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Articles / Applying to College / Where ELSE can a Stanford Early Applicant Apply?

June 20, 2007

Where ELSE can a Stanford Early Applicant Apply?

Question: I have already sent in my basic application to Stanford under Early Decision. However, it says I can still apply to other colleges under some circumstances. How can I tell if a college fits one of these exceptions?

Stanford doesn't offer "Early Decision." They have "Single Choice Early Action" which enables candidates to receive an admission verdict in December but, if admitted, to wait until May 1 to commit.

Under the rules of SCEA, candidates cannot apply elsewhere while awaiting the Stanford decision except:

Any institution, public or private, under a non-binding Rolling Admission option; Public institutions under a non-binding Early Action program;
Foreign colleges/universities on any application schedule;
Institutions whose early application deadlines are a requirement for consideration for special academic programs or scholarships only if the notification of admission occurs after January 1;
Institutions under an Interim Decision program only if the notification of admission occurs after January 1.

This information is straight from the Stanford Web site, and you can read more about their Early Action policies at:


Since you won't have a verdict from Stanford until mid-December, we urge you to ready your applications to other colleges in the event you get bad news ... or if you simply want to have a broader range of choices, even if Stanford does say "yes" in December.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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