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SMU adds Early Decision option to application process

Binding application option allows prospective students to express high interest

February 22, 2013

DALLAS –– Beginning fall of 2013, SMU will offer an Early Decision option in its application process. Early Decision is a binding application process used by recognized universities nationwide.

Dallas Hall at Southern Methodist UniversityThe new Early Decision process identifies students who consider the University as their first choice. Prime candidates for Early Decision include applicants who are prepared to make a contractual commitment to attend should the respective university offer them admission. Early Decision will be available to the class entering fall of 2014.  Students may apply to only one school through an Early Decision plan.

“As SMU rises in academic profile and selectivity, students are eager to demonstrate their commitment to attend,” said SMU Dean of Undergraduate Admission Wes K. Waggoner. He also indicated that in recent years, a number of students have asked to have an Early Decision option available when applying to SMU.

By allowing applicants to indicate a desire for a binding contract with their first choice college early in the application process, SMU can make admission decisions partially based on the high level of interest of the applicants. Early Decision applicants will receive notice that their decision has been released no later than Jan. 1 to allow appropriate time to apply elsewhere if necessary. The Early Decision application deadline is Nov. 1.

SMU will continue to offer an Early Action option, which will remain non-binding. Early Action provides students with a decision early in their senior year without requiring an immediate or binding decision from the applicant. The Early Action application deadline is also Nov. 1.

In addition to the Early Decision deadline of Nov. 1, SMU also will offer students a second-round binding application option known as Early Decision II. This allows students who identify SMU as their first choice later in the process to indicate their commitment to attend SMU if offered admission.

While Early Decision is a well-known option for the most selective schools throughout the East and on the West Coast, it is lesser known in Texas.  SMU joins Rice University in Houston, TCU in Fort Worth and Trinity University in San Antonio in offering this option to their applicants.

For more information please contact the SMU Office of Admission at 214-768-2058 or visit

Helpful Links:

SMU Application Deadlines

Application Deadlines*


Early Decision I (binding)

November 1

Early Action (non-binding)

November 1

Early Decision II (binding)

January 15

Regular Decision (non-binding)

January 15

* Students are considered for academic merit scholarships under all deadlines.

A binding application is a contractual agreement to enroll should the student be offered admission.  Enrollment confirmation is due shortly after offer of admission.

A non-binding application allows a student to apply and choose among offers of admission until the National Candidate Reply date of May 1.

Media Contact:

Kent Best
SMU Executive Director of News & Communications


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