2023-24 Notification Dates For Early Decision, Early Action and BS/MD Programs

By Brandie Erickson December 4, 2023 BS/MD Admissions Consulting College Application College Search Press

Now that high school students have submitted their Early Decision (ED), Early Action (EA) and BS/MD program applications, they might be wondering about the timeline for their admissions decisions. Securing an acceptance into a top school or program can provide a sense of relief to both students and their families as they navigate this stressful process. When a student applies under an early application plan, they can face acceptance, denial, or deferral. You can read more in our Forbes article or below.

 

What An Acceptance Means 

Depending on the admission plan the student applied under, it will dictate the next steps for the student. For students who applied early action, they don’t have to immediately accept the admission offer, meaning they can wait until May 1 to accept (or reject). They have time to weigh their options, and see if other acceptances roll in or if they get a better scholarship offer. 

On the other hand, early decision plans are binding—students who applied ED and are accepted must commit to attending. The only exception is if the student does not receive an adequate financial aid package. However, if the aid package is acceptable, the student typically must accept the offer within two weeks and withdraw all their other applications. 

For students applying to BS/MD programs, they will have applied to both undergraduate and medical school simultaneously, and these programs will typically have deadlines in November. Unless the student applied early decision to the undergraduate school associated with the BS/MD program, they will not be bound to the BS/MD acceptance and can consider other admission options.

 

What A Rejection Means

For rejected students, it doesn’t mean they will be rejected from other similarly competitive schools. Each school will evaluate the students independently and holistically. That is why it is always essential to have a balanced college list. 

Once a student is rejected from a school, they are not eligible to reapply during this admissions cycle to that school. However, students can apply to any other school, including those with rolling, regular decision, or Early Decision II admission plans. 

If a student does select an Early Decision II admission plan, they should note that the same rules apply as Early Decision—students are obligated to attend if they are accepted and can only apply to one Early Decision II school.

 

What A Deferral Means

Students who apply EA or ED might receive a confusing message in their inboxes: deferral. Deferral means the school will review the application again in the regular decision application pool. While it might feel like a rejection, it means the student was strong, but the school isn’t sure if there is enough room for them in their admissions class. 

Students applying ED and are deferred to the admission round are no longer bound to attend if they are accepted. However, the student should take time to consider if the school is still one of their top choices and if they want to be considered in the regular decision application pool. Then, they should check what information the school wants from the student. Sometimes, schools want a letter of continued interest or a deferral letter where the student has space to reaffirm their interest in the school and update the school on their extracurricular activities or other accomplishments achieved since applying. However, if the school does not want this information, do not send a letter. Contrary to what some students might think, not following specific directions can harm their chances in the regular decision round. 

 

What Happens Next? 

For students applying Early Decision:

  • Acceptance with adequate financial aid: Accept the offer, pay the enrollment deposit, and withdraw other offers.
  • Acceptance without adequate financial aid: Reject the Early Decision offer and continue applying to other regular decision, rolling decision or Early Decision II schools.
  • Rejection: Apply to other regular decision, rolling decision or Early Decision II schools
  • Deferral: Follow the specific school’s rules for deferral and apply to other regular decision, rolling decision or Early Decision II schools.

For students applying Early Action:

  • Acceptance: Can wait to decide by May 1 and continue applying to other schools.
  • Rejection: Apply to other regular decision, rolling decision or Early Decision II schools.
  • Deferral: Follow the specific school’s rules for deferral and apply to other regular decision, rolling decision or Early Decision II schools.

For students applying to a BS/MD program:

  • Interview notification: Confirm the interview time as soon as the email notification is received and begin preparing for the interview.
  • Rejection: Apply to other regular decision, rolling decision or Early Decision II schools and keep waiting for other BS/MD interview notifications. 

Notifications Dates for Traditional Undergraduate Schools

*These dates are subject to change.

American University: ED by December 31

Amherst College: ED by early to mid-December

Babson College: ED I by mid-December; EA by January 1

Bard College: ED I and EA by December 31