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Early Action

Apply by Nov. 1

Early Action can be more competitive than the Regular Decision process. To be admitted through Early Action, a student needs to be superior in curriculum and grades. For the last two years, 35 to 42 percent of the students deferred from Early Action to Regular Decision were eventually admitted. Students who apply through the Early Action process do not have an advantage over students who apply Regular Decision.

Students who apply Regular Decision are not at a disadvantage compared to those applying Early Action. In most years, around 90 percent of the applicants are competitive, but due to space constraints we typically admit about 70 percent.

Early Action FAQs

No. Whether you apply Early Action or Regular Decision, the ultimate decision will be the same. We offer early admission to candidates whom we are certain we would admit at any time. Students admitted under Early Action typically have very strong and complete records of achievement and involvement. We offered admission to about one-third of our early applicants and one-half of our regular applicants.

Most students not admitted during Early Action are automatically reviewed again carefully as part of the Regular Decision pool and they are notified of our admission decision by early April.  However, we do send non-acceptance letters to some of our early applicants. We feel it is unfair to keep a student waiting until April when we know they are not competitive for admission to JMU. We will send non-acceptance letters to students who are clearly not competitive for admission.

Absolutely not! We hope you decide to attend James Madison, of course, but the date by which we must hear from you, May 15*, is the same for all enrolling freshmen.

*The enrollment deposit deadline was extended to May 15 for students admitted to Fall 2024.

No. Deferral does not imply weakness in an application. We simply like to make the majority of our decisions during the Regular Decision process, when we can compare applications in the context of the greater pool. Learn more about the defer decision in our frequently asked questions.

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