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Early Decision at AU

What is Early Decision? Learn more about this application option for first-year students for whom American University is their first choice.

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What is the Early Decision plan?

The Early Decision Plan at American University is an application option for first-year students for whom American University is their first choice. It is a binding program, which means that when you apply as an Early Decision candidate, you agree to enroll at American University, if admitted, in exchange for receiving your admission decision early. Leer en español.

There are two deadline options under the Early Decision Plan:

  • November 15
  • January 15

Students applying under the November 15 deadline will receive their admissions decision by December 31, and students who apply by the January 15 deadline will receive their admissions decision by February 15. In addition, Early Decision candidates who are eligible are also notified of their financial aid and merit scholarship status at the point of admission.

Remember that as an Early Decision candidate at AU, you may apply to other schools while your application to AU is being reviewed. However, if you are offered admission to AU, you must withdraw applications to all other colleges and universities at that time.

Why Apply Early Decision?

There are many reasons to submit an Early Decision application to AU. Here are just a few:

  • Early notification of admissions and financial aid (if applicable) decisions reduces the stress of senior year
  • Concurrent notification of need-based award and merit award status with the admissions notification
  • Early invitation to AU's Honors and Scholars programs for qualified students

In addition, Early Decision admits gain early access to the AU community:

  • Early access to the course registration process
  • Priority placement in University College and in your preferred UC community
  • Access to webinar series focused on first-year success tips and next steps in the enrollment and matriculation process
  • Ability to connect with the First Year Advising team
  • Opportunity to meet with deans and faculty in your chosen school or college
  • Early chance to connect with your summer Orientation Leader and gain access to new student orientation content
  • Guaranteed first choice of preferred date for campus move-in during the designated period

Applying for Financial Aid?

Students often have questions about the role of financial aid in Early Decision. These include concerns about the availability of financial aid for ED students; timing of notification of these awards; and whether or not they should even apply ED if financial aid is a concern. American University is committed to supporting students who demonstrate financial need. Students who apply to AU under the Early Decision Plan are given consideration for need-based and merit award packages in the same manner as students who apply under our Regular Decision Plan. Our Early Decision candidates are notified at the point of admission of their financial aid awards and merit scholarships (if eligible). If American University is your first choice, we encourage you to apply Early Decision.

Early Decision I applicants who wish to be considered for need-based financial aid must complete and submit the CSS Profile form to the College Board by November 15 and the FAFSA to the Department of Education by January 15. For Early Decision II applicants, the CSS Profile and FAFSA deadline is January 15.