The 10 Best Colleges with Early Decision 2

With many students feeling that a college education is more important now than ever before, the pressure to gain admission to a student’s first-choice school is felt by many high school seniors as they consider the next steps in their futures. 

Students seeking admission into highly regarded universities or colleges will be sure to make the most of every advantage and opportunity available to them as they prepare for the highly competitive admission landscapes at many of these schools.

Along with bringing stellar academic and extracurricular achievements to the admission process, students seeking the best chance of being admitted into their first-choice school will often choose to commit themselves to that college or university by applying through that school’s Early Decision plan.

While some students will be ready to apply to their first-choice college or university very early in their senior years, others would like a little more time to prepare their applications while still taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by applying through Early Decision. 

For these students, schools with Early Decision 2 programs afford them this opportunity, and the schools in our list below represent some of the best in the country that offer Early Decision 2 admission.

New York University (New York, NY)

New York University
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

Established in 1831, New York University has grown to provide a rigorous education to more than 65,000 students and has become a major force in global education by providing its services to more international students than any other university in the country. 

Similarly, NYU also has more of its students studying internationally than any other university in the United States.

Students with a passion for social justice will be interested in applying to NYU’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars Program, which seeks to continue his work and legacy by researching issues in social justice and performing community service as part of its experiential learning curriculum. 

The school’s Early Decision 2 application deadline is January 1, and the university will make its decision by February 15. 

If admitted under the plan, students must enroll at the school unless their financial aid award does not meet their needs or if they are admitted to a program that was not their primary interest listed on the application.

Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)

Vanderbilt University
BugsMeanee, Warren College, CC BY-SA 4.0

Vanderbilt University was created out of the $1 million gift from Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1873 as a private, independent institution dedicated to improving the ties and connections among society in the U.S.

Vanderbilt takes an interdisciplinary approach to research, and this approach is made apparent by the interdisciplinary institutes and centers created by the school such as the Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering and the Wond’ry

The Vanderbilt Institute of Surgery and Engineering innovates and develops surgical intervention devices in order to bring new solutions to market, while the Wond’ry brings together a wide range of students and faculty in a collaborative makerspace that incorporates virtual reality labs, training opportunities, and workshops to support developers of new and innovative technologies.

Prospective students applying through the school’s Early Decision 2 plan must submit their applications by January 1 and will know Vanderbilt’s decision by the middle of February.

University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)

University of Chicago
Nicomachian, Harper Quadrangle, CC BY-SA 4.0

Since its establishment in 1890, the University of Chicago has contributed to the world an incredible number of Nobel Laureates, Fields Medalist, MacArthur Fellows, and a host of other highly recognized individuals in a wide range of fields.

Among the many reasons to study at the University of Chicago are its partnerships with famous laboratories such as Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab. 

Not limited to partnerships with famous physics laboratories, the University of Chicago has been formally affiliated with Massachusetts’ Marine Biological Laboratory since 2013, and its researchers study microbial diversity, cellular imaging, and applications of discoveries made from new research organisms, among other areas.

Students interested in applying under the University of Chicago’s Early Decision 2 plan need to submit their applications by January 3 and will learn of the school’s decision by the middle of February. The university’s admission website informs prospective students that the review process for all application pathways is the same.

Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
yusuketakeuchi, Jhmi, CC BY-SA 4.0

As the oldest research university in the United States, Johns Hopkins University attracts some of the country’s most talented and innovative minds to apply for admission.

Partly as a result of its leading placement among research universities, Johns Hopkins has been affiliated with 29 Nobel Laureates, including former president Woodrow Wilson and many winners of the prize in physiology or medicine. 

Among the many prize winners in the medical field are Hebert Spencer Gasser for his work in understanding the functioning of nerve cells, Hamilton O. Smith for the study of restriction enzymes, and Carol W. Greider for her efforts in describing the protective functions of telomeres and telomerase.

For those who are certain they wish to study at Johns Hopkins, the school requires that Early Decision 2 applications be submitted no later than the 3rd of January, and the school will release its decisions for Early Decision 2 applicants on the 17th of February.

Tufts University (Medford, MA)

Tufts University
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

Founded in 1852 as the result of a group of Christian Universalists’ desire to create a college for members of the organization, Tufts University began as a small liberal arts college before transforming into a major research university in the 1970s.

One of the most exciting options available to Tufts University students is taking courses in the school’s Experimental College

Within the Experimental College, students have control over the topics covered by courses, and many of these courses are taught by students themselves.

Some of the topics covered over the history of the Experimental College are urban poverty, Zionism, and strategy games. 

The Experimental College has also given birth to new offerings at the school, such as its Institute for Global Leadership and dance program.

Early Decision 2 applicants at Tufts University must submit their applications by January 4 and will be notified of the school’s decision in the middle of February. 

Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)

Washington University In St. Louis
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

Washington University in St. Louis was born in 1853 because there were not enough colleges and universities available to the growing population of the mid-western United States. 

Throughout its history, the university has become a leading research university in the country, ranked by U.S. News and World Report at number 15 in its National Universities category.

The school’s McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences performs research in areas such as Mars exploration, solar system formation, black holes, and neutron stars. The center combines the efforts and resources of multiple departments within the school to further humanity’s understanding of the universe.

For students who know they wish to attend Washington University in St. Louis, they must submit their Early Decision 2 applications no later than the 4th of January and will learn of the school’s decision by the 17th of February.

Emory University (Atlanta, GA)

Emory University Candler School of Theology
CandlerStudent92, Full-candler, CC BY-SA 4.0

Established in 1836 and known initially as Emory College, Emory University now lists 8,000 undergraduate and 7,000 graduate students enrolled at the university.

Emory University’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center performs world-changing medical research while educating the next generation of medical professionals. 

Research efforts at the center led to the development of some of the most prevalent and effective HIV medications available, and some of the current efforts at the center are focused on developing a vaccine for HIV as well.

High school seniors who know that Emory University is the school for them may want to apply through one of the school’s Early Decision plans

For those who would like a little more time to prepare, the school’s Early Decision 2 applications are due on January 1, and the school will make its decision by February 15.

Brandeis University (Waltham, MA)

Brandeis University
Kenneth C. Zirkel, Brandeis University Shapiro Science Center, CC BY-SA 4.0

Brandeis University’s history began in 1948 when the American Jewish community set out to establish a center for higher education that welcomed applicants regardless of racial or ethnic background. Over the intervening years, the school has become a top-tier research university.

Alumni and faculty from the school include Nobel Laureates among other recipients of distinguished honors.

Roderick MacKinnon undertook his undergraduate and postdoctoral studies at the school before winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in understanding potassium ion channels. 

After graduating from Brandeis, Karen Uhlenbech became the first woman to win the Abel Prize for her work in advanced mathematics.

If a student knows that Brandeis is their first-choice school and is ready to commit to attending the university, they have until the 3rd of January to apply through its Early Decision 2 plan. Those who choose to do so will learn of the school’s decision on the 1st of February.

Pomona College (Claremont, CA)

Pomona College
Sdkb, Athern Field, Pomona College (cropped), CC BY-SA 4.0

Founded in 1887, Pomona College is a small liberal arts college and the founding institution of The Claremont Colleges

By being a member of this consortium, Pomona College is able to provide the best of both worlds: small class sizes with professors as instructors and access to university-level resources combined with a comprehensive catalog of available courses.

Jennifer Doudna graduated from Pomona College in 1985 and won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her contribution to genome editing efforts with CRISPR technology.

Students who are dedicated to studying at Pomona College should be aware that applications for the school’s Early Decision 2 plan must be submitted no later than the 8th of January, and students applying through this plan will learn of the school’s decision by the 15th of February. 

Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH)

Case Western Reserve University
EurekaLott, Mather House, CWRU, CC BY 4.0

Nearly 12,000 students are currently enrolled at Case Western Reserve University, and these students have been attracted to the institution by its high rankings in areas such as biomedical and health sciences, innovation, and research commercialization.

The university’s National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center is dedicated to tracking and understanding the nature of prion diseases and was recently awarded $20 million from the CDC to continue its work in understanding the always-fatal illnesses caused by these proteins.

Alumni from the school have gone on to win Nobel Prizes and found significant companies such as Dow Chemical Company and Craigslist.
The deadline for those interested in applying to Case Western Reserve University through its Early Decision 2 program is the 15th of January, and students can expect to learn of the university’s decision approximately two weeks after completing the application process.

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