Colleges Extending Early Application Deadlines

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Discover Whether Your Early Decision Choice is Extending Their Deadline


For students submitting a college application in 2020, the admissions cycle has been anything but ordinary. From campus tour closures to SAT/ACT cancellations, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to impact the admissions process. 

Most recently, several colleges have opted to extend their Early Decision and Early Action deadlines to give applicants more time to complete testing and additional requirements. Keep reading to learn more about which colleges have extended their early application deadlines.

Which colleges are extending their early deadlines?

If you’re interested in applying to your best-fit college through Early Decision or Early Action, there’s a good chance you’re in the midst of working on your application right now. While we always recommend that students avoid waiting until the last minute for any college application component, it’s helpful to be aware of any changes regarding your application timeline. 

Back in August, we predicted that some colleges may consider extending their Early Decision deadlines to offer applicants more time to complete their applications. The first school to announce a change in their admissions timeline was the University of Virginia, which delayed their early application deadline to November 1. Now several other colleges have followed suit, with some even extending their regular decision deadlines.

We will continue updating this list as more information becomes available so check back frequently!

SchoolPrevious Early Application DeadlineNew Early Application Deadline
Babson College11/111/16
Brandeis University11/111/15
Cal State System11/3012/4
Cornell University11/111/16
Duke University11/111/16
Fordham University11/111/9
Penn State11/111/15
Tufts University11/1 (ED I)11/17 (ED I)
University of Michigan11/111/15
Villanova University11/1 (EA/ED I)11/15 (EA/ED I)
Williams College1/1 (RD)1/8 (RD)

Early Decision can be an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your interest in your top choice school and learn your admissions fate more quickly, but it’s important to weigh all of the pros and cons before opting to apply in this round. 

Unlike Early Action, Early Decision is a binding process, meaning accepted students will be expected to enroll at their ED school. Consequently, if you’re not ready to fully commit to the college you’re considering applying early to, it might be best to wait until the regular round or opt for a non-binding option. 

Students who are looking to weigh financial aid options should also give Early Decision a second thought. If an applicant is admitted to their Early Decision school, they will not be able to compare and contrast financial aid packages from the schools they would have applied to in the regular round. 

How can I make the most of an extended deadline?

If the school you plan to apply Early Decision or Early Action to opts to extend their deadline, strive to use this additional time to your advantage. Instead of putting off your work, stick to your original strategy for completing your application to meet the previous deadline. Once all of your application components are ready, give your essays and short answer questions another read through. 

There’s no such thing as being too careful when it comes to reading over your college applications; don’t let a typo or spelling error detract from your application. Make sure you feel fully confident and proud of every element you’re submitting to the admissions office so that you can present yourself in the best light possible. 

What else should prospective Early Decision or Early Action applicants consider?

Over the coming weeks, students who are interested in applying Early Decision should keep tabs on their first-choice school to make sure they stay updated on any potential application changes. While only a few colleges have currently extended their deadlines, other universities may ultimately choose to follow in their footsteps. If you have any unanswered questions or lingering uncertainties about applying Early Decision or Early Action at the college you are interested in, consider reaching out to their admissions office for updated information.

There have been significant changes throughout this admissions cycle, which is why it is so important for students to do their research and monitor every college on their best-fit list. If you are getting ready to apply and searching for personalized guidance, our team of college admissions experts is here to help. 

Related Topics

12th Grade, Early Decision/Early Action

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