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**UPDATED 9/19/16** U Penn is Sneaky: Changes Early Decision Policy At the Last Minute

***September 19, 2016 UPDATE***

The U Penn admissions office just can’t make up their minds!!

They have NOW decided, whoops, people didn’t like it when our ED became SCEA so we are going back to the old ED plan.

Now, students CAN apply to any non-binding, non-restrictive Early Action plan. So, you could apply to MIT, U Chicago, Cal Tech, Dickinson, AND U Penn.

See their link above.

If you are planning on applying Early Decision to U Penn this November pay attention!

We send many students to the Ivies, including U Penn, so we’re very interested in UPenn’s brand NEW very sly change to their Early Decision policy.  Apparently U Penn’s website was updated with this information over the summer but it seems news wasn’t ever ‘officially’ released unless you count this 9/7/16 article in The Daily Pennsylvanian.

We feel that all students who have completed a Common Application and selected UPenn early decision should have gotten an email from the school or the Common App about this change (pre-application submittal), but we know that won’t happen.

So –let US tell you about UPenn’s new early decision policy that is now in place for current seniors and beyond.

Rather than a simple Early Decision binding policy they NOW have made it even more restrictive.  You can no longer apply Early Decision to U Penn and non-binding Early Action to MIT or U Chicago or any of the other private Early Action options. Essentially they have become a binding version of the Single Choice Early Action schools such as Stanford, Princeton, Harvard, and Yale.

Penn’s New Official Policy:

Penn’s Early Decision program is binding, meaning that if you are admitted, you are obligated to accept our offer of admission. As you weigh your options to apply through Early Decision or Regular Decision, there are a few important policies and exceptions to consider.

  • You cannot simultaneously apply to Penn under the Early Decision program and another college/university under their early notification program, including Early Decision, Restrictive Early Action (also known as Single-Choice Early Action), or Early Action. There are limited exceptions:
    • You may apply to any public college/university that offers non-binding admissions.
    • You may apply to any foreign college/university.
    • You may apply to any college/university with non-binding early deadlines for scholarships.
  • Penn’s Early Decision program supersedes any other early notifications. If you are admitted to Penn, then you are expected to enroll.
  • An applicant’s affiliation with Penn, either by being children or grandchildren of alumni, is given the most consideration through Early Decision.

Although applicants considering applying through Early Decision must submit their applications earlier (November 1st) than Regular Decision applicants (January 5th), the process of applying is no different. Please refer to the Checklists & Deadlines page for more information.


Make sure to check all your early dates and policies for the ever changing world of college admissions!

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