Deferred from EA or ED? Take action!

Pick Me!No rest for the applicant weary! If you have been deferred from
schools where you applied Early Action or Early Decision, now is the time to show “Demonstrated Interest”.

In the next few weeks, you can improve your chances of moving from the “limbo” stack of applications to the “Admitted” stack. There are many ways for the student (not parents!) to demonstrate interest:

  1. Visit campus again, and be sure to register with admissions office when you do.
  2. Email your admissions counselor, ask good questions, and confirm that your application is complete.
  3. Send any additional information which may have not made the application deadline, i.e., did you get published in the school newspaper, make the honor roll, earn a great report card, or receive other acknowledgments? Send a copy of your award with a note, “just thought you would like to know….”
  4. Respond to all emails from the admissions officers, even if they seem superfluous or not serious. They are!
  5. Do you have an opportunity to interview with the college? Be sure to go for it.

Note: This is also an important tactic for the regular admissions cycle. However, if you are notified that you have been waitlisted, these are the same type of initiatives you will need to take to move off the waitlist.

You need to show the love! Many Admissions Departments consider demonstrated interest very seriously. They want to improve their acceptance rate and increase their yield of accepted applicants who commit to attending. Every time a college can improve their Admissions statistics, it benefits their place in the college rankings, the holy grail in a university’s endowment.

Be assertive, enthusiastic and motivated and  give the Admissions Department a few more good reasons why they should accept you.  :)




Tick, Tock…Early Decision or Early Action?


Submitting college applications Early Action is a no brainer. Why? Because this is a non binding application. But sending an application Early Decision is a BIG deal!  Why? Because you are signing a contract that you will attend if accepted.

Early Action or EA means that you submit the application for usually a November 1st or November 15th deadline and then Admissions will notify you in mid-December  whether you have been accepted, deferred, or rejected and need to find another favorite college. Additionally, EA applicants are usually considered for merit scholarships  which is completely different from the financial aid that is based on need. Essentially the school, with no consideration to you financial need, may say “Gee, you super and we really, really want you to come to our college. You qualify for Merit award!” :)

Take advantage of schools that offer Early Action and submit the majority of your applications by this deadline. There are no limits to the amount of Early Action applications you may submit.

Submitting an application Early Decision is more like a marriage proposal. You are professing your love for the college. Basically saying “College, if you accept me I am yours…  till death do us part…” A hard decision for an 17 or 18-year-old make.

You can only apply to one college Early Decision (ED). It is a binding decision, usually due Nov 1st or 15th and the only circumstances which will release you from an ED acceptance is if the school’s financial aid offer is incompatible with the family’s financial situation. Thus if you apply ED and require financial aid, be sure to disclose that need. ED’s require that you, your parents and guidance counselor sign a ED contract saying that if you are accepted, you will attend and you will retract all other applications. Your ED school is your absolute favorite.

Although most colleges follow these aforementioned deadlines, each college is different so be sure read each college application requirements. There are other types of application deadlines and restrictions which are discussed below.

JACKPOT!  You have  been accepted to your Early Decision school AND you simultaneously are accepted to EA schools who are offering you a big Merit Scholarship… bye-bye scholarships. You signed the contract for Early Decision to your favorite college. This is the primary reason why you would not want to apply ED. However, your ED school may still offer you a financial package.

Why would anyone submit an ED Application? The best reason, besides getting the whole process completed, is because if you are applying to a very selective school your chances of being accepted are far greater with an ED application vs. Early Action or regular admission.

For example check out the 2012 acceptance rate :

College            ED Accept Rate          Regular Decision Rate

Lehigh              63%                             32%

J, Hopkins        30%                             17%

Colgate             51%                             26%

Dartmouth       25%                             7%

U Penn             25%                             9%

Duke                25%                             11%

Note that many ED accepted students then often worry, the rest of their senior year, if they made the right decision. A little buyer’s remorse could kick in.

A few more application deadline terms, that are not so widely used:

Restrictive Early Action — If you applied ED to a school, then you cannot apply Early Action to this school (i.e. Boston College).
Restrictive Early Decision — If you apply ED you cannot send  EA applications to other schools (i.e. Brown).
Single Action, Early Action – For example: Yale, unlike Brown, is a non binding EA application, but you still cannot apply to others schools.
Rolling Admissions Early Decision  –  send in Sepembert and you may know a few weeks later. Binding. Example: Wake Forest
Early Decision Round II – Still an Early Decision application that is binding, just sent in later around usually Jan 15.  One reason a school may offer this is to pick up highly qualified students who may have been rejected by their first choice school.

Top 10 Tips: Application Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Be Authentic! Don’t say something because you think that’s what the Admissions Department wants to hear (i.e. working on a cure for cancer, etc. ). Be your authentic self.
  2. Don’t miss the deadline, or wait until 12 PM to submit. Computer systems do crash. With 1000s of applications choking a college’s midnight deadline bad things happen…  Miss a deadline and you may  lose out on admission, honors or scholarships opportunities.
  3. Supplemental essays, give care! Rush through answering these admission department gems and you could miss the boat! Put effort into your answer.
  4. A major no-no is using abbreviations.  LOL is n/g. :)
  5. Disciplinary issues? “‘Fess up” sooner verse later. If uncovered later, acceptances will be revoked. If you have a GPA “hiccup” in your transcript explain what happened.
  6. Essays written by your parent – they see them and they know….
  7. The essay question “Why XYZ college?” requires you to research and come up with a vivid answer that resonates with you. And note that if you recycle your answer for other applications, be sure to change the name of the college appropriately. Stating the wrong college name for this essay question happens all the time. Admissions officers are not pleased when they see this.
  8. Students should waive their right of access to see their letter of recommendations. A confidential recommendation is the gold standard. See Common App, in “Teacher Evaluation Form” a  RED BOX where the student’s signature is required.
  9. Failure to follow-up with admission office to confirm if application is complete, such as sending SAT score, Teacher Recommendations, and Transcript. If it is incomplete, it is not considered.
  10. Apply to enough schools that meet the following criteria: academic safety with a high acceptance rate,  tuition you can afford, and you would be happy to attend!