If RIT is your 1st choice college, we recommend our “friendly” Early Decision Plan. Here’s why:
- Our Early Decision Plan allows applicants to hear about admission and financial aid decisions much earlier than other applicants, offering an opportunity for earlier planning in the transition to RIT.
- There is no downside to the RIT Early Decision Plan. Students and their families are not put in the awkward position of making a college decision without having all of the facts first. This includes scholarship and financial aid information from RIT prior to paying your admissions acceptance deposit.
- You will receive an early financial aid award estimate. As a courtesy to families, RIT provides an early estimate of financial aid eligibility to those who complete the RIT Early Decision Financial Aid Application. You must still file the FAFSA form after January 1.
- Early Decision and Regular Decision applicants at RIT are treated the same in the awarding of scholarships and financial aid. Some colleges and universities offer lower awards to Early Decision applicants.
- Early Decision applicants who deposit by the February 15 deadline will receive priority in the campus housing selection process.
- If the Early Decision applicant changes their mind about Early Decision, they can request to be moved to the Regular Decision Plan. These students will be reconsidered for admission with applicants in the Regular Decision Plan due to space limitations in academic programs.
RIT's Early Decision Policy
The college admissions process can be very confusing with a variety of application plans available at colleges across the country. Every year the Undergraduate Admissions Office at RIT receives many questions about our Early Decision Plan. Frequently, school counselors, students and parents raise concerns about the implications of the "binding" admission requirements that many private colleges offer.
One of the first and most important things to know about these Early Decision Plans is that they often differ in practice by institution. The Early Decision Plan at RIT is one that is used each year by hundreds of freshman applicants. Our plan can be described as a "friendly" version of a binding agreement.
If you are admitted to RIT as an Early Decision applicant, you will automatically be reviewed for merit scholarships. Applicants wishing to be considered for financial aid are encouraged to complete the “Early Estimate of Financial Aid Application." Once you decide to accept RIT’s offer of admission, you should submit your $300 acceptance deposit on or before the February 15 deadline to confirm your intention to enroll. At this time, you will be expected to withdraw your applications with all other colleges/universities.
Early Decision applicants who are not accepted will, in most cases, be asked to submit mid-year senior grades and will be reviewed a second time with applicants in the Regular Decision Plan. Early Decision applicants who are accepted to an alternate (second or third-choice) program of study may request to be released from the conditions of the Early Decision Plan.
How to Apply Early Decision
To apply for Early Decision, please select the appropriate field on the admission application and submit it along with all supporting credentials (including transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and recommendation) by December 1 in order to have your Early Decision notification mailed by January 15. Like other Early Decision Plans, students can only apply to one college/university as an Early Decision applicant. You may apply to other colleges at the same time under their Regular Decision Plans.
Financial Aid & Scholarships for Early Decision Applicants
Early Decision applicants who would like to receive an early estimate of financial aid eligibility should submit the Early Decision Financial Aid Application to RIT. This online application will be available to all Early Decision applicants. RIT will provide Early Decision applicants with an "Early Estimate of Financial Aid" before they need to submit their acceptance deposit on February 15. For Early Decision applicants who are interested in financial aid, you are still required to submit the FAFSA form after January 1.
All Early Decision applicants are automatically reviewed for RIT Merit Scholarships. Students who are selected to receive an RIT merit scholarship will be mailed a notification letter prior to the deposit deadline of February 15. Merit scholarships and need based aid are awarded in exactly the same manner regardless of whether the applicant has applied under the early decision or regular decision plans. We welcome the opportunity to answer any questions Early Decision applicants may have about the early estimate of financial aid eligibility prior to making a commitment with the $300 acceptance deposit.
Families are encouraged to work with their assigned Financial Aid Counselor to assist them through the financial aid process. If the Early Decision applicant's family determines that RIT is not an affordable choice, they should contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office so the student may be released from the Early Decision Plan.