Guide to Early Action Schools

by Bethany Goldszer | Last Updated: May 9, 2022

In the United States, there are more than 300 early action schools. Colleges with an early admissions program that does not ask applicants to commit to attending is considered Early Action (EA). Compared to Early Decision, which does ask for a binding commitment, early action schools can be a better deal for you. Early action school deadlines are between October 15 and November 15. 

Early Action Schools

The Pros and Cons of Early Action Schools

The benefits of early action  include are:

  • Freedom to apply to more than one early action school. If you apply early action, then you can online apply to one college.
  • The flexibility that comes along with applying early in the application process, hearing a response in mid-December, without the obligation to attend.
  • If you are admitted to the college, but the financial aid office does not provide a financial package that meets your family’s needs, you can decline and choose not to attend. If you are admitted to more than one early action college, which are comparable, you can negotiate financial aid offers.

There are no cons to early action. It is all around a great option for all students who are qualified and competitive for the college.

List of Early Action Schools

Here’s a list of schools in the United States that have early action admissions cycles. To learn about each, make sure that you visit their admissions websites, as well as determine the early action due date.


  • Auburn University
  • Birmingham-Southern College


  • Hendrix College
  • University of Arkansas


  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Biola University
  • California Baptist University
  • California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • California Lutheran University
  • Chapman University
  • Concordia University Irvine
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • The Master’s University
  • Menlo College
  • Mills College
  • Mount Saint Mary’s University
  • Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Saint Mary’s College of California
  • Santa Clara University
  • Simpson University
  • Soka University of America
  • Stanford University
  • University of the Pacific
  • University of Redlands
  • University of San Francisco
  • Vanguard University of Southern California
  • Westmont College
  • Whittier College


  • Colorado College
  • Colorado State University
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of Denver


  • Fairfield University
  • Sacred Heart University
  • United States Coast Guard Academy
  • University of New Haven
  • Yale University


  • Delaware College of Art and Design

District of Columbia

  • Catholic University of America
  • Georgetown University
  • Howard University


  • Eckerd College
  • Lynn University
  • University of Miami
  • University of Tampa


  • Agnes Scott College
  • Emmanuel College
  • Georgia College and State University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
  • Georgia State University
  • Mercer University
  • Morehouse College
  • Oglethorpe University
  • Spelman College
  • University of Georgia


  • College of Idaho
  • Northwest Nazarene University


  • Augustana College
  • DePaul University
  • Illinois College
  • Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Knox College
  • Lake Forest College
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Wheaton College


  • Butler University
  • DePauw University
  • Earlham College
  • Grace College
  • Hanover College
  • Purdue University
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  • University of Evansville
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Wabash College


  • Coe College
  • Cornell College
  • Wartburg College


  • Bellarmine University
  • Centre College
  • Transylvania University
  • University of Kentucky


  • Centenary College of Louisiana
  • Tulane University


  • Maine Maritime Academy
  • Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
  • Thomas College
  • Unity College
  • University of Maine
  • University of Maine at Farmington
  • University of Maine at Machias
  • University of New England


  • Goucher College
  • Loyola University Maryland
  • McDaniel College
  • Mount St. Mary’s University
  • Salisbury University
  • St. John’s College
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • Washington College


  • Assumption College
  • Babson College
  • Bay Path University
  • Becker College
  • Berklee College of Music
  • Bridgewater State University
  • Clark University
  • Curry College
  • Dean College
  • Emerson College
  • Emmanuel College
  • Framingham State University
  • Gordon College
  • Hampshire College
  • Harvard University
  • Hellenic College
  • Lasell College
  • Lesley University
  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design
  • Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Massachusetts Maritime Academy
  • Merrimack College
  • Montserrat College of Art
  • Northeastern University
  • Regis College
  • Salem State University
  • Simmons College
  • Stonehill College
  • Suffolk University
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Massachusetts Boston
  • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Wheaton College
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Worcester State University


  • Central Michigan University
  • College for Creative Studies
  • Kalamazoo College
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Michigan


  • College of Saint Benedict
  • Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Hamline University
  • Minneapolis College of Art and Design
  • Saint John’s University
  • University of Minnesota—Twin Cities


  • Millsaps College

New Hampshire

  • Saint Anselm College
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • University of New Hampshire

New Jersey

  • Bloomfield College
  • Caldwell University
  • Felician College
  • Georgian Court University
  • Kean University
  • Monmouth University
  • Princeton University
  • Rider University
  • Rutgers—New Brunswick
  • Saint Peter’s University
  • Seton Hall University
  • William Paterson University

New Mexico

  • St. John’s College

New York

  • Adelphi University
  • Bard College
  • College of Mount Saint Vincent
  • College of Saint Rose
  • Columbia University, School of General Studies
  • Concordia College New York
  • Fordham University
  • Hofstra University
  • Iona College
  • Ithaca College
  • Le Moyne College
  • LIM College
  • LIU Brooklyn
  • LIU Post
  • Manhattanville College
  • Marist College
  • Molloy College
  • New York Institute of Technology
  • Niagara University
  • Pace University
  • Parsons School of Design (The New School)
  • Pratt Institute
  • The Sage Colleges
  • Siena College
  • SUNY Albany (University at Albany)
  • SUNY Binghamton (Binghamton University)
  • SUNY Buffalo (University at Buffalo)
  • SUNY Cortland
  • SUNY New Paltz
  • SUNY Oneonta
  • SUNY Polytechnic Institute
  • SUNY Purchase (Purchase College)
  • Utica College
  • Wells College

North Carolina

  • Elon University
  • High Point University
  • Lees-McRae College
  • Lenoir-Rhyne University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Queens University of Charlotte
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington
  • Warren Wilson College
  • Western Carolina University


  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Cleveland Institute of Art
  • College of Wooster
  • John Carroll University
  • Miami University
  • Ohio State University
  • Ohio Wesleyan University
  • University of Akron
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Dayton
  • Wittenberg University


  • University of Tulsa


  • Eastern Oregon University
  • George Fox University
  • Lewis & Clark College
  • Linfield College
  • Oregon State University
  • University of Oregon
  • Willamette University


  • Duquesne University
  • La Salle University
  • Lycoming College
  • Penn State (all undergraduate campuses)
  • Saint Joseph’s University
  • Susquehanna University
  • Temple University
  • University of Scranton
  • Ursinus College
  • Villanova University
  • Washington & Jefferson College
  • Westminster College

Rhode Island

  • Bryant University
  • Providence College
  • Roger Williams University
  • Salve Regina University
  • University of Rhode Island

South Carolina

  • College of Charleston
  • Furman University
  • Presbyterian College
  • University of South Carolina
  • Wofford College


  • Rhodes College
  • Sewanee: University of the South


  • Abilene Christian University
  • Austin College
  • Baylor University
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Southwestern University
  • Tarleton State University
  • Texas Christian University
  • Texas Lutheran University
  • Trinity University
  • University of Dallas
  • University of St. Thomas


  • University of Utah


  • Bennington College
  • Marlboro College
  • Saint Michael’s College
  • Sterling College
  • University of Vermont


  • Christendom College
  • Christopher Newport University
  • George Mason University
  • Hampden-Sydney College
  • Hampton University
  • Hollins University
  • James Madison University
  • Longwood University
  • Old Dominion University
  • Patrick Henry College
  • Radford University
  • Randolph College
  • Randolph-Macon College
  • Sweet Briar College
  • University of Mary Washington
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Virginia’s College at Wise


  • Cornish College of the Arts
  • Gonzaga University
  • Northwest University
  • Seattle Pacific University
  • Seattle University
  • Whitworth University

West Virginia

  • Shepherd University


  • Beloit College
  • Carthage College
  • Lawrence University
  • University of Wisconsin—Madison

Conclusion + Applying to Early Action Schools

There are over 300 colleges and universities with early action admissions cycles. Like early decision colleges, applying early does give you an advantage. When you apply early, you are showing your enthusiasm for a school and signaling that the likelihood of you attending is high. 

What is more, college admissions fill their classes earlier in the application season, with high percentages of early admissions candidates. Early admissions is a win-win for you and colleges. You know where you will attend college by December, having the opportunity to enjoy the second semester of senior year. And colleges can build their classes earlier in the year, having assurance that you will attend and minimizing the size of the waitlist.

If you are excited about a college or university, and your academic and extracurricular profile matches who they are looking for, you should definitely apply early. Before you get started on your application, make sure that you read the post 7 Steps to Creating a Stand Out Application.

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Bethany Goldszer is top college admissions and financial aid expert. She's been featured in HuffPost, USA Today, Newsday, Queens Gazette, and Official Black Wall Street & voted Best of Long Island. Faced with the overwhelming stress of applying, getting admitted to and financing her University of Chicago education, she started Stand Out College Prep LLC in 2012 so that no student or parent would have to go through this process alone. Over the last 15 years, Bethany has worked with over 1,500 students, helping them and their parents get into their top choice colleges and secure more than $20M in financial aid and scholarships. And each year, she continues to help more students stand out in the college admissions process and their parents navigate financial aid and scholarships.