Early Decision

If Oberlin is your first choice, Early Decision could be right for you!

Two students sitting in an auditorium.
Photo credit: Matthew Lester

What is Early Decision?

Oberlin offers two decision plans for first-year applicants: Early Decision and Regular Decision. Early Decision is a way for students to show us that Oberlin is their first choice! Submitting an Early Decision application means that if admitted, you will definitely enroll at Oberlin.

Students can only apply to one school via Early Decision, but may still submit Regular Decisions applications to other schools. If you are admitted to Oberlin via Early Decision, you will be required to withdraw any other pending applications.

Benefits of Early Decision

Your commitment to Oberlin through an Early Decision application helps you stand out in the applicant pool and increases your chance of admission. It can also help you finish your college search mid-way through your senior year and ease the stress that often accompanies the college selection process.

Our acceptance rate for Early Decision is considerably higher than for Regular Decision: 

Rate of Admission (5 Year Average)

Early Decision: 66%
Regular Decision: 35%

"I chose to apply Early Decision because I knew that Oberlin was where I wanted to be. From the moment I stepped onto campus, I could tell that Oberlin was a community of people passionate about their education and that was something I wanted to be a part of. Thanks to Oberlin's commitment to meet 100% of demonstrated financial need, I was able to get my college process over with earlier than most of my friends."

Charlie, New York

How to Apply 

Oberlin has two rounds of Early Decision that are given equal consideration. Early Decision applicants submit the same application materials as all other first-year applicants, along with an Early Decision Agreement form. 

Steps Early Decision I Early Decision II
Application & Financial Aid Deadlines November 15 January 2
Notification By December 15 February 1
Reply/Deposit Due Two Weeks After Notification Two Weeks After Notification

Apply Now


Need-Based Financial Aid

Oberlin is committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need for every student who is admitted. When you complete a financial aid application, Oberlin automatically considers you for need-based college grants in addition to any state and federal grants, loans, or work-study programs for which you may qualify.

We encourage students who are interested in Early Decision to use our MyinTuition Calculator to quickly estimate their eligibility for need-based financial aid:


Go to the My Intuition calculator page

Students can also request an official Financial Aid Estimate to receive a more in-depth estimate of need-based financial aid eligibility. To receive an estimate, you must:

  1. Submit your application (you can wait to submit the binding ED agreement until after you receive your estimate)
  2. Submit the CSS Profile (Oberlin's code is 1587)
  3. Submit the Non-Custodial Parent information (if applicable)

Once you have submitted your application and received your Oberlin applicant login credentials, submit your request for a financial aid estimate. Requests for an estimate must be received by November 1 for Early Decision I and December 1 for Early Decision II.

Read more about need-based aid at Oberlin.


Merit Scholarships

Oberlin awards generous merit-based scholarships and automatically reviews all applicants for scholarship eligibility. Admitted students will be notified of their scholarship award when they receive their admission packet.

All new students who apply and enroll will also be awarded the renewable $10,000 Oberlin Commitment Scholarship.

Learn more about merit scholarships.


Double Degree Applicants

Students who are interested in pursuing degrees in both the Conservatory of Music and the College of Arts and Sciences should apply separately to each division. Please note that the Early Decision option is available for admission to the College of Arts and Sciences only. Double Degree applicants should only apply Early Decision to the College of Arts and Sciences if they intend to enroll regardless of the outcome of their Conservatory of Music application.

Learn more about the Double Degree program.

"I fell in love with Oberlin during my college search and knew that Early Decision was definitely the best option for me. I chose Oberlin because I knew it would allow me to grow into the person I wanted to become."

Cora, Oklahoma