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To ED2 or not to ED2?

It may sound like a Star Wars character, but it is actually an important admissions strategy.

What is ED2?

ED2 stands for Early Decision Round 2. It allows you to send in a binding application after the earliest dates have past (generally after you have heard from your standard ED schools). If you are a qualified applicant, you may have a slightly better chance of acceptance. The binding nature of an ED2 acceptance allows schools to keep their yield rate high and thus, their selectivity rate low.

What is ED2 not?

ED2 is not a panacea. If you are not a strong applicant on your own, applying ED2 will not help. It is also not a strategy to use at more than one school. It is required for you to attend if you are accepted. When schools learn that you applied to multiple ED2 schools, your acceptance will likely be revoked.

Where can I apply with it?

Note: Schools may update their policies. Always confirm with a school official.

  • American University

  • Bard College

  • Bates College

  • Boston University

  • Bennington College

  • Bowdoin College

  • Brandeis University

  • Bryant University

  • Bryn Mawr College

  • Bucknell University

  • Carleton College

  • Case Western Reserve University

  • Claremont McKenna Colleges

  • Colby College

  • Colgate University

  • College of the Atlantic

  • College of Wooster

  • Colorado College

  • Connecticut College

  • Davidson College

  • Denison College

  • Dickinson College

  • Emory University

  • Franklin & Marshall College

  • George Washington University

  • Gettysburg College

  • Grinnell College

  • Hamilton College

  • Hampshire College

  • Harvey Mudd College

  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges

  • Juniata College

  • Kenyon College

  • Lafayette College

  • Lehigh University

  • Macalester College

  • Middlebury College

  • Mount Holyoke College

  • New York University

  • Northeastern University

  • Oberlin College

  • Occidental College

  • Pomona College

  • Reed College

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

  • Rhodes College

  • Saint Olaf College

  • Sarah Lawrence College

  • Scripps College

  • Sewanee: The University of the South

  • Skidmore College

  • Smith College

  • Swarthmore College

  • Trinity College

  • Trinity University

  • Tufts University

  • Union College

  • University of Chicago

  • University of Miami

  • University of Richmond

  • University of Rochester

  • Vanderbilt University

  • Vassar College

  • Wake Forest University

  • Washington and Lee University

  • Wellesley College

  • Wesleyan University

  • Whitman College

Is ED2 right for me?

You should only apply ED2 if you are certain that you would attend the school upon acceptance. It is a strategic move, so it is best suited for schools you are confident you are qualified for. The three most common reasons to apply ED2 are:

  • You were not accepted by your ED1 school.

  • You were not ready in time for the ED1 deadline.

  • You recently decided that you are more committed to one particular institution.

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