Early Decision

Let us know of your sincere interest in Oxy and we’ll let you know your decision a lot sooner than late March.

The far-reaching impact of COVID 19 has interfered with the educational experience of rising seniors and their capacity to conduct comprehensive college searches. Despite the best efforts of colleges to accommodate their needs, the search process remains primarily virtual and, in many cases, delayed.

Occidental offers two rounds of early decision to students who have identified us as their clear first choice and are committed to entering a binding commitment if accepted. The deadlines have previously been November 15 and January 1. Our regular decision deadline is January 10. 

Given the circumstances, we are moving our Early Decision II deadline to February 1, 2021. This will afford students the opportunity to have their full first term of senior year considered in our deliberations. In addition, it will give students and their families added time to research Occidental before identifying it as their first choice. Students who apply for Early Decision II will receive a definitive admission decision by February 20. All deadlines and their respective decision notification dates are listed below.

Round

Application Deadline

Decision Notification

Early Decision I

November 15

December 15

Early Decision II

February 1

February 20

Regular Decision

January 10

April 1

 

Despite this changing landscape, we continue to find it particularly compelling when students tell us that Oxy is their first choice, so our admit rates for Early Decision applicants are slightly higher than for those in Regular Decision. We generally reserve 1/3 of our seats in the first-year class for students in the Early Decision rounds and 2/3 of seats for Regular Decision applicants.

  Class of 2022      Class of 2023     
ED admit rate (EDI and EDII combined) 48% 47%
RD admit rate 36% 36%
First-year class filled in ED 31% 30%

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Early Decision binding?

Yes. ED is binding (unlike “early admission” or “early action”), and it means that if admitted, you will enroll at Oxy and must withdraw all other applications you initiated with other colleges/ universities.

Is there a substantive difference between Early Decision I and Early Decision II?

Only in terms of the deadline date. We maintain similar admission rates between both rounds of Early Decision.

Do students who apply in Early Decision have an advantage in the admission process?

Yes. We find it particularly compelling when students tell us that Oxy is their first choice, so our admit rates for Early Decision applicants are slightly higher than for those in Regular Decision. We generally reserve 1/3 of our seats in the first-year class for students in the Early Decision rounds and 2/3 of seats for Regular Decision applicants.

Will the EDI Deadline be delayed beyond November 15?

No. We still want to afford the opportunity to students who are ready to make that commitment in the fall of their senior year. A November 15 deadline will allow us to release our decisions by mid-December.

Why is the Regular Decision deadline before the ED II deadline?

Due to the volume of applications we receive in our Regular Decision process, we must begin our review of Regular Decision applications in early January. Students in any application round are encouraged to submit their applications well in advance of deadlines (and not wait until the final hour!), but our high-touch evaluation process demands several months of review due to the volume of applications we receive.

If I am denied in Early Decision, can I apply in another round?

No. ED decisions come in three forms: admit, deny and defer. We know you are very serious about Oxy if you apply ED, so the majority of our decisions are definitive as either admit or deny. A decision to defer a student to the Regular Decision pool is carefully weighed and based upon our desire to see further information in the context of our overall applicant pool.

What additional information is required of Early Decision applicants?

A completed ED application includes a signed Early Decision Agreement (available on the Common App) with signatures from a parent/guardian and a counselor.

My decision to attend will depend on my financial aid package. Will I be able to decline if my financial aid package is not what I want it to be?

Occidental is one of very few institutions in the United States committed to meeting 100% of a family’s demonstrated financial need. We are committed to making the full cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room/board, etc.) affordable, no matter a family’s financial situation. We ask that families applying for Early Decision investigate the cost of attendance by completing the Net Price Calculator well in advance of submitting an Early Decision application. Because Occidental meets 100% of a family’s demonstrated need, our financial aid packages are typically among the most generous aid packages available.

It should be noted that Occidental offers very few merit-based scholarships; the vast majority of our institutional funding is set aside for need-based assistance. Families who need to compare financial aid and/or merit packages between institutions would be unable to do so in Early Decision.