Arts and Sciences Admissions

Early Decision

Early Decision

Girl with bookIf Oberlin is your first choice college, you may be interested in applying Early Decision. This option allows you to submit your application and to receive an admissions decision well in advance of the regular deadlines. Submitting an Early Decision application represents a binding commitment to attend Oberlin if accepted, and should not be undertaken lightly. We offer two early decision application options: Early Decision I and Early Decision II. In recent years, about one third of first-year students in the College of Arts and Sciences have enrolled through an Early Decision plan.

When applying Early Decision, you make a commitment to one school, so you may not apply as an Early Decision candidate to any other college. However, regular (non-binding) applications to other colleges may be prepared and submitted as a contingency plan.

An Early Decision application will either be accepted, deferred, or denied. If accepted, you will be expected to enroll at Oberlin, withdraw all other applications, and initiate no new applications. If your application is deferred, it will be reconsidered during the regular admission process, and you will no longer be considered an Early Decision applicant.


Early Decision applicants should follow the same application requirements as all other first-year applicants, with one important exception. The Early Decision Agreement form is required of all Early Decision applicants. We cannot begin reviewing your application until we have received this form.

There are two Early Decision application deadline options from which to choose:

  • November 15 for a decision in mid-December.
  • January 1 for a decision in late January.

Applications from both rounds of Early Decision will be treated equally in the application review process.

Financial Aid

Some students considering an Early Decision application are hesitant because of financial issues. We are determined to make sure that financial concerns will not be an impediment to Early Decision, and we have implemented the following:

  • If you are interested in applying Early Decision and intend to apply for financial aid, you may request an early financial aid estimate before submitting your application. This allows you to evaluate the affordability of attending Oberlin before committing to an Early Decision application. To obtain an early estimate, you must complete Part I of the Oberlin College Application and indicate that you intend to apply as an Early Decision candidiate. Please note an early Decision preference is not binding until you submit the Common Application's Early Decision Agreement. Please refer to the table below for all required materials and deadlines.
  • You must submit all of the required documents by deadlines below in order to receive your estimated award prior to the Early Decision application deadline. 

    Required Information
    to Obtain an Early Financial Aid Estimate
    Deadline for
    Early Decision I
    Deadline for
    Early Decision II

    Complete the Oberlin College Application Part I

    October 15 December 3

    Online Early Estimate Request Form - available Fall 2015
    HS Transcript (unofficial copies acceptable)
    SAT I/ACT plus writing (unofficial copies acceptable)

    October 31

    December 15

    CSS Profile (available Oct. 1)

    October 31 December 15

    Non-Custodial Parent Statement (if applicable)

    October 31 December 15
  • Early Decision applicants with significantly strong academic records are eligible for Oberlin Merit Scholarships.
  • Apart from Early Estimates, all financial aid award letters will be mailed at the same time as admissions decision letters.

If you have any questions about financial aid, please call the Office of Financial Aid at 1-800-693-3173 or e-mail them at

Double Degree Applicants

The Early Decision option is available for admission to the College of Arts & Sciences only.  The Conservatory of Music offers a non-binding Early Review for applicants auditioning on campus in December.  Double Degree applicants may apply Early Decision to the College of Arts & Sciences, but should only do so if they intend to enroll at the College of Arts & Sciences even if they are not admitted to the Conservatory of Music.

Did You Know

In 2000 Oberlin College purchased approximately 5 percent of its total food budget locally. In 2006, through its Farm to Fork initiative, 30 percent of the total food purchasing expenditures supported local farmers and artisans within a 150-mile radius of campus.

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