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.

SchoolED II Notification
Allegheny CollegeFeb 1
American UniversityJan 15
Babson CollegeJan 2
Bates CollegeJan 1
Bentley UniversityJan 7
Boston UniversityJan 6
Bennington CollegeJan 15
Bowdoin CollegeJan 1
Brandeis UniversityJan 1
Bryant UniversityJan 15
Bryn Mawr CollegeJan 1
Bucknell UniversityJan 15
Catholic University of AmericaJan 15
Carleton CollegeJan 15
Case Western Reserve UniversityJan 15
Claremont McKenna CollegeJan 5
Clark UniversityJan 15
Colby CollegeJan 1
Colgate UniversityJan 15
College of the AtlanticJan 15
College of the Holy CrossJan 15
College of New JerseyJan 1
College of William and MaryJan 1
College of WoosterJan 15
Colorado CollegeJan 15
Connecticut CollegeJan 1
Davidson CollegeJan 2
Denison CollegeJan 15
Dickinson CollegeJan 15
Drew UniversityJan 15
Emory UniversityJan 1
Franklin & Marshall CollegeJan 15
George Washington UniversityJan 5
Gettysburg CollegeJan 15
Grinnell CollegeJan 1
Hamilton CollegeJan 1
Harvey Mudd CollegeJan 5
Haverford CollegeJan 1
High Point UniversityFeb 1
Hobart and William Smith CollegesJan 15
Jewish Theological SeminaryJan 15
Juniata CollegeJan 15
Kalamazoo CollegeFeb 1
Kenyon CollegeJan 15
Lafayette CollegeJan 15
Lake Forest CollegeJan 15
Lehigh UniversityJan 1
Macalester CollegeJan 1
Marist CollegeFeb 1
McDaniel CollegeJan 15
Middlebury CollegeJan 1
Mount Holyoke CollegeJan 1
Muhlenberg CollegeFeb 1
Nazareth CollegeJan 10
New York UniversityJan 1
Northeastern UniversityJan 1
Oberlin CollegeJan 2
Occidental CollegeJan 1
Ohio Wesleyan UniversityJan 15
Pitzer CollegeJan 1
Pomona CollegeJan 1
Providence CollegeJan 15
Reed CollegeDec 20
Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteDec 15
Rhodes CollegeJan 15
Rochester Institute of TechnologyJan 1
Rollins CollegeJan 5
Saint Olaf CollegeJan 8
Santa Clara CollegeJan 7
Sarah Lawrence CollegeJan 2
Scripps CollegeJan 3
Sewanee: The University of the SouthJan 15
Skidmore CollegeJan 15
Smith CollegeJan 1
Southern Methodist UniversityJan 15
Springfield CollegeJan 15
Stevens Institute of TechnologyJan 15
Swarthmore CollegeJan 1
Syracuse UniversityJan 1
Trinity CollegeJan 1
Trinity UniversityJan 15
Tufts UniversityJan 1
Tulane UniversityJan 6
Union CollegeJan 15
University of ChicagoJan 2
University of MiamiJan 1
University of RichmondJan 1
Ursinus CollegeFeb 1
Vanderbilt UniversityJan 1
Vassar CollegeJan 1
Wake Forest UniversityJan 1
Washington UniversityJan 2
Washington and Lee UniversityJan 1
Wellesley CollegeJan 1
Wesleyan UniversityJan 1
Whitman CollegeJan 1
Wheaton CollegeJan 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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