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