Applying Early

The Perfect Match

The Perfect Match

If you’re ready to apply to St. Olaf, consider one of our early application deadlines!
We offer Early Action in addition to two rounds of Early Decision.


Early Decision

If you know St. Olaf is your #1 choice, you should apply Early Decision. We commit to a thorough review of your application and you agree — per the Early Decision Agreement — that if you are offered admission and an affordable financial aid package, you will commit to enroll and withdraw other applications. Our Early Decision Commitment means that any student who applies and is admitted through Early Decision will receive a minimum of a $20,000 St. Olaf scholarship.

Top 5 reasons to apply Early Decision


What’s the difference between Early Action and Early Decision?

If you’ve done your research, know St. Olaf is the place for you, and you’re ready to be an Ole, apply for Early Decision by November 1 or January 15. You’ll receive admission notification from us in early December for Early Decision 1 and in early February for Early Decision 2. Early Decision is binding and is based on an agreement that if admitted, you’ll withdraw your applications to other colleges and commit officially to St. Olaf.

We know that many of our students want to weigh admission offer options, which is not possible with Early Decision. If you want to apply early to St. Olaf and receive your admission notification early, send us your Early Action application. The Early Action deadline is November 1; you’ll hear from us by late December. Early Action is non-binding, so you may still apply to other colleges. After you receive your admission notification from us, you are not required to make your college choice until May 1. Early Action applicants will get the same consideration for scholarships and need-based financial aid as our Early Decision and Regular Decision applicants. If you want to find out early if you’re admitted to St. Olaf while you consider other colleges, this is the early application option for you.


  1. First, you’ll need to decide if Early Decision is right for you. (See our top 5 reasons why Early Decision is a great choice.) Early Action is also a good option if you’re ready to hit that “submit” button.
  2. Then, you’ll need to submit either the Common Application or the Coalition Application, which go live on August 1. You need to submit the same materials for Early Decision and Early Action as required for Regular Decision.
  3. Additionally, if you’re applying Early Decision, we need the Early Decision Agreement to be submitted with signatures from you, a parent/guardian, your school counselor, and yourself. The Agreement states that you understand the binding nature of Early Decision, and — after reviewing financial aid and scholarship awards — you will commit to St. Olaf, withdrawing your applications at other colleges.

There are two Early Decision deadlines: Early Decision 1 is November 1 (with notification in early December), and Early Decision 2 is January 15 (with notification in early February). There’s no difference in preference for either Early Decision.