El Segundo High School

Early Admission– the advantage for getting a ‘yes’ to Ivy League and other top-notch universities

ivy league Early Admission   the advantage for getting a yes to Ivy League and other top notch universities


In recent years, high school seniors have been faced with the decision of “where to apply early?” The early application has become imperative because as the statistics prove (see below), applying early gives the students far greater odds of getting accepted than applying Regular Decision.  And, students will hear about their acceptance decision by December 1.

Applying early can be done in two (and a half ways):  Early Decision (ED) or Early Action (EA).  Early Decision (ED) in binding, meaning if you are accepted as ED applicant, you must attend that college. However, Early Action (EA) is nonbinding. With EA students who are accepted early do not have to commit to the college until the Regular Decision reply date (usually) on May 1. Some colleges offer single-choice Early Action, which is still non-binding, but the student can only apply to that one college early.

Below is a list of the statistics for early admission rates in 2020. A few weeks ago in my story, I generated the overall admission rates, which combines the early and regular decision rates of acceptance.  By analyzing the chart below, a student can quickly surmise that applying early gives you two-to-three times better odds of getting an acceptance!

School Class of 2020 Early Admission Rate Admission Rate Overall

(early and regular decision)

Brown University 22%        ED 9%
Columbia University 17.6%     ED 6.04%
Cornell University 27.4%     ED 13.96%
Dartmouth College 25.6%     ED 10.52%
Duke University* 23.5%     ED 8.7%
Harvard University 14.8%     EA 5.2%
MIT* 8.5%       EA 7.8%
Northwestern University* 35%        ED 10.7%
Princeton University 18.6%     EA 6.46%
Stanford University* 9.5%       EA 4.69%
University of Pennsylvania 23.2%     ED 9.4%
Yale University 17%        EA 6.27%

*not an Ivy League college

DATA COMPILED FROM:  Cornell University;   Northwestern University;  Dartmouth College;  Duke University;  University of Pennsylvania;  Princeton University;  Yale University;  Columbia University;  Harvard University;  Stanford Universityhttp://blog.ivywise.com;     http://www.toptieradmissions.com;  http://www.collegedata.com

1 Comment

  • Reply Roger Scott December 1, 2016 at 9:22 am

    The data doesn’t *quite* support your conclusions. That would only be the case if the pool of applicants for Early Decision were statistically very similar to the pool for general admission, but that’s probably not the case. If you ask these schools they’ll tell you that students applying for Early Decision are typically both more motivated and far more likely to attend if accepted than those in the general applicant pool. I think the bottom line is that while there is numerically less competition for the ED spots, that competition is somewhat tougher. If you really want to attend that school you’re still probably somewhat ahead with ED, but not as much as these numbers might suggest.


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