid process, and panels on how to choose the right college. We even host a series of panels with admissions officers from colleges around the country.

So when you leave the Pre-College Program, you’ll be ready to jump right into the college admissions and application process.

For additional information, read more Common Questions about the Pre-College Program at Harvard Summer School.

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More From Forbes

Colleges still accepting applications, including rolling admission options.

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As college application season starts to wind down and spring approaches, most high school seniors have likely finished applying to colleges. Many regular decision deadlines for colleges ended in January, with decisions to be released in early April.

Students can still find their dream college, even late in the cycle.

However, there is a common misconception that once the regular decision deadlines have passed, students will have no more options for applying to colleges. Some colleges around the country have late deadlines, with some accepting applications on a rolling basis as space allows and even as late as August 1. These later deadlines give students one last chance to find the best place for them to continue their higher education.

Who Should Consider Late Application Deadlines

  • Students considering their options. Senior year can be fraught with many complex decisions, and many students are still figuring out their path. Late admission deadlines can give students, who are still exploring or undecided about their future, some additional time. Students who also got waitlisted or deferred from their top choices might also want to consider adding more schools. That additional time and longer application window offer them a chance to weigh their options or consider a broader range of majors or schools.
  • Students with unexpected circumstances. Illness, family emergencies, and other challenges are just a few examples that might prevent students from applying earlier in the cycle. Later deadlines give them the flexibility to apply to colleges that are closer to home or better fit their changing circumstances.
  • Students who needed more time to gather application materials. The early and regular decision application window comes fast for high school seniors. Between writing the personal statement and other supplemental essays, finalizing standardized test scores, asking for letters of recommendation and sending transcripts, there are many pieces of the application process that are required. Having a later deadline can be beneficial for students who didn’t gather all the application materials in time.
  • Non-traditional students. Not all students are applying to college right after high school. Some might have taken a gap year, a longer hiatus or even pursued an alternative career or academic path. Their timeline might not always fit within the confines of traditional application deadlines. Having later or rolling deadlines gives them more flexibility to make the best choice.

Considerations Before Applying To Late Admission Deadlines

Even though colleges are still accepting applications, it doesn’t necessarily mean students should run out and apply to more colleges. Before adding more schools to a college list, here is what students should consider.

  • Available programs and majors. Even if the undergraduate university still accepts applications, it doesn’t mean they are accepting students into every major. For example, the University of Massachusetts-Lowell accepts applications on a rolling basis but only for select majors. Students applying to its nursing program had to apply by January 5 to be considered. Before applying to the college, confirm that they have the desired program or major still available.
  • Financial aid and scholarships. Applying later to colleges might impact access to scholarships. Barry University accepts applications on a rolling basis, but if students wanted to be considered for its Stamps Scholars Program—which provides full tuition and room and board, among other benefits—they had to apply by January 15. Before applying, take time to research what options are still available.
  • Housing and campus life. Policies related to on-campus housing can vary from university to university, and not all have enough space for freshmen on-campus housing. Therefore, some schools give priority to students who committed and paid a deposit versus students who committed later in the cycle.
  • School fit. Before taking the time to apply to a school, make sure to consider the fit of the school. Take into account major options, program costs, career possibilities and anything else the student is looking for in their college experience before applying.

Best High-Yield Savings Accounts Of 2024

Best 5% interest savings accounts of 2024, colleges still accepting applications.

The following are colleges that offer a late admission deadline.*

February 15

Abilene Christian University (TX)

Allegheny College (PA)

Azusa Pacific University (CA)

California Institute of Integral Studies (CA)

California State University East Bay (CA)

Centenary College of Louisiana (LA)

College of Idaho (ID)

College of the Atlantic (ME)

College of Wooster (OH)

Cornish College of the Arts (WA)

Creighton University (NE)

Drew University (NJ)

Emmanuel College (MA)

Endicott College (MA)

Haskell Indian Nations University (KS)

Hillsdale College (MI)

Howard University (Washington D.C.)

Iona College (NY)

Meredith College (NC)

Morehouse College (GA)

Pace University (NY)

Point Loma Nazarene University (CA)

Siena College (NY)

Suffolk University (MA)

University of Massachusetts Lowell (MA)

University of New England (ME)

University of Kentucky (KY)

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (MA)

Loyola University New Orleans (LA)

Santa Clara University (CA) **transfer only

Regis University (CO)

Rolling Admissions

Adelphi (NY)

Antioch College (OH)

Barry University (FL)

Fairleigh Dickinson University (NJ)

Franklin Pierce University (NH)

Manhattanville College (NY)

Penn State University (PA)

St. John’s College (both campuses, MD and NM)

Stetson University (FL)

Texas Christian University (TX)

University of Alabama (AL)

University of Massachusetts – Lowell (MA) (Rolling until Aug 1 for select majors)

University of North Carolina—Asheville (NC)

Ursinus College (PA)

*Application deadlines are subject to change; please confirm the deadlines on the college website.

Kristen Moon

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Some D.C.-area colleges push back deadlines to commit after FAFSA delays

college application deadline harvard

A growing list of colleges and universities in the D.C. region — including the University of Maryland at College Park, Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia — are giving prospective students more time to weigh admissions offers as schools wait for the Education Department to send critical financial aid data.

Many four-year colleges traditionally have required students to commit and put down a deposit by May 1. But delays with the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid that debuted in late December means colleges may not be able to tell prospective students what financial help they will receive until April, leaving students only a few weeks to compare offers and weigh options before they commit.

FAFSA glitches and delays leave students, states, institutions in limbo

Some schools are pushing back deadlines by two weeks or a month. Several institutions say they are monitoring the situation and may move their dates soon. Others such as Johns Hopkins University are leaning on the CSS Profile, another popular financial aid form, to make institutional aid offers.

Below is a roundup of deadlines across the D.C. region. It will be updated if institutions announce changes. For a national perspective, the American Council on Education also is tracking decision by colleges across the country in a database .

college application deadline harvard

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Some Colleges Are Pivoting as FAFSA Delays Drag On

The state schools in California and many other colleges are extending their May 1 commitment deadlines. Some are also creating new aid forms.

People walking through a university campus with green grass and stairs in the distance.

By Ron Lieber

The University of California and California State University systems on Wednesday became the latest of a growing list of schools to give applicants extensions on their intent to register, now that colleges won’t get federal financial aid data until at least March .

At least 25 schools will no longer require commitments by May 1, since they may not be able to send admitted students financial aid offers until April. A few schools have created new aid forms or processes on the fly to award their own grants and scholarships.

What is increasingly resembling a kind of financial-aid free-for-all comes as a result of what was supposed to be simplification.

In 2020, Congress passed a law that required enormous changes to the processes used to award federal aid. The first was to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form to make it easier to complete. Another was to the formula that doles out federal aid, which was made in part to offer more help to lower-income students.

By law, the Education Department was supposed to unveil the new FAFSA by the end of December.

It met that deadline , but some students and their parents have had trouble completing the form, and it will be March before colleges get any FAFSA data at all. Once they do, they must turn around and make confirmed aid offers to students, which will generally take several weeks more.

In usual circumstances, most schools want commitments from admitted undergraduate students by May 1. The University of California system has now pushed that out to May 15 for all but out-of-state and international applicants to the Berkeley campus. It won’t make financial aid offers until mid-April and may extend its new May 15 reply deadline if the Education Department falls further behind. The Cal State system and its 23 schools made a similar announcement .

“We aim to ensure California students, particularly those from low-income and first-generation backgrounds, have the time and space to fully assess their options,” said Han Mi Yoon-Wu, associate vice provost for undergraduate admissions in the office of the president, in an announcement.

At least 60 colleges and universities have extended their deadlines, according to a publicly available online spreadsheet that Danny Tejada , a college counselor in New York City, is updating. They include public universities like Oregon State and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and private colleges like Lewis & Clark and Kalamazoo. Many others may be offering extensions to students who request one, even if they’ve been reluctant to say so publicly.

A few hundred colleges and universities — mostly private and with comparatively ample financial aid resources — remain largely insulated from the chaos. That’s because they don’t rely on the FAFSA alone and require families to fill out another, more detailed form called the CSS profile. That gives them enough data to make firm offers to most accepted students now.

But for all other institutions, the delays and continued uncertainty about possible additional unpleasant surprises from the Education Department are a source of intense frustration.

John Carroll University in Cleveland also took matters into its own hands this month. It will seek financial data from students directly and make offers before it gets any FAFSA data from the government.

The university is also guaranteeing that it will stand behind one crucial part of these new price estimates for admitted students with financial need. The scholarship or grant part of the price quote — that is, money that students do not have to repay as they would with a student loan — won’t decrease even if late-arriving FAFSA data contains a surprise.

“We have a strong desire to give families the financial information that they are asking us for,” said Carolyn Noll Sorg, vice president for enrollment management. “We feel like we have the ability to provide that to them, and we feel like it’s important not to sit on that and make them wait.”

Saint Louis University announced a similar initiative. It created an entirely new aid form that collects similar data to what FAFSA does. Its announcement described the resulting price quote as an estimate, but also said it was “comprehensive” and would include federal aid that it believed students would be eligible for.

“Provided that any data isn’t significantly wrong, we’re going to stand behind it,” said Rob Reddy, interim vice president of enrollment management. If there are big errors, he added — say an income discrepancy of $15,000 or more — the school will aim to find middle ground.

Both schools are institutions with Jesuit roots, and its officials stressed those origins in explaining the impetus for the changes. Still, first movers on pricing may matriculate an outsize number of students this year.

“This is mission-driven,” Mr. Reddy said. “But it’s a competitive business, and I’ll never deny that. If I can pick up some enrollment, we’re happy to do it.”

For now, these efforts are for newly admitted students only, but that could change.

“We can pivot on a dime,” Mr. Reddy said. “If we’re still in this mess, we’ll flip it for returning students too.”

Tell us how you are you handling FAFSA challenges.

A previous version of this article, using incorrect information provided by Saint Louis University, misstated Rob Reddy’s title at Saint Louis University. He is interim vice president of enrollment management, not vice president of enrollment management.

How we handle corrections

Ron Lieber has been the Your Money columnist since 2008 and has written five books, most recently “The Price You Pay for College.” More about Ron Lieber

NBC Boston

Colleges adjusting decision deadline amid FAFSA delays

Due to the delays, some students won’t see financial aid offers until mid-april – just two weeks before the standard may 1 decision date, by ale zimmermann and leslie gaydos • published february 20, 2024 • updated on february 20, 2024 at 3:11 pm.

The new FAFSA form has been plagued with technical glitches, formula errors and delays that have made it difficult for students to figure out how much money they will receive to help pay for college.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona says it is all hands on deck as they continue to troubleshoot problems with the revamped FAFSA form.

“We’ve devoted $50 million in technical assistance to help these students process and get the information they need,” explained Cardona. “We recognize that there are some glitches for those students. We recognize there are some issues where students can not submit and we’re working to rectify those situations so they can submit.”

Due to the delays, some students won’t see financial aid offers until mid-April – just two weeks before the standard May 1 decision date. Many schools are now pushing that deadline back to June 1 -- including most of the state universities in Massachusetts.

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The UMass Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell campuses have extended their deposit deadlines to June 1st.

A university spokesperson tells us “Amherst is closely monitoring the situation – including the DOE schedule for releasing financial aid data and the plans of other large public and private universities -- to determine whether any adjustment in their deadline will be necessary.”

Fitchburg State and Framingham State also pushed back their deadlines to June 1.

Framingham said they will be flexible with that date – and with so many unknowns, they want students to make informed decisions and assure they understand what it will cost them to attend next year.

Harvard posted a message on their website, saying the May 1 deadline may be extended under exceptional circumstances, advising students to contact the financial aid office if they are waiting for financial aid awards from other schools to make a decision.

Cardona said his department is communicating regularly with colleges.

“We've been talking to colleges and they're saying, ‘you know, it would be helpful if you could reduce some of the burdens of reporting that we have had historically.’ And we recognize that that's a very valid, request.”

To help streamline the millions of federal aid applications, Cardona said the department is reducing verification requirements and suspending routine school compliance reviews until June. They’ll also make it more flexible for some colleges to recertify eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs.

A group of more than 100 democratic lawmakers – including Sen. Ed Markey and Sen. Elizabeth Warren – wrote a letter to Cardona last week, asking him to clarify how the department plans to communicate any further delays – and how it will minimize the potential impact on students and their families.

“We have Plan B, Plan C. We're focusing on Plan A with tons of new resources,” said Cardona. “This system hasn’t been touched in over 40 years.  We’re fixing it, we’re making it better. And this first year of implementation the timeline is a little bit different than it has been in the past, but more students will have access to aid and we’re proud about that.”

In the first three weeks of rolling out the new FAFSA form, Cardona tells us there were a million applicants a week who successfully submitted the form in under 15 minutes.

Students are being urged to apply for aid as soon as possible. Applicants are also being asked to reach out to a school’s financial aid office for any assistance. Some other New England schools that are monitoring the situation closely:

The University of Connecticut tells us they are not planning to move their May 1 deadline for admitted students.

In an email sent to applicants, the University of New Hampshire said they “will be extending our first-year application deadline until the timing of financial aid is finalized.”

The University of Rhode Island has removed its priority FAFSA filing date, which was formerly March 1. A URI spokesperson tells us, “URI has not made a decision to change its first-year enrollment deposit due date of May 1.”

Brown University moved the FAFSA deadline for domestic undergraduate students from to March 1. A spokesperson said, “Even that is a priority deadline — meaning that if the FAFSA is submitted beyond this date, no penalties will be assessed, nor will a student’s aid be reduced as a result of a later application.”

Rhode Island College will extend the deadline for new student deposits from May 1 to June 1.

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    For first-year: School Report (which includes a counselor letter) and high school transcript Teacher Report (2) Midyear School Report (after your first semester grades)

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    Harvard's reply deadline for admitted students remains May 1. However, if you are unable to make your decision because you are waiting for a financial aid award from another school, please contact our financial aid office for advice. Under exceptional circumstances, an extension to the May 1 deadline may be granted.

  3. All Harvard Admission Deadlines for 2024-25 Academic Year

    Round 1 : Dec 6, 2023 Round 2: Mar 27, 2024 Source for Harvard admission deadlines: HBS application page Harvard Kennedy School: HKS Master's Program Application deadline: December 1, 2023 at 12 p.m. ET Financial Aid deadline: Early January 2024 Decision letters are typically mailed by March, 2024 HKS application page

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    Admissions News Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Harvard College is extending our standardized testing policy through the 2021-2022 application cycle. We will allow students to apply for admission without requiring ACT or SAT test results.

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    Undergraduate Application Process Dates: November 1 - Early Action Deadline January 1 - Regular Decision Deadline Late March - Decision letters mailed May 1 - Reply date for admitted students Harvard College Application Requirements To Apply: For more information about financial aid, campus visits, and to apply:

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    The price of tuition, fees, room, and board at Harvard for the 2022-23 academic year is $76,763. Despite Harvard's high sticker price, for 90% of Americans, it's more affordable than public universities and international students receive the exact same financial aid as American students. Expense. Cost.

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  13. Harvard Early Action and Regular Decision Deadlines 2023-2024

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    This article provide productive tips and strategies to ensure that you meet Harvard's deadlines successfully. ... Harvard College Questions, and any additional supporting documents, must be submitted by this date. Standardized Test Scores: While Harvard has adopted a test-optional policy for the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 application cycles, ...

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  22. Colleges Still Accepting Applications, Including Rolling ...

    February 15. Abilene Christian University (TX) Allegheny College (PA) Azusa Pacific University (CA) California Institute of Integral Studies (CA) California State University East Bay (CA)

  23. Some D.C.-area colleges push back deadlines to commit after FAFSA delays

    Some D.C.-area colleges push back deadlines to commit after FAFSA delays By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel Updated February 15, 2024 at 2:05 p.m. EST | Published February 14, 2024 at 11:37 a.m. EST

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  25. Some Colleges Are Pivoting as FAFSA Delays Drag On

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  26. College decision deadlines pushed back over FAFSA delays

    Many schools are now pushing that deadline back to June 1 -- including most of the state universities in Massachusetts. The UMass Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell campuses have extended their deposit deadlines to June 1st. A university spokesperson tells us "Amherst is closely monitoring the situation - including the DOE schedule for releasing ...

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