Earlham College ends practice of requiring ‘early decision’ applicants to enter into binding agreements
September 24, 2020
Earlham College is suspending its “early decision” admissions program. Early decision is an option on applications at hundreds of colleges and universities across the United States that requires admitted students to make their enrollment deposit in the fall semester before enrolling in college.
“Students and their families are experiencing so many challenges from the current public health crisis. Earlham wants to make it easier for them to make an important life choice in a less stressful way.” Earlham President Anne Houtman said.
Applicants still eager for an accelerated admissions decision from Earlham can still apply “early action” by the Dec. 1, 2020 deadline. Students who are accepted as part of the “early action” program receive a non-binding admissions decision within three business days of receiving all required materials. They have until March 15, 2021, to consider other offers before paying their enrollment deposit.
Eligible admitted students who applied to Earlham via the “early action” program can attend a special scholarship day event in February 2021. This invitation-only event offers students from around the world come to campus and engage with faculty and interview or audition for talent and interest-based scholarships in art, community service and engagement, diversity leadership, music, and theatre arts. Typically held on campus, the COVID-19 pandemic may require some or all of these interviews and auditions to be held virtually.
The deadline for regular decision applicants to apply is March 1, with an admissions decision from Earlham coming within three business days of receiving all required materials. Enrollment deposits are due by May 1, 2021.
“We believe that students have the right to weigh all of their college choice options and decide on enrolling when they have all the information they need to make an informed choice,” Hawsey said. “This includes having an acceptance decision along with a financial aid package or a reasonable estimate at the time of admission.”
The application for admission to Earlham College in fall 2021 opened on Aug. 1, 2020. College-bound high school seniors and transfer students may apply for admission by completing either the Common Application or the Earlham application. There is no application fee.
Students applying for need-based financial aid can submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) starting Oct. 1. International applicants should submit the International Student Financial Aid Application.
To be considered for admission, students must submit an application, essay, school report or recommendation letter from a teacher or counselor and a high school transcript. Standardized test scores are optional except for students graduating from home school programs and those receiving a GED.
Brian Zimmerman, director of media relations