Complete List Of Early Decision II Schools In 2023-24

By Brandie Erickson January 12, 2024 College Application College Search Early Admission Press

Featured on Forbes: Competitive students applying to college will often use Early Action (EA) and Early Decision (ED) to maximize their college application strategy. For EA and ED admission plans, students will have to apply earlier in the admission cycle—typically in November—and will find out sooner if they are accepted or rejected from the university. Applying early, especially ED, can give applicants a significant boost in acceptance rate. 

Take Northwestern University, for example. In the 2022-23 admission cycle, students applying ED enjoyed a 22% acceptance rate, whereas those applying in the regular decision (RD) round had just a 7% acceptance rate. 

Understanding Early Decision II: How ED II Differs From ED I

Colleges often have multiple early admission rounds: Early Action, Early Decision I and Early Decision II. Some schools, like Boston University, will only offer an ED I and ED II deadline, whereas the University of Chicago has all three options: EA, ED I and ED II.

Unlike when applying EA, students who opt for an ED can only apply to one school early decision. If rejected, they can apply to another school ED II if they choose. For both ED I and ED II, students are obligated to attend if they are accepted into the school. Ethically, one of the few ways to back out is if the student cannot afford to attend given the financial aid package they receive. 

Outside of the timeline, there isn’t a big difference between ED I and ED II: most ED I deadlines are due in November with students being notified of acceptances in mid-December. For ED II, most applications are due in January (around the same time as regular decision deadlines), with the notification dates in mid-late February. While there isn’t a huge statistical advantage to applying EA, applying ED I or ED II can give students a competitive edge. 

ED I does tend to be slightly more advantageous than the ED II round; for Vanderbilt’s Class of 2026, 10.3% of ED II applicants were accepted compared to 24.1% of ED I applicants. Despite the lower early acceptance rate, ED II applicants still held an advantage over regular decision applicants, who were accepted at a 4.7% rate. 

Comparatively, Emory University accepted 31% of its ED I applicants and 12% of its ED II applicants but just 7.6% of its RD applicants. 

Universities also tend to fill up a large portion of their admission class with ED applicants. Pomona College filled 54.7% of its freshman class with ED I and II applicants, while early applicants took 44% of Boston University’s Class of 2027 spots. 

What To Consider Before Applying ED II

Students who want to apply ED II should consider the following before fully committing:

  • Determine if the school is a top choice. Because students are obligated to attend if accepted, they should first ensure they absolutely want to attend the university. Is this institution a good fit for them academically and socially? Students should consider visiting first before making such a big decision. 
  • Financial aid considerations. Students will find out in mid-late February and often have only a few weeks to commit and send their enrollment deposit. Harvey Mudd College releases its decisions on February 15, and students have until March 5 to reply. Some financial aid award letters don’t get sent out until April, so students must commit without knowing what else might have happened in the cycle because they are required to withdraw all the other applications per their ED II agreement.  
  • Balancing the desire to attend a top-choice school with other considerations.  Many of our students at Moon Prep are applying for BS/MD programs. These uber-competitive pathway programs allow students committed to medicine to apply to both undergraduate and medical schools simultaneously. Stony Brook University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Brown University and Tulane University all release their admission decisions in April. Students must carefully consider what is most important to them: getting into a top university through an ED round or a competitive BS/MD program. 

What If I Don’t Get Accepted To My Major?

When applying, students can indicate their top choice major: biology, business, computer science, engineering, and more. Some more competitive majors, like business or computer science, might have a tougher acceptance rate and not have room for every qualified student. 

Suppose an applicant is accepted into an ED II school but not their desired major. In that case, the student is often no longer bound to attend and can wait to decide if they want to enroll in the school after receiving their other acceptances and scholarship offers. 

I’ve Already Applied Under The RD Application. Can I Switch To ED II? 

If the student opted for a regular decision but then changed their mind after applying, they might still be able to switch their plan to ED II. One school that allows its applicants to switch admissions plans is Hamilton College. To convert to ED II, applicants must file an Early Decision Agreement by midnight on Sunday, January 29, 2024. Check with each school to see if this is permissible and what their deadlines are. 

Universities With Early Decision II In 2023-24

*Deadlines are subject to change.

American University: January 15

Babson College: January 2

Bates Colleges: January 10

Bennington College: January 15

Bentley University: January 15

Boston College: January 2

Boston University: January 4

Bowdoin College: January 5

Brandeis University: January 2

Carleton College: January 15

Carnegie Mellon University: January 3

Case Western Reserve University: January 15

Claremont McKenna College: January 10

Colby College: January 2

Colgate University: January 15

College of the Holy Cross: January 15

College of William and Mary: January 5

College of Wooster: January 15

Colorado College: January 15

Connecticut College: January 15

Davidson College: January 5

Emory University: January 1

Franklin & Marshall College: January 15

George Washington University: January 5

Gettysburg College: January 15

Grinnell College: January 5

Hamilton College: January 3

Harvey Mudd College: January 5

Haverford College: January 5

Hobart and William Smith Colleges: January 15

Johns Hopkins University: January 2

Kenyon College: January 15

Lafayette College: January 15

Lehigh University: January 1

Macalester College: January 1

Middlebury College: January 3

Mount Holyoke College: January 3

New York University: January 1

Northeastern University: January 1

Pomona College: January 8

Reed College: December 20 

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: December 15

Rhodes College: January 15

Santa Clara University: January 7

Sarah Lawrence College: January 15

Scripps College: January 5

Sewanee: The University of the South: January 15

Skidmore College: January 15

Smith College: January 1

Swarthmore College: January 4

Trinity College: January 17

Trinity University: February 1

Tufts University: January 4

University of Chicago: January 2

University of Miami: January 1

University of Richmond: January 1

University of Rochester: January 5

Vanderbilt University: January 1

Vassar College: January 1

Wake Forest University: January 1

Washington and Lee University: January 1

Washington University in St. Louis: January 3

Wellesley College: January 1

Wesleyan University: January 1

Whitman College: January 10