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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 Common Data Set (CDS) and institutional websites and indicates admission outcomes for students entering in Fall 2017, the most recent year for which data is made available.

InstitutionEarly Action Admission RateEarly Decision Admission RateRegular Decision Admission Rate
American University84.5%26.6%
Amherst College34.5%11.7%
Babson College23.8%37.7%23.0%
Barnard College30.9%13.3%
Bates College48.4%17.8%
Beloit College20.0%54.9%
Bentley University65.8%43.4%
Boston College33.6%31.9%
Boston University29.6%24.8%
Bowdoin College28.3%11.6%
Brandeis University41.0%33.7%
Brown University21.0%7.1%
Bryn Mawr College52.5%36.5%
Bucknell University55.1%29.2%
California Institute of Technology12.0%6.1%
Carleton College29.7%20.0%
Carnegie Mellon University25.0%22.0%
Case Western Reserve University43.6%37.5%23.3%
Claremont McKenna College31.0%7.9%
Colby College39.0%14.2%
Colgate University43.9%26.4%
College of the Holy Cross77.5%36.9%
College of William and Mary51.9%34.7%
Colorado College18.1%33.1%8.1%
Columbia University14.4%4.7%
Connecticut College66.8%36.1%
Cornell University25.8%11.0%
Dartmouth College28.3%8.5%
Davidson College44.6%16.7%
Dickinson College56.6%68.4%36.5%
Duke University24.7%8.1%
Elon University62.6%98.7%70.6%
Emory University27.4%21.4%
Fordham University50.2%47.6%42.5%
Franklin & Marshall College61.9%31.6%
George Washington University54.5%40.2%
Georgetown University17.9%14.4%
Georgia Institute of Technology33.3%15.1%
Gettysburg College68.9%44.2%
Grinnell College61.2%27.0%
Hamilton College40.6%22.2%
Harvard University14.3%3.4%
Harvey Mudd College16.1%15.3%
Haverford College42.0%17.7%
Johns Hopkins University30.4%10.3%
Kenyon College66.4%31.7%
Lafayette College46.1%29.4%
Lehigh University59.9%22.1%
Macalester College51.8%40.0%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology7.8%6.7%
Middlebury College48.3%13.9%
Mount Holyoke College55.3%50.4%
Muhlenberg College84.8%45.5%
New York University34.2%26.7%
Northeastern University37.9%27.3%
Northwestern University26.9%7.2%
Oberlin College48.7%32.7%
Occidental College48.9%41.5%
Ohio State University62.4%29.1%
Pitzer College30.3%12.0%
Pomona College19.3%6.9%
Princeton University15.4%4.7%
Providence College76.0%50.6%
Reed College57.4%34.4%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute57.1%42.5%
Rhodes College62.6%50.7%
Rice University20.5%15.4%
Santa Clara University70.1%74.1%46.3%
Scripps College38.7%32.8%
Sewanee: University of the South58.2%64.4%24.8%
Skidmore College54.8%22.5%
Smith College54.5%29.4%
Southern Methodist University36.0%49.5%
Southwestern University24.7%43.5%
Spelman College36.0%40.2%
St. Lawrence University90.3%46.1%
St. Olaf College80.2%41.4%
Stanford University9.5%3.5%
Swarthmore College27.9%9.3%
Texas Christian University34.3%41.5%
The College of New Jersey62.3%46.7%
Trinity College57.1%31.6%
Trinity University66.0%38.1%
Tufts University36.8%11.9%
Tulane University32.1%35.9%2.7%
Union College63.1%35.7%
University of Chicago4.0%
University of Miami50.4%63.8%24.4%
University of Michigan
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill31.7%11.5%
University of Notre Dame29.9%15.2%
University of Pennsylvania22.0%7.0%
University of Richmond49.4%31.8%
University of Rochester50.8%34.3%
University of Virginia28.9%25.5%
Vanderbilt University24.0%9.2%
Vassar College41.7%22.1%
Virginia Tech63.1%70.8%
Wake Forest University44.2%24.8%
Washington and Lee University46.3%19.1%
Washington University38.3%14.6%
Wellesley College34.7%20.3%
Wesleyan University38.1%14.0%
Whitman College70.9%50.8%
Williams College35.4%12.7%
Worcester Polytechnic Institute62.8%27.5%
Yale University14.7%4.7%
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