NYU and Early Decision

Learn About Early Decision I and Early Decision II at NYU

22 Washington Square North
22 Washington Square North at NYU. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

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. 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, characteristics that are probably evident in other ways in the application. Also, colleges frequently use demonstrated interest as a factor when evaluating applications. A student who applies early is clearly interested.

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: for Early Decision I, students must submit the application by November 1st; for Early Decision II, the application is due January 1st.

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.

That said, do not apply early decision to 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.