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Early Action and Early Decision vs. Regular Decision Admission Rates

Here’s a fact that may surprise you—college admissions offices will be sweating every bit as much as college applicants during this college application season. While anxiety-filled students are praying for acceptance into their first-choices schools, equally nervous admissions directors are trying desperately to ensure that they meet their enrollment targets in the spring. Amazingly, the majority of colleges fail to meet this goal and they are pining for strong candidates that are willing to commit to their school. This is why applying early decision, which is binding, can be a strategic advantage for applicants. Below you will find the ED admission rates and regular decision rates for some of the most prestigious schools in the United States. Where applicable, we included non-binding, early action admission rates as well.

The following table compares Early Action/Decision vs. Regular Decision admission rates at America’s most selective colleges and universities. Data was collected from the 2018-19 Common Data Set (CDS) and institutional websites, and indicates admission outcomes for students entering in Fall 2018, the most recent year for which data is made available.

InstitutionEarly Action Admission RateEarly Decision Admission RateRegular Decision Admission Rate
Skidmore College50.8%25.3%
Sewanee: University of the South83.0%86.1%39.4%
Scripps College32.0%23.5%
Santa Clara University63.3%72.6%38.6%
Rice University22.1%10.2%
Rhodes College55.8%62.6%30.8%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute46.8%42.7%
Reed College52.3%34.3%
Providence College80.6%47.7%
Princeton University14.8%3.8%
Pomona College16.6%6.4%
Pitzer College29.6%11.4%
Ohio State University65.3%31.5%
Occidental College47.9%36.7%
Oberlin College49.0%35.3%
Northwestern University26.5%6.4%
Northeastern University41.0%18.9%
New York University34.7%18.4%
Muhlenberg College85.6%60.1%
Mount Holyoke College57.7%50.2%
Middlebury College46.8%13.6%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology6.9%6.6%
Macalester College52.1%40.6%
Lehigh University60.3%19.2%
Lafayette College51.6%27.4%
Kenyon College69.8%33.9%
Johns Hopkins University30.2%9.1%
Haverford College44.1%16.1%
Harvey Mudd College18.9%13.9%
Harvard University14.5%2.9%
Hamilton College42.0%19.2%
Grinnell College57.8%22.7%
Gettysburg College70.8%43.5%
Georgia Institute of Technology25.8%17.2%
Georgetown University14.5%
George Washington University70.3%40.4%
Franklin & Marshall College57.8%33.1%
Fordham University53.9%53.4%39.5%
Emory University26.0%17.7%
Elon University71.4%87.0%72.0%
Duke University21.6%7.3%
Dickinson College57.8%67.9%36.2%
Davidson College46.1%15.6%
Dartmouth College25.3%6.8%
Cornell University24.5%8.7%
Connecticut College62.4%36.3%
Columbia University17.6%4.3%
Colorado College18.3%27.4%8.5%
College of William and Mary58.2%35.5%
College of the Holy Cross81.3%34.9%
Colgate University40.7%23.2%
Colby College38.2%11.4%
Claremont McKenna College25.0%7.1%
Case Western Reserve University36.0%42.0%22.8%
Carnegie Mellon University21.1%16.8%
Carleton College26.5%18.9%
California Institute of Technology6.6%
Bucknell University55.6%31.3%
Bryn Mawr College52.5%31.9%
Brown University21.1%6.2%
Brandeis University39.1%30.5%
Bowdoin College22.9%8.5%
Boston University28.3%21.6%
Boston College33.6%25.6%
Bentley University68.5%42.2%
Beloit College26.8%56.9%
Bates College45.1%14.9%
Barnard College29.9%11.6%
Babson College23.7%39.4%23.0%
Amherst College38.3%11.5%
American University81.2%28.9%
Yale University6.9%
Worcester Polytechnic Institute64.8%5.1%
Williams College34.5%11.1%
Whitman College50.4%
Wesleyan University37.6%15.6%
Wellesley College30.9%18.0%
Washington University42.0%13.4%
Washington and Lee University50.5%18.1%
Wake Forest University41.0%27.4%
Virginia Tech45.4%66.8%
Vassar College43.7%22.9%
Vanderbilt University20.6%20.6%6.1%
University of Virginia27.7%24.7%
University of Rochester31.4%
University of Richmond48.2%29.1%
University of Pennsylvania18.5%6.5%
University of Notre Dame29.9%13.8%
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill31.1%8.4%
University of Michigan22.8%
University of Miami44.3%55.6%20.9%
University of Chicago7.3%
Union College56.2%37.6%
Tulane University24.9%32.2%1.4%
Tufts University42.3%11.4%
Trinity University64.8%79.2%8.2%
Trinity College57.6%31.3%
The College of New Jersey60.1%49.3%
Texas Christian University58.2%33.4%20.5%
Swarthmore College26.3%8.0%
Stanford University4.4%
St. Olaf College75.8%48.0%
St. Lawrence University76.2%44.4%
Spelman College56.2%36.1%28.8%
Southwestern University30.8%45.4%
Southern Methodist University61.4%50.8%
Smith College49.5%28.9%