NYU and Early Decision

Learn About Early Decision I and Early Decision II at NYU

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If you know that NYU is the school that you most want to attend, applying through tone of the university's early decision options might be a wise choice.

Key Takeaways: NYU and Early Decision

  • NYU has two early decision options: Early Decision I has a November 1st deadline, and Early Decision II has a January 1st deadline.
  • Applying early decision is one of the best ways to demonstrate your sincere interest in NYU, and it can improve your chances of getting in.
  • Early decision is binding. If admitted, you are required to attend.

The Advantages of Early Decision

If you have a clear first-choice college that is highly selective, you should certainly consider applying early decision or early action if these options are available. At the great majority of colleges, the acceptance rate is higher for students who apply early; this point is remarkably clear in this early application information for the Ivy League.

NYU's admissions website notes that for the class of 2021, the overall admit rate was 28 percent, while the admit rate for early decision was 38 percent. Note that this means that applying early increases your chances of admission by more than 10 percent, for the overall admit rate includes the early decision student pool.

There are several reasons why you have a better chance of admission when applying early. For one, students who are able to get their applications together in October are clearly ambitious, organized, and good time managers. These are all traits possessed by successful college students. Also, colleges frequently use demonstrated interest as a factor when evaluating applications. A student who applies early is clearly interested. This is particularly true for early decision since applicants can apply to only one school through an early decision option.

Finally, early decision applicants have the advantage of learning the decision of the admissions office early. Students who apply through NYU's Early Decision I will receive their decision by December 15th, and those who apply through Early Decision II get a decision by February 15th. Regular decision applicants don't receive a decision until April 1st.

The Drawbacks of Early Decision

If you know that New York University is your top choice school and you are able to complete a strong application by the deadline, early decision is definitely the way to go. The option, however, is not for everyone, and it does have a few drawbacks:

  • Early decision is binding. If you are admitted, you are required to attend, and you must withdraw all of your other college applications.
  • Because early decision is binding, you won't be able to compare different financial aid offers from multiple schools.
  • If you are applying Early Decision I, you need to request letters of recommendation as soon as the school year starts, and you'll want to take the SAT or ACT early.
  • If you're doing well academically in your senior year, the admissions staff at NYU will likely be making a decision before they see any of your senior year grades.

However, early decision does have its drawbacks. The most obvious of these is that the deadline is, well, early. It's often difficult to have SAT or ACT scores in hand by the end of October or early November, and you may want to have some of your senior grades and extracurricular accomplishments as part of your application.

NYU's Early Decision Policies

NYU changed its application options in 2010 to expand the early decision applicant pool. The prestigious Manhattan university now has two early decision deadlines

NYU Application Options
Option Application Deadline Decision
Early Decision I November 1 December 15
Early Decision II January 1 February 15
Regular Decision January 1 April 1

If you're familiar with NYU, you may be wondering how January 1st is considered "early." After all, the regular admission deadline is also January 1st. The answer has to do with the nature of early decision. If you are accepted under early decision, NYU's policy states that "you must withdraw all applications you may have submitted to other colleges, and ... pay a tuition deposit within three weeks of notification." For regular admissions, nothing is binding and you have until May 1st to make a decision about which college to attend.

In short, NYU's Early Decision II option is a way for students to tell the university that NYU is their first choice and they will definitely attend NYU if accepted. While the deadline is the same as regular admission, students who apply under Early Decision II can clearly demonstrate their interest in NYU. Early Decision II applicants have the added perk that they will receive a decision from NYU by mid-February, over a month early than applicants in the regular decision pool.

NYU does not indicate if Early Decision I has any advantage over Early Decision II. However, Early Decision I applicants are clearly telling NYU that the university is their first choice. The timing of Early Decision II is such that an applicant can be rejected through Early Decision at another university, and still apply in time for Early Decision II at NYU. So for Early Decision II applicants, NYU might be their second choice school. If NYU is definitely your first choice school, it may be to your advantage to apply Early Decision I.

A Final Word About NYU and Early Decision

Do not apply early decision to NYU or any college unless you are absolutely sure that the school is your first choice. Early decision (unlike early action) is binding, and if you change your mind you will lose a deposit, violate your contract with the early decision school, and even run the risk of having applications at other schools voided. You should also avoid early decision if you are concerned about financial aid and what the option of shopping around for the best offer.