Restrictive Early Action

Restrictive Early Action

Restrictive Early Action is a non-binding early application option for students who have completed a thorough college search and are confident Stanford is their first choice. 

Admission decisions are released by December 15. Admitted students have until May 1 to respond to their admission offer, which allows them to compare financial aid awards across institutions. At the time of admission, Stanford provides an estimated award to those who applied for financial aid. The application deadline for Restrictive Early Action is November 1 at 11:59 p.m.

3 Possible Restrictive Early Action Admission Decisions

  1. Applicant is admitted and has until May 1 to respond to the admission offer.
  2. Applicant is not offered admission and may not reapply for admission in the same year.
  3. Applicant is deferred to Regular Decision and will receive a final decision by April 1.

Stanford's philosophy is to make final decisions whenever possible. As a result, only a small percentage of Restrictive Early Action applicants is deferred.

Restrictive Early Action Policy

  • Applicants do not apply to any other private college/university under their Early Action, Restrictive Early Action, Early Decision or Early Notification program.
  • Applicants may apply to other colleges and universities under their Regular Decision option.


  • The student may apply to any college/university with early deadlines for scholarships or special academic programs as long as the decision is non-binding and in order to be considered for the program, the student must apply in the early round or by an early deadline.
  • The student may apply to any public college/university with a non-binding early application option.
  • The student may apply to any college/university with a non-binding rolling admission process.
  • The student may apply to any foreign college/university on any application schedule.

If you are considering applying to another college/university whose early application option does not appear to qualify as an exception, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission for clarification.

Change of Application Plan

If you originally applied under Restrictive Early Action and would like to be considered as a Regular Decision applicant, follow these instructions:

  • Request a change in status on or before December 1 by email to Applicants must confirm the request has been received to ensure the change has been made.
  • We cannot honor a status change request after December 1 and will evaluate your application under our Restrictive Early Action plan. Incomplete Restrictive Early Action files will not be converted automatically to Regular Decision; such files will be deemed incomplete/withdrawn and will not be reviewed for admission.
Updated on July 25, 2017 3:43 PM