Early Application Outcomes: How to Deal
Here’s What to Do if You’re Accepted, Rejected, or Deferred
Many colleges are announcing early admissions decisions this week and applicants need to prepare for a variety outcomes including acceptance, rejection, or a deferral.
Each type of admissions decision can trigger a variety of emotions including excitement, disappointment, ambivalence, frustration, pride, and uncertainty. Keep reading to learn how to cope with each kind of admissions outcome and how to make the best of your early application results.
If You’re Accepted
Congratulations! Accepted students may want to take a few days to review their admissions letter and celebrate their achievement. Depending on whether the student applied via early decision or early action, next steps for admitted students will vary. If an applicant applied in a binding early decision round, they will need to withdraw all other applications. In contrast, if a student applied early action, they will have a few more decisions to make. If an applicant knows that the college they were admitted to is their first choice, they can withdraw all other applications and accept the offer of admission. However, if a student is unsure, they can continue to work on their regular round applications and make an enrollment decision after receiving admissions outcomes from all of the schools on their list.
If You’re Rejected
Without a doubt, rejection is often the most disappointing college admissions outcome. Between touring schools, narrowing down their list of best-fit schools, and refining applications, many students devote countless hours into the admissions process and it is disheartening to feel as if this hard work has been unrecognized. It may be particularly frustrating for applicants with competitive GPAs and test scores who fit their prospective college’s admitted students profile and were truly qualified candidates. However, many top institutions could fill their freshmen class twice over with distinguished applicants who could make a positive impact on campus.
It’s normal to feel disappointed after receiving a college rejection letter, but don’t let this define you. Instead of dwelling on this negative outcome, channel all of your frustration into motivation for your regular round college applications. Focus on creating compelling supplemental essays and responses that are tailored to each school on your college list. Brushing up on your research for each school will not only help your application stand out, it will also provide you with the opportunity to begin to picture yourself on other campuses. If you have built a balanced college list, any of the other schools on your list should be best fit institutions where you will be successful and happy—so while a top-choice rejection is hard, you still have many options that align with your personal and academic priorities.
If You’re Deferred
Getting deferred can be a difficult outcome to cope with because there is so much uncertainty, and applicants can be deferred for a host of reasons. Instead of agonizing over what your deferment means or trying to predict the long term outcome, channel all of your energy into creating a plan of action for both your deferral and the other colleges on your list.
Deferred students have a variety of next-steps to take regarding the admissions process. First, write a deferral letter that outlines your ongoing interest in the college you applied to, unless the school’s admissions office specifically asks students to avoid this. It may also be beneficial to send the school additional materials, such as mid-year grades and updates on what you have been working on since submitting your application. Additionally, students need to focus on putting the finishing touches on their regular round applications and make sure all materials are ready before deadline.
Whether you are looking for tips on writing a deferral letter or need some last minute guidance for your regular round applications, our team is here to help! Contact us today to learn more about our Deferral Consultation, as well as other college counseling options for high school seniors to carry you through the rest of the application season.