If 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 2 for a decision in late January

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

Financial Aid

If you are interested in applying Early Decision and intend to apply for financial aid, you are required to submit all materials to obtain 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. Early Decision applicants with significantly strong academic records will also be considered for Oberlin Merit Scholarships.

You must complete Part I of the Oberlin College Application and indicate that you intend to apply as an Early Decision candidate. 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

1. Complete the Oberlin College Application Part I

October 15

December 3

2. Online Early Estimate Request Form

October 31

December 15

3. HS Transcript (unofficial copies acceptable)

October 31

December 15

4. CSS Profile (available Oct. 1)

October 31

December 15

5. Non-Custodial Parent Statement (if applicable)

October 31

December 15

All Early Estimates will be sent via email beginning in early November for Early Decision I and mid-December for Early Decision II.

If you have any questions about financial aid, please call the Office of Financial Aid at 1-800-693-3173 or email them at financial.aid@oberlin.edu.

Double Degree Applicants

The Early Decision option is available for admission to the College of Arts & Sciences only. Double Degree applicants may apply Early Decision to the College of Arts and Sciences, but should only do so if they intend to enroll at the College of Arts and Sciences even if they are not admitted to the Conservatory of Music.