Greetings Seniors – Especially Early Decision Applicants.,
In COLLEGE APPLICATIONS- EARLY DECISION (ED) & EARLY ACTION (ED) – IS EARLY DECISION RIGHT FOR YOU?, I focused on understanding these college admissions options when submitting your college application and I provided readers with some thoughts on how to evaluate whether Early Decision is the right approach to your college planning. This year is very unusual as many ED/EA deadines were extended and also, the number of college applications is reduced. The Common App is reporting record drops in the number of seniors submitting applications although stability in the numbers submitting Early Decision. How that fares in the ED/EA application pool will soon be known.
For a variety of reasons, I don’t encourage most of my clients to submit their Common Application through the Early Decision option. It’s difficult to envision how a teen can feel extraordinarily confident that they found the one university on the planet that is a perfect “fit” – I think choice is important. For those seniors who are applying to highly selective colleges yes, in some situations it can be strategic to do so – these are discussed at length in my blog. Likewise, students who may have had a rough start to high school often find that attending a collegiate summer program, performing well in these credit-bearing courses and then subsequently submitting an ED college application can also be a strategic college application pathway (Ask me about which college summer programs have very high rates of college acceptances for attendees—let’s talk!).
Well – it’s that time of year and Early Decision and Early Action college admission notifications have mostly all been released at this point.
Congratulations if you’re accepted ED. For many in the Early Decision/Early Action pool, one potential outcome is that you may be deferred to the regular decision pool – whereupon your college admissions file will be reviewed again and notification will occur later this spring.
GETTING DEFERRED FROM WHAT WAS SUPPOSEDLY YOUR FIRST CHOICE UNIVERSITY CAN BE DISAPPOINTING BUT THERE ARE SOME SPECIFIC ACTIONS AVAILABLE TO YOU IMPROVING YOUR CHANCES OF AN ACCEPTANCE DURING THE REGULAR ADMISSIONS CYCLE.
It’s also imperative that you submit the balance of your college applications ASAP – and reassess your list of colleges ensuring there is a “safety” on your list.
Rather than being rejected outright- being deferred gives you the opportunity to provide additional information about your application. Keep in mind- submitting additional information to a college admissions file is an option all students have throughout the college admissions cycle. Whether you were deferred from ED/EA or sometime later this spring receive a deferral during the regular admissions process- bringing any noteworthy changes since submitting your application to the attention of admissions is a good plan of action. I encourage all my clients having any noteworthy information or changes since submitting their college applications earlier this fall to consider updating their applications. Need idea? Please reach out to schedule with College Advisor Bonnie Rabin, PhD.
There’s a fine line between being an applicant “pest” and letting admissions know more about your scientific research – perhaps it was accepted for presentation, or you’ve advanced to nationals in Robotics or Music competitions or were elected class president. Ideally, having your GC corroborate your success with an “update letter” accompanying your mid-year secondary school report can be beneficial.
If you’re deferred, you’ll be asked if you want to continue to be considered. Even if this option isn’t made available to you- “continued interest” notes are valuable and making reference to a campus visit and providing new information beyond your reply to the “why us” supplemental college essay prompt will demonstrate sincere and well-informed interest. Overall, being accepted after a deferral is not something to expect – many students are NOT accepted following a deferral. The admissions team had doubts and unless you address those doubts, it’s unlikely to tip in your favor. The most compelling changes are those related to competitions and accomplishments related to extracurriculars and always the GPA in the senior year first semester.
For all other regular admissions students- please ask me about what if anything is worthy of updating in your admissions file.
WHY WAS I DEFERRED?
Sometimes and particularly in highly selective universities, admissions would like to see your performance in the more challenging classes you’re taking during the senior year. For STEM students– if you didn’t have AP Calculus or AP Science coursework in your junior year, this is often a good reason to avoid applying ED/EA—as these grades from the fall semester are very important for a positive admissions decision.
There is also a silver lining here—time is on your side. Perhaps you’ve reconsidered since submitting the application and now other universities are looking attractive. If you’ve been working with a private college counselor, you undoubtedly submitted a few safety /back-ups but perhaps now want to consider a few other “match” or “reach” universities.
JUST BECAUSE ONE SELECTIVE COLLEGE DIDN’T ACCEPT YOU ED/EA DOESN’T MEAN ANOTHER COMPARABLE COLLEGE WILL REACT THE SAME TO YOUR CREDENTIALS.
SOME COLLEGES WILL REQUEST MORE INFORMATION- AND YOUR TIMELY AND THOROUGH RESPONSE IS ESSENTIAL.
GPA FOR THE FIRST OR SECOND QUARTER, ADDITIONAL TEACHER RECOMMENDATIONS, UPDATES ON EXTRACURRICULAR EXPERIENCES (SEE ABOVE) AND EVEN THOUGHTS ON “WHY” YOU WANT TO CONTINUE TO BE CONSIDERED ARE ALL POSSIBILITIES AND SHOULD BE RESPONDED TO IN A TIMELY MANNER.
****If your deferral letter has explicitly noted that students should not submit any additional application materials, adhere to the request with the notable exception- if you win a national prestigious competition – have your guidance counselor update the university on your behalf.
WHAT TO WRITE IN YOUR COLLEGE ADMISSIONS DEFERRAL NOTE – AND COLLEGE APPLICATION ESSAY
Be authentic and heartfelt- articulate your vision of education and demonstrate how you will contribute to the campus community and state that you will enroll if accepted. Elaborate why you want to attend and do make note of specific professors, coursework and student organizations that indicate you’ve done your homework == this is the “informed interest” note that we speak about when answering college specific supplemental essay prompts.h
Again, do your best to succinctly highlight noteworthy achievements since submitting your application.
While you have to address the deferral – it’s also time to move forward and begin or complete all of your remaining applications by the deadlines.
Perhaps you didn’t work closely with your guidance counselor or didn’t retain a private college advisor—and well- a review of your original college application is now in order. Students who contact me after receiving a college admisssions deferral often benefit from an application review and it’s typically the essay(s) that weren’t done well- content content content! I have the experience to assist with updates making a clear and stronger presentation through your update letter, resume and essays to provide supplementary information.
YOU DO HAVE TO APPLY ELSEWHERE.
Your deferral may also be an indicator that perhaps your application isn’t in order and as you submit college applications to other colleges- it’s a good idea to take a look at how your essays and activities inputs were presented on the Common Application.
A Sample of Recent Acceptances:
Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, U. Michigan, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, University of North Carolina, Vassar, Bowdoin, Wellesley, Emory, U.Illinois, Notre Dame, NYU, Rice, University of Chicago, Washington University (WUSTL), Drexel, Tulane, Brown, Purdue, Swarthmore, SCAD, Ohio, Georgetown, Hamilton, Reed, Miami, Johns Hopkins, University of Florida, University of Arizona, Penn State, Villanova, Northeastern, SUNY-ESF, St. Johns, Embry-Riddle, Colgate, Fordham, Columbia, Barnard, Syracuse, Swarthmore, Pittsburgh, Dickinson, Colorado, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Howard, Fordham, SUNY Stonybrook, Duke, Case Western, Rochester Institute of Technology, Parsons, Virginia Tech, Boston U., Hobart & William Smith, Claremont Mckenna, Davidson, Westpoint, Gettysburg, Amherst, Temple, Denison, Howard, UT Austin, SUNY-Binghamton, Hamilton, George Washington, American, Indiana, SMU, James Madison, UF, and many more! University of Florida and many more.
Best wishes for an absolutely meaningful and enriching 2020-21 and a Happy & HEALTHY Holiday Season
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D. Educational & College Admissions Consultant
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RECENT COLLEGE ACCEPTANCES
Congratulations to our clients! Are you next?!
Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, Cornell, U. Michigan, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, University of North Carolina, Vassar, Brown, Bowdoin, Wellesley, Emory, U.Illinois, Notre Dame, NYU, Rice, University of Chicago, Washington University (WUSTL), Drexel, Tulane, London School of Economics, Purdue, Swarthmore, SCAD, Ohio, Georgetown, Hamilton, Reed, Miami, Johns Hopkins, University of Florida, University of Arizona, Penn State, Villanova, Northeastern, SUNY-ESF, St. Johns, Embry-Riddle, Colgate, Fordham, Columbia, Barnard, Syracuse, Swarthmore, Pittsburgh, Dickinson, Colorado, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Howard, Fordham, SUNY Stonybrook, Duke, Case Western, Rochester Institute of Technology, Parsons, Virginia Tech, Boston U., Hobart & William Smith, Claremont Mckenna, Davidson, Westpoint, Gettysburg, Amherst, Temple, Denison, Howard, UT Austin, SUNY-Binghamton, Hamilton, George Washington, American, Indiana, SMU, James Madison, and many more!