Early Decision II – What to Expect

Are you considering applying under Early Decision II? Or did you already send in your application and want to know what to expect now? We’ll run through the basics of this college application method and what you need to know for the coming weeks.

A student's hand reaches up to hold the minute-hand of a clock. They consider applying early decision for multiple schools.

What is Early Decision II?

Early Decision II is the same thing as Early Decision, but with a later due date. Early Decision is usually due on either November 1st or November 15th. Early Decision II, however, usually has a due date of January 1st, 4th, or 15th. They are usually the same as the college’s Regular Decision deadline.

Whether you apply under the first or second Early Decision due date, it’s important to know how this application method differs from Early Action or Regular Decision. If you apply under Early Decision II, you are entering a contract. You are required to attend that college the following fall if you are accepted by that school.

You should not apply to more than one college under Early Decision II – doing so could jeopardize all of your applications. You are more than welcome though to still apply to other colleges through Regular Decision.

What Are the Benefits of Applying Under Early Decision II?

You Let the School Know You’re Interested

The major benefit to note that comes with applying under Early Decision II is the fact that you’re letting the college know you’re seriously interested in their school. After all, you have to attend if you’re accepted. You are more likely to receive an acceptance letter compared to students who apply under Regular Decision (as long as, of course, you fit what the school is looking for in a student).

You’ll Likely Hear Back Sooner

In most cases, students who apply under Early Decision II for a January 1st deadline will hear back from the college or university by mid-February (If your deadline is later, though, it may take longer). If accepted, you’ll know exactly where you stand come fall semester. And if you’re wait listed, it can help you plan for college accordingly.

What Do You Do if You’re Accepted?

If you’re accepted to a school and you applied under Early Decision II, they will send you a list of things you are required to do. You generally will have to send in necessary information as well as a deposit. You also will be required to withdraw any other applications to colleges and decline any acceptance offers you may have received whether under Early Action or Regular Decision.

Colleges may have slightly varying processes of admitting Early Decision students, so be sure to check with the admissions department if you have any questions.

Early Decision II is a big “decision” as you are agreeing, under a contract, to attend that particular school if you are accepted. It’s not one to be made lightly. If you have any concerns about the process, applications, or contract, you will want to reach out to the college as soon as possible.

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