Early Decision

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.

When you apply Early Decision, you tell us that you see Oberlin as the perfect fit for you and that you will definitely enroll if admitted. We recognize the significance of that commitment, and will give you special consideration during the application review process. While all students must demonstrate the ability to thrive academically at Oberlin, our holistic review also considers personal factors, such as fit and enthusiasm for Oberlin, which you demonstrate by submitting an Early Decision application. In recent years, about one third of first-year students in the College of Arts and Sciences have enrolled through an Early Decision plan.

Early Decision at Oberlin is binding, meaning if you apply to Oberlin through Early Decision and are admitted, we expect you to enroll. When applying Early Decision, you make a commitment to Oberlin, 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. If admitted to Oberlin, you will be required to withdraw those applications.


Oberlin has two rounds of Early Decision. If you discover Oberlin later in the process, you can still take advantage of applying Early Decision. Applications from both rounds of Early Decision will be treated equally in the application review process. The Early Decision application and financial aid deadlines are: 

Steps Early Decision I Early Decision II
Application Deadline November 15 January 2
Financial Aid Deadline November 15 January 2
Notification December 15 February 1
Reply/Deposit Due* January 2 February 15

Early Decision applicants should follow the same application material 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. Submit your application using the Common App or the Coalition Application.

Financial Aid

We know that families want to understand the out-of-pocket expenses associated with an Oberlin education before submitting an Early Decision application. In just five minutes, you can get an estimate of your need-based financial aid using our MyinTuition Quick College Cost Estimator.

Students who would like a more in-depth estimate of need-based financial aid eligiblity may request an estimate. In order to be eligible, you must:

  • Submit the Common App or Coalition Application for admission (you may wait to submit the binding ED agreement until after you receive your estimate)
  • Submit the 2021-2022 CSS Profile (Oberlin's code is 1587)
  • Submit the Non-Custodial Parent information, if applicable

After submitting your admissions application and receiving your Oberlin applicant portal credentials, you will be able to submit the request for an estimate, found here. Once we have received your request and the results of the CSS Profile, we will create a financial aid estimate for you.

Requests for an estimate must be received by:

  • Early Decision I: November 1
  • Early Decision II: December 1

We're here to help if you have questions for our Office of Financial Aid!  Contact us at financial.aid@oberlin.edu. Please be sure to include the student's name in your email. 

Double Degree Applicants

The Early Decision option is available for admission to the College of Arts and Sciences only. Double Degree Program 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