Through the University of Michigan’s Early Action program, you can apply earlier in the admissions timeline—received by November 1 of your senior year in high school—and receive a decision on admission earlier on in the process. The Early Action decision will be one of three: admit; defer for a final decision by early April; or deny.
You do not need to apply EA, but this fast-paced approach may fit your needs by providing you with a decision before the end of the calendar year. It's a great option if you know that Michigan is one of your top choice schools. There are, however, a few aspects of Early Action to be aware of before you jump in, particularly:
- Early Action is for freshman applicants applying for the Fall term;
- The School of Music, Theatre & Dance and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning are both exempt from the Early Action decision date because of audition/interview and portfolio processes; and
- The Office of Admissions promises no special privileges to Early Action candidates, such as giving your application materials a higher priority or a more lenient review. Choosing to apply through Early Action does not make it easier or harder to gain admission to U-M—it is merely a way to get your decision faster.
You must be able to meet the November 1 deadline. This means having all pieces of your application submitted electronically or postmarked by that date. You will need to order your ACT or SAT scores well in advance, and ensure that we receive the School Report and the teacher recommendation letter by the deadline.
The Chief Advantage of Early Action
Early Action provides you with a guaranteed decision date. For many students, this enables better planning.
Applying for Early Action typically involves the same steps and materials as regular admissions. A complete application includes the following forms and information and must be postmarked by November 1:
- The Common Application OR the Coalition Application (Note: Please submit only one. There is no advantage to submitting one over the other.).
- The U-M Member Questions
- High School Transcript (and a second transcript translated in English if you took any classes at a non-U.S. high school)
- School Report
- One Teacher Evaluation
- SAT with writing or ACT with writing test scores must be received by Nov. 1 (Must be sent directly from the testing agency—order well in advance. Rush paper scores are not accepted.)
Deadlines and Decisions
Complete application and materials — postmarked by November 1
Early Action decision release — no later than December 24
Final equal consideration deadline — February 1
Note: Students who apply via Early Action but don’t meet the requirements or deadlines will be rolled into the regular decision applicant pool. All materials must then be postmarked by February 1 and decisions will be released by early April.
Sending Test Scores
Please be advised that we must receive your official ACT or SAT scores by the deadline date of November 1 in order to complete your application file. We encourage students to send test scores to U-M immediately after taking the exam; students who submit their requests for test results after they have taken an ACT or SAT will need to ensure that scores be sent to us by the deadline. Check with ACT or SAT regarding individual policies.
All U-M admissions decisions are sent via email from Michigan Admissions under the subject line “Your University of Michigan Admissions Decision.” Check your email on a regular basis. If you add this email address to your safe list, your decision will not end up in your junk or spam folder. However, given variations in online security, we recommend that you check both your inbox and junk mail folders just to be sure. Your admission decision will be released to the email address you provided on your application. Keep in mind that only some decisions will be posted on our web app status page. You will receive paper correspondence by mail only after you have been admitted.
When it comes to writing a stellar college application essay, my advice is fairly succinct: Be yourself.
I know there are lots of articles that tell you to watch your grammar and punctuation, to use correct capitalization, to stay on-topic - and those are all great pieces of advice. But I’m going to assume you know all that because it’s common sense.
I’m going to hope you realize that when it comes to the writing portion of a college application, you know you need to turn in your best work. You know that spellcheck can betray you, that your extensive “tutoring” may turn into “torturing” because you relied solely on software to handle the copy editing.
You do know all that, right?
But what you might not know is that the hardest part isn’t necessarily the mechanics. The hardest part can be making sure that your essay is authentic, that it really sounds like you – not your mother, your advisor, or your Uncle Bob, who wears Maize and Blue every Saturday and has taken you to every home football game since you were 10.
Don’t get me wrong - school spirit is wonderful. So is editing.
But this is your application, after all, and we want to know about you. We want to know what makes you stand out from the crowd – what makes you a good fit for the University of Michigan.
We don’t want a list of awards and achievements; we’ll have those on your application. We want a written snapshot of who you are – right now – and how you got that way. When you see the essay portion on your application, you’ll have several choices, or prompts. One will let you tell your story in the best way possible. Choose it. Play to your strengths.
Your college essay will be one of nearly 50,000 that we’ll be reading in admissions – use this opportunity to your advantage. Your essay gives us insights into your personality; it helps us determine if your relationship with the school will be mutually beneficial.
So tell us what faculty you’d like to work with, or what research you’re interested in. Tell us why you’re a leader – or how you overcame adversity in your life. Tell us why this is the school for you. Tell us your story.
And be yourself. Really – it’s some of the best advice I can give.