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Early Decision

If MICA is your first choice for college study, you may want to consider our Early Decision Plan. The plan is designed to let you know of our admission decision early in your senior year and is intended for talented students with strong academic records.

Students accepted under the Early Decision Plan have the option of receiving an early financial aid estimate. A student considered under the Early Decision Plan agrees to enroll at Maryland Institute College of Art if admitted. You may apply to other colleges with the understanding that you will withdraw those applications if admitted to MICA. To be considered for the Early Decision Plan, you must submit all of the materials described below by November 15.

If you wish to receive an estimate of your financial aid package along with your admission decision you should complete the MICA Early Decision Financial Aid Online Application or  print and return it to the Financial Aid Office by November 15.  You will be contacted if additional information is required to complete your estimated financial aid award. Notification of admission will be sent to Early Decision candidates on December 15, along with a tentative financial aid package, if all required information has been received by the deadline.

If you are accepted under the Early Decision Plan, you will be required to submit a non-refundable tuition deposit of $450 and a housing deposit of $550 by the Early Decision Candidate Reply Date, February 2. The tuition deposit is an initial payment of the first semester’s tuition.

Note : All materials must be submitted at the same time for Early Decision applicants. If all materials are not submitted simultaneously, the application will not be considered under the Early Decision Option.

Step 1: Application (online or paper)

Indicate on the application form that you would like to be considered under the early decision plan. Submit the application form to the Office of Undergraduate Admission with the non-refundable $60 fee. Students applying online must pay their application fee using using a credit or debt card. If applying using a paper application,  please make all checks (which must be in U.S. dollars drawn on U.S. banks) and money orders payable to Maryland Institute College of Art. At this time, students requesting fee waivers must apply using the paper application.

Step 2: Transcripts

Request that an official record of grades be sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

Step 3: Letters of Recommendation

The recommendations of teachers (both art and academic), college placement advisors, or college counselors are important to your application. For Early Decision candidates, these letters of reference must accompany your online application or be mailed with your paper application.

Step 4: Test Scores

If you have taken the SAT or ACT, you should submit those scores by the Early Decision deadline. Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT) results are required for all first-time freshmen. Test scores are evaluated in relation to other academic materials and the portfolio review. The ACT Writing Test is recommended, but not required. (MICA CEEB Code—for SAT—is #5399; ACT Code #1710). If English is your second language, TOEFL or IELTS scores must be submitted at the time of the application. If these scores are not available by the Early Decision deadline, they must be sent by February 2 or an offer of admission may be revoked. 

Step 5: Essay

Choose one of the topics listed on the application form, write an essay (250 word minimum), and attach it to your online or paper application. 

Step 6: Activities & Interests

Compile a list of activities, interests, and honors as explained on the application form, and attach it to your online or paper application.

Step 7: Portfolio of Artwork

Submit a portfolio of 12-20 pieces of artwork to the Office of Undergraduate Admission. (Detailed instructions are available under Freshmen - Regular Admission.)

Admission Dates and Deadlines

  • November 15 Application deadline — all materials in the packet must be received simultaneously for application to be considered
  • November 15 Early Decision Financial Aid Online Application deadline to receive an estimated financial aid package with the admission decision
  • December 15 Admission and early estimated financial aid notifications mailed
  • February 2 Candidate Reply Date: tuition and housing deposits due

Financial Aid Dates and Deadlines

Required documents:

  1. MICA Financial Aid Early Decision Online Application
    Parent and student federal tax returns and W-2 statements
  • November 15 Financial Aid Application deadline for early estimate of financial aid
  • December 15 Early estimated financial aid notifications mailed
  • February 15 Deadline to file FAFSA