What is Early Decision 2? College Applications FAQ

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Are you interested in increasing your chances of getting into your first-choice school?

Early decision 2 will help speed up the process and give you some more opportunities to demonstrate your potential to along the way.

This article will answer all your questions about early decision 2! We will provide you with basic facts about early decision 2, how to meet early decision deadline, and a list of early decision schools to start preparing your application today. By the end of this article, you will know exactly what early decision 2 is and how to use it to your advantage for college applications.

Let’s get started!

What is Early Decision 2 (ED II)?

What is Early Decision 2 (ED II)?

What is Early Decision 2 (ED II)?

First things first—what is early decision 2 (ED II)?

Early Decision 2, also known as ED II, is an early phase application option for students who are applying to college where you will get a chance to receive your decision announcement two months earlier than Regular Decision applicants. Early Decision II is also a binding agreement. That is, in the case of a student being accepted using this option, the student will need to commit to attending the college.

ED II deadline is usually on January 1, with some schools having earlier application deadlines. Final decisions are typically announced around Spring, either late January or early February. Other options, such as early action, or early decision I have different deadlines, but are not the focus of this article.

Now, why would you apply to early decision 2?

You would typically apply to early decision 2 if you have a first-choice college and if you’re worried about your junior year transcripts. This doesn’t mean that you just bombed your junior year, but perhaps you didn’t perform as much as you would have liked for your college applications. With ED II, you get a chance to submit transcripts from the first quarter of your senior year instead of junior year.

Note that this may be risky if you happen to do worse during the first quarter of your senior year, so make sure to think through this decision, reflect on your time commitment, and be realistic about what you’ll be able to accomplish in your remaining year before college.

Additionally, because of the binding agreement, if you get accepted into a school in ED II, but are waiting to hear back from an ED I school, you are obligated to accept the former offer.

Does Early Decision 2 Increase Chances?

Does Early Decision 2 Increase Chances?

Does Early Decision 2 Increase Chances?

Now, does Early Decision 2 increase your chances of getting into a college?

Yes! Colleges tend to have higher acceptance rates for students who apply using early decision programs, including early decision 2.

For instance, Early Decision 2 gives you more flexibility in submitting grades or activities that you complete later on in the year, including any last-minute standardized testing taken in December. This helps strengthen your application, particularly if you underperformed in your junior year or didn’t realize how much you had to convey performance in your reports.

There are certainly benefits to both students and colleges. For instance, using the early decision II program can convey your enthusiasm and commitment to a specific college or program. In submitting your application as ED II, you will also have the opportunity to increase your chances of acceptance because rates are often much higher in early admissions.

However, ED II does not come without risks. ED II decisions come at a later point than other options, so you may actually be lowering your chances by not applying to earlier decision applications.

Can I Apply ED II If I Was Not Accepted ED I?

Can I Apply ED II If I Was Not Accepted ED I?

Can I Apply ED II If I Was Not Accepted ED I?

Can you apply to both ED II and ED I?

The short answer—usually, yes.

However, whether or not you can apply to ED I and ED II will vary on an individual basis. This flexibility will ultimately depend on the institution’s policies. For instance, some colleges policies that allow you to apply to other early decision II programs if their notification dates occur after a particular time period.

Now, if you’re deciding to do this within the same school, then we would change our answer to a resounding no. You cannot reapply to the same school. You can only apply to another school after not being accepted in the ED I phase.

If you plan on doing this, you need to make yourself aware of the ED II deadlines for the second choice schools in order to submit your materials accordingly. Because a lot of effort goes into your application materials, we advise you to prepare much in advance and not just decide to apply to another school on a whim.

Generally, it’s wise to look over the policies of each college and decide based on the specific timelines you are provided. It might benefit you to create a sheet with the name of each college you plan to apply for, the deadline and notification dates of ED II and any additional information on what each college permits for the program.

What Schools Offer ED 2?

What Schools Offer ED 2?

What Schools Offer ED 2?

Another important fact to remember is that not all schools will offer the option of ED II. Thankfully, we have done all the work for you and created a list of early decision II schools with ED II deadlines that you can look into for more details on the ED II application process.

School ED II Notification
Allegheny College Feb 1
American University Jan 15
Babson College Jan 2
Bates College Jan 1
Bentley University Jan 7
Boston University Jan 6
Bennington College Jan 15
Bowdoin College Jan 1
Brandeis University Jan 1
Bryant University Jan 15
Bryn Mawr College Jan 1
Bucknell University Jan 15
Catholic University of America Jan 15
Carleton College Jan 15
Case Western Reserve University Jan 15
Claremont McKenna College Jan 5
Clark University Jan 15
Colby College Jan 1
Colgate University Jan 15
College of the Atlantic Jan 15
College of the Holy Cross Jan 15
College of New Jersey Jan 1
College of William and Mary Jan 1
College of Wooster Jan 15
Colorado College Jan 15
Connecticut College Jan 1
Davidson College Jan 2
Denison College Jan 15
Dickinson College Jan 15
Drew University Jan 15
Emory University Jan 1
Franklin & Marshall College Jan 15
George Washington University Jan 5
Gettysburg College Jan 15
Grinnell College Jan 1
Hamilton College Jan 1
Harvey Mudd College Jan 5
Haverford College Jan 1
High Point University Feb 1
Hobart and William Smith Colleges Jan 15
Jewish Theological Seminary Jan 15
Juniata College Jan 15
Kalamazoo College Feb 1
Kenyon College Jan 15
Lafayette College Jan 15
Lake Forest College Jan 15
Lehigh University Jan 1
Macalester College Jan 1
Marist College Feb 1
McDaniel College Jan 15
Middlebury College Jan 1
Mount Holyoke College Jan 1
Muhlenberg College Feb 1
Nazareth College Jan 10
New York University Jan 1
Northeastern University Jan 1
Oberlin College Jan 2
Occidental College Jan 1
Ohio Wesleyan University Jan 15
Pitzer College Jan 1
Pomona College Jan 1
Providence College Jan 15
Reed College Dec 20
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Dec 15
Rhodes College Jan 15
Rochester Institute of Technology Jan 1
Rollins College Jan 5
Saint Olaf College Jan 8
Santa Clara College Jan 7
Sarah Lawrence College Jan 2
Scripps College Jan 3
Sewanee: The University of the South Jan 15
Skidmore College Jan 15
Smith College Jan 1
Southern Methodist University Jan 15
Springfield College Jan 15
Stevens Institute of Technology Jan 15
Swarthmore College Jan 1
Syracuse University Jan 1
Trinity College Jan 1
Trinity University Jan 15
Tufts University Jan 1
Tulane University Jan 6
Union College Jan 15
University of Chicago Jan 2
University of Miami Jan 1
University of Richmond Jan 1
Ursinus College Feb 1
Vanderbilt University Jan 1
Vassar College Jan 1
Wake Forest University Jan 1
Washington University Jan 2
Washington and Lee University Jan 1
Wellesley College Jan 1
Wesleyan University Jan 1
Whitman College Jan 1
Wheaton College Jan 15

Typical early decision 2 applications are submitted around January 1st, with some schools requiring much earlier submissions in December. If you’re looking for the beneficial opportunities offered by ED II applications, then you’ll likely want to select a school with later dates.

Another important note is that you should always look up the specific submission criteria for each school. While most schools will ask for the same materials, make sure to take note of any additional requirements, such as a recommendation letter or work history. Look up the criteria on each individual school’s website.

Wrapping Things Up: What is Early Decision 2?

There you have it! You have all the information you will need to apply for early decision 2 this upcoming year for your first-choice college. The important thing to remember is that not all schools may offer this option, but you should make sure you apply to this when you can to be able to demonstrate higher scores in late season testing.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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