By the OWU Admission Team

Early Decision? Early Action? What does it all mean, and will either help you get into the right college? The jargon can be so confusing. I mean, do you have to be a morning person to do "Early Action"?

Let’s try to make this easier.

Early Decision

In the college admission world, “Early Decision” means you selected your top choice college early. While most students choose their college sometime before May 1, Early Decision students know exactly where they want to go as early as October or November of their senior year.

You can apply to only one college under the Early Decision route, and the decision is binding. If you’re admitted, and if the financial aid package you receive is sufficient to allow you to attend, you must withdraw your applications from other colleges and commit to attend your Early Decision school.

Early Action

If Early Decision is like being engaged, then Early Action is more like serious dating. You really like that college, but you still want to leave your options open for now.

With Early Action, you apply to a school early (at Ohio Wesleyan the Early Action deadline is December 1), and the school will let you know relatively quickly if you’re accepted. You can then make your final decision and pay your nonrefundable deposit any time before May 1. If you’re not admitted during Early Action, your application may still be reevaluated during the regular admission cycle.

Why Do Either?

Our admission counselors recommend most students applying early consider Early Action. Yes, it can bring peace of mind to have the whole search and selection process finished in the first half of your senior year, but Early Action gives you more options and more time to weigh all the factors in this important decision.

However, Early Decision can be the right choice for some students. Maybe you’ve already visited and studied many colleges, and you know your mind – and your heart – are made up. This school is your Number One choice by far, you’re comfortable with your finances, and you want to enjoy having that decision wrapped up.

Or maybe you’re an athlete and you want to know that you have a spot on a very competitive team. Coaches may encourage recruited varsity athletes to apply Early Decision, and doing so may show that coach you’re making a strong commitment.

We do want to caution you, though – only use Early Decision if you are absolutely sure that's where you will go if you get in. No one will be imprisoned if they back out and don't attend their Early Decision school, but other colleges may rescind their offers.


Ohio Wesleyan has one Early Decision application window. The deadline to apply is November 15. You’ll receive a decision about 15 days after the deadline.

OWU’s Early Action deadline is December 1, and you’ll be notified of a decision by December 15 – far earlier than in the regular admission process.

If you have questions about Early Decision, Early Action, or any part of the admission process, please contact your OWU Admission Counselor.

Do you want to learn more about Ohio Wesleyan University. Request information here, or schedule a visit to our beautiful campus.

Admission Contact Info


Office of Admission & Financial Aid
Slocum Hall
Delaware, Ohio 43015
P 740-368-3020

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