Early Decision

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

  • Competition is keen. Think about this—would you rather be considered for admission as 1 of more than 57,000 applicants or 1 of just over 3,000 applicants?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!

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 and FAFSA Deadline
Notification Date
Enrollment Deposit Due
Early Decision November 1 November 1 December 15 January 15
Early Decision 2 January 3* January 3 February 15 February 24

*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.

  • If you are applying for Early Decision, you must take the ACT no later than the October test date or the SAT no later than November.
  • If you are applying for Early Decision 2, you must take the ACT or SAT no later than the December test date.
  • 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 for Early Decision or by the end of December for Early Decision 2.
  • 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 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

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.

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. 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 applicants who applied for one of our full tuition scholarships, such as the Trustee Scholarship, will not receive notification until late March.