Early Decision

Do You. Do It All. Do It NOW!

Early Decision. You’ve probably heard the term, and if you’re already deep in your college search process you may even have considered applying to a college Early Decision. But what is Early Decision, and is it right for you?

Students who apply Early Decision make a commitment to attend their chosen college if they’re accepted. At Washington College, we recommend Early Decision for students who have done their research, thought it over, and know for sure that WC is their first choice. If this describes you, we encourage you to apply Early Decision by November 15.

Why Early Decision:

  1. If you know, you know – if you’re committed to spending your college years at Washington College, why wait to apply?
  2. You will be evaluated among a smaller pool of applications and receive notification within 21 days.
  3. If you are accepted to the college where you applied Early Decision, the search is over and the pressure is off!
  4. Students admitted Early Decision are given priority Tuition Exchange consideration.

Early Decision Misconceptions:

  1. Accepted Early Decision applicants don’t need to work as hard in their second semester. Colleges can and do withdraw admission offers from a student if his or her academic performance declines significantly – so don’t slack off just because you got in!
  2. Early Decision applicants are less likely than regular decision applicants to receive academic scholarships. This is not true at Washington College! Whether you applied Early Decision, Early Action, or Regular Decision, if you are qualified to receive an academic scholarship, we will award it.
  3. Students who require need-based financial aid should not consider Early Decision. At WC, we are committed to providing students who apply Early Decision with the same amount of need-based aid that they would receive if applying in Early Action or Regular Decision.
  4. You can’t get Tuition Exchange if you apply Early Decision. If your academic profile deems you eligible to compete for Tuition Exchange, you will be selected for an interview. All students must interview to be awarded Tuition Exchange. The really good news: you will be competing for a limited number of awards at a time when the most awards are available.

Before you apply Early Decision:

  1. Make sure you’re ready to commit and confident in your choice of college – if you’re having doubts, don’t apply Early Decision.
  2. Do not apply ED as a strategy to “get in” – a smaller applicant pool isn’t worth a four-year commitment if you’re not prepared.
  3. Know what your family can reasonably invest in your college education. If comparing financial aid packages will be a vital part of your college selection process, applying Early Decision may not be right for you.

    However, don't let the late rollout of the 2024-2025 FAFSA stop you from applying Early Decision. The new form for the 2024-25 school year will open in December 2023, two months later than the usual October 1st launch date. Because of the change this year, Washington College has pushed back the enrollment date to February 1st. This allows time for you to receive your financial aid award prior to enrolling at WC. As always, if the financial aid award offered does not make attendance possible, you may decline the offer of admission and be released from the Early Decision commitment. 

Apply Now!

We’re looking for students ready to try new things, explore diverse interests, and squeeze every bit of potential out of their college experience. Whether you fell in love with the gorgeous campus, our amazing academic offerings, or the unique focuses of our Signature Centers, if you know Washington College is where you’re ready to be, apply Early Decision now!



You can apply online using the Washington College Application or the Common Application. Please include a signed Early Decision Agreement Form.