Early Decision

Each year, thousands of students ask us why they should consider applying Early Decision. Here are some of our reasons:

  • If you’re offered admission, your search process will be completed early. You could be one of the first among your classmates to wear your BU sweatshirt and show your Terrier Pride!
  • Applying Early Decision is the ultimate way to demonstrate your interest in BU, which is an opportunity for you to differentiate yourself from the rest of the crowd.
  • Competition is keen. Think about this—would you rather be considered for admission as 1 of nearly 55,000 applicants or 1 of nearly 2,000 applicants?
  • Early Decision applicants receive the same consideration for financial aid as regular decision applicants. Last year, BU awarded $58 million in aid to incoming freshmen.

We know that students who are admitted through Early Decision bring an enthusiasm that inspires future classmates and enhances our academic community. If you know BU is right for you, why wait?

Key Dates

Application Type Application Deadline CSS Profile Deadline FAFSA Deadline Notification Date Enrollment Deposit Due
Early Decision November 1 November 1 February 1 December 15 January 15
Early Decision 2 January 4* January 4 February 1 February 15 March 1

*Please note: some merit scholarships require you to apply by December 1.

Early Decision is a binding program available only for high school seniors applying for September admission.

Early Decision Application Instructions

To apply as an Early Decision candidate:

  • You must take the ACT no later than the October test date or the SAT no later than November. Scores from standardized tests taken after these dates will not be considered in your application.
  • You must indicate your interest in the Early Decision Program on the BU questions section of the Common Application. This outlines the binding nature of this option and must be signed by the applicant, a parent or guardian, and a guidance counselor.
  • If you are applying Early Decision as an international student, please review our instructions for international applicants.
  • If you are taking either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to fulfill our English proficiency requirements, you must take these exams no later than November 15.
  • If admitted, you must submit a nonrefundable enrollment deposit and withdraw your applications to all other colleges and universities.
  • Please make sure that all credentials sent by mail are addressed to:
    Early Decision Coordinator
    Boston University Admissions
    881 Commonwealth Avenue, 6th Floor
    Boston, MA 02215

Be sure to consult the Program Requirements chart before applying to your chosen program. Our Accelerated Dental and Medical Programs do not offer the option to apply Early Decision.

If you are an Early Decision applicant who is not admitted, your application may be deferred for consideration during the regular admissions cycle. In that case, you’ll be considered for admission only after submitting your mid-year grades. You’ll be notified of a final admission decision in late March.

Financial aid applicants:

If you would like to be considered for need-based financial aid as well as combined merit-based and need-based awards, submit the CSS PROFILE and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For more information, please visit the Financial Assistance website.

Early Decision applicants who applied for one of our full tuition scholarships, such as the Trustee Scholarship, will not receive notification until late March – early April. Students applying for need-based aid who meet the eligibility requirements will be notified of their financial aid awards with their admission decision.


Early Decision 2 Application Instructions

To apply as an Early Decision 2 candidate:

  • You must take the ACT or SAT no later than the December test date. Scores from standardized tests taken after these dates will not be considered in your application.
  • You must indicate your interest in the Early Decision Program on the BU questions section of the Common Application. This outlines the binding nature of this option and must be signed by the applicant, a parent or guardian, and a guidance counselor.
  • If you are applying Early Decision as an international student, please review our instructions for international applicants.
  • If you are taking either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to fulfill our English proficiency requirements, you must take these exams no later than November 15.
  • If admitted, you must submit a nonrefundable enrollment deposit and withdraw your applications to all other colleges and universities.
  • Please make sure that all credentials sent by mail are addressed to:
    Early Decision Coordinator
    Boston University Admissions
    881 Commonwealth Avenue, 6th Floor
    Boston, MA 02215

Be sure to consult the Program Requirements chart before applying to your chosen program. Our Accelerated Dental and Medical Programs do not offer the option to apply Early Decision. 

If you are an Early Decision applicant who is not admitted, your application may be deferred for consideration during the regular admissions cycle. In that case, you’ll be considered for admission only after submitting your mid-year grades. You’ll be notified of a final admission decision in late March.

Financial aid applicants:

If you would like to be considered for need-based financial aid as well as combined merit-based and need-based awards, submit the CSS PROFILE and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For more information, please visit the Financial Assistance website.

Early Decision applicants who applied for one of our full tuition scholarships, such as the Trustee Scholarship, will not receive notification until late March – early April. Students applying for need-based aid who meet the eligibility requirements will be notified of their financial aid awards with their admission decision.