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Early Decision for High School Students

Information for Early Decision Applicants

High School Students applying for first year entry who know that SUNY-ESF is their first choice college may want to consider the Early Decision admission plan. This plan allows students to submit their application and receive an admission decision earlier than Regular First Year consideration. Since admission under this plan requires a commitment to attend SUNY-ESF, the applicant, their parent or legal guardian and school counselor must agree to the terms of admission required for this plan. Therefore, applicants should be familiar with the policies and processes governing Early Decision contained on this web site.

These guidelines for Early Decision are from the National Association for College Admission Counseling Statement of Principles and Good Practice and must be understood and agreed to by Early Decision applicants to SUNY-ESF:

  • Early Decision (ED) is the application process in which students make a commitment to a first-choice institution where, if admitted, they definitely will enroll. While pursuing admission under an Early Decision plan, students may apply to other institutions, but may have only one Early Decision application pending at any time. Should a student who applies for financial aid not be offered an award that makes attendance possible, the student may decline the offer of admission and be released from the Early Decision commitment. The institution must notify the applicant of the decision within a reasonable and clearly stated period of time after the Early Decision deadline. Usually, a nonrefundable deposit must be made well in advance of May 1 (March 15 for ESF Early Decision). The institution will respond to an application for financial aid at or near the time of an offer of admission. Institutions with Early Decision plans may restrict students from applying to other early plans. Institutions will clearly articulate their specific policies in their Early Decision agreement.
  • If you are accepted under an Early Decision plan, you must promptly withdraw the applications submitted to other colleges and universities and make no additional applications to any other university in any country. If you are an Early Decision candidate and are seeking financial aid, you need not withdraw other applications until you have received notification about financial aid.

Review of Early Decision applications by the SUNY-ESF Admission Committee will use the same criteria as Regular First Year application review. Under either type of review, some applicants’ credentials may not provide sufficient information for the Committee to make a decision and the applicant will be asked to submit additional information, such as senior year mid-year grades.

Early Decision applicants submit the same credentials required of all first year applicants as well as the completed Early Decision (ED) Agreement. If you use The Common Application to apply to SUNY-ESF the ED Agreement is part of the on-line application. If you use the SUNY application, the ED Agreement must be downloaded from the SUNY-ESF How to Apply for High School Students web page.

All application materials and credentials required for Early Decision applicants must be postmarked or received electronically by December 1. If senior year first-quarter grades are not available when your transcript is submitted, they may be faxed from your high school directly to the Admissions Office at (315) 470-6933 or emailed to esfinfo@esf.edu by the December 1 deadline. If any portion of an Early Decision application is received after the December 1 deadline, review of the application under Early Decision or Regular First Year consideration is at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.

Early Decision admission decisions will be released between January 1 and January 15. Students who are not admitted under the Early Decision plan may be moved to Regular First Year consideration.

Financial Aid & Early Decision

If you wish to be considered for Financial Aid you must submit the FAFSA in time for the information to reach our Financial Aid office by the Early Decision Financial Aid priority deadline of February 1. Early Decision Financial Aid Awards will be released beginning March 1. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to award financial aid and scholarships to both Early Decision and Regular Decision candidates at SUNY-ESF. Early Decision candidates complete the same financial aid processing steps required for all other candidates, with applications reviewed and awards mailed based on the date each student’s FAFSA information is received by the College. Early Decision candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their FAFSA application online to the federal processor no later than February 1 to allow for sufficient processing time to ensure that a financial aid award can be provided before the March 15 deadline for Early Decision Undergraduate Enrollment Agreement and deposit. Early Decision candidates who file their FAFSA form later than February 1 will still be considered for financial aid, but all candidates will be expected to pay their nonrefundable Early Decision enrollment deposit by March 15 to hold their place in the entering class. This means that your nonrefundable enrollment deposit may be due on March 15 before a financial aid award has been made if the College has not been given sufficient FAFSA processing time.

Early Decision plans at other colleges and universities often use an “early version” financial aid application to provide estimated financial aid awards and then put applicants through a second required FAFSA application process before providing a final and official award. SUNY-ESF has chosen to simplify this process by requiring only the FAFSA form (along with the linked TAP application for in-state residents). This means that Early Decision candidates at SUNY-ESF need to file their FAFSA applications promptly, but it allows the College to provide official awards using a faster and easier process for students, parents, and staff.

Students admitted under Early Decision must return their Undergraduate Enrollment Agreement form and non-refundable deposit postmarked by March 15 indicating their intention to enroll at SUNY-ESF. All applications to other colleges must then be withdrawn.

Educational Opportunity Program applicants cannot apply for Early Decision.

Application Deadlines

Spring 2019

  • All Applicants:
    November 1, 2018

Fall 2019

  • Early Decision First-Year:
    December 1, 2018
  • Regular First-Year:
    January 15, 2019*
  • Guaranteed Transfer:
    February 1, 2019
  • Transfer:
    March 1, 2019*

*Applications received after this date will be considered on a space available basis.

Application Codes

SAT: 2530
ACT: 2948
TOEFL DI: 2530
FAFSA: 002851
NYS TAP: 0950