Tagged: early decision

Admissions Vocabulary: How You Apply

Will This Be Your Alma Mater?

Are you ever confused by words and terms you hear on a college visit or that writers use in articles about college admission? Read on to find explanations and definitions.

Early Decision      Early Decision is an application submitted by a student who holds a strong preference for a specific college above all others. At most colleges that offer ED, the decision is binding, meaning that if accepted, the student will enroll. All other applications must be withdrawn upon acceptance at the ED college. Obviously, a student can only apply to one college Early Decision.

Deadlines for Early Decision are usually between November 1st December 1st. Once all material has been received the applications are read. Decisions are sent out in 4-6 weeks fr the deadline and can be an acceptance, a denial or deferral which is putting the application into the regular decision round.

Early Decision is an advantage for the college because they know that students who are admitted will come, ie, seats that are guaranteed to be filled. ED is an advantage for the student who no longer has to wait for acceptances.

For students who are applying for financial aid, Early Decision is a disadvantage because they are committed to a college without seeing the aid package. If the aid doesn’t meet their needs or ability to pay, they don’t have other schools waiting for them.

Early Action     Early Action also shows a preference for a particular college by asking for an answer quickly. EA deadlines are usually 11/1 or 11/15 if the college does not also have an ED option.   When all the supporting documentation has arrived, the application is read and a decision made. The response can be acceptance, denial or deferring the application to the regular decision pool. Usually, the student is notified in 4-6 weeks. Early Action is non-binding so a student can apply to more than on college EA.  They must notify the college that they will attend by May 1.

Regular Decision is when the most applications are read.  Students not choosing to apply Early Decision or Early Action apply in this group.  With part of the class filled students considered to be a member of a group that is under-represented in the class may be given preference.  For example, women applying to  engineering,  men where a large cohort of women has been admitted, an athlete playing a less popular sport, someone applying to a new major, a student from an under-represented geographical region.  At most colleges the class is filled largely from among the regular decision applicants.  Decisions are either accept, deny or Wait List.

The Wait List is a holding place to see how many students send in a deposit by May 1.  Should you be wait listed you have the option to accept admission to any other college. If there are unfilled spots in the class, some students on the wait list are notified of admission.

Rolling Admission is the plan under which applications are read as soon as all supporting documents have been received.  Students usually receive the decision within 6 weeks of a completed submission.

Deadline Reading is used by a few colleges who like to look at all the applicants at the same time.  The deadline for applying is typically in January.  When all applications are complete, they are read and discussed by admissions officers and decisions are sent out to all students at the same time, by April 15th at the latest.

No matter which decision protocol you choose, be aware of deadlines. All documentation must arrive by that date to be considered. Incomplete early applications usually move to the regular decision pool. You can check you application online to see when scores and your high school packet arrive. It’s your responsibility to make certain that it is complete.

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Good luck!

2017 Trends in EA and Ed Admissions

Students who applied to colleges for Early Action or Early Decision consideration found that the number of admits was down this year, at least for students in the Delaware Valley.

There could be a number of reasons but one of the most prominent that comes to mind is that the published average SAT and ACT scores of admits in previous years is still being reported by Old SAT numbers.  New scores are about 70 points higher making mid-50% applicants using the published figures about 70 points lower than those who are being admitted.

Lets say you want to attend Exton College with a mid-50% range of  1400-1500 according to the college website.   The actual numbers using New SAT scores is 1470-1570.  The applicant with a 1410 is now below the mid-50% mark.

Colleges are also taking a closer look at how the applicants will fare on campus in leadership roles and other qualities they bring to campus.  More than stats matter in admission decisions.

An important factor is where the student chooses to apply.  Most colleges and universities try to build a class with geographic diversity by admitting students from as many states and international locations as possible.

Consultants have seen an increase in the number of Del Val students applying to the same universities, in particular Penn, Pitt, Maryland, Wisconsin and Villanova among others.  Each new application from a high school or region decreases everyone’s chances of admission.    The remedy is to look farther afield to schools that have fewer applicants from your area.  Think outside the geographic box and beyond where your friends are applying.

Lets get together and plan an application list that adds geography, higher score expectations, and timing to your list of criteria.   Its time for juniors to finalize their lists and for sophomores to begin adding and dropping colleges from their wish lists. stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679.  I can meet you in Exton, PA,         Marlton, NJ or in a cyberconference.

Restrictive Early Action – Will Colleges Know If I Cheat?

Restrictive Early Action is an application plan that is growing in popularity with colleges of more than average selectivity.  Every college needs to fill seats and beds.  To do so they calculate their yield: the per cent of admitted students who will send a deposit and show up as a member of the next entering class.

Early Decision students are admitted in larger numbers than regular decision applicants because they have committed to coming if admitted.  Early Action applicants have a definite interest in the school although they still have a choice to attend  or not.  Students typically apply Early Action to schools at the top of their list but also want the flexibility of deciding after they have heard from multiple admissions offices.

To reduce the number of admitted students who matriculate elsewhere, an increasing number of colleges have instituted REA, Restrictive Early Action.  An applicant choosing to apply  REA may not also apply to other colleges under any Early Action or Early Decision plan, although they may apply elsewhere as a Regular Decision candidate.

Do colleges know if you’ve violated the restriction?  If you use the Common App they can find out.  Applicants sign a confidentiality waiver meaning that you’ve released your application to the colleges you’ve applied to.  Each college has your name and ID number that they can run through the Common App to see where you’ve applied and under which decision protocol.

Keep in mind that Early Decision and Restrictive Early Action require you to sign a contract, one that is legally binding.  Violating the contract opens you to the possibility of legal action.  What is more likely to happen is denial of  admission by all affected colleges or having admission rescinded if you were admitted.

Plan carefully so that you apply in the most effective way to the colleges you want to attend.  Select the decision plan that optimizes your chances of admission without unduly inhibiting your ultimate choice of for enrollment.

Let me help you plan your application strategy! stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679


Deferred from EA or ED to Regular Decision? Here’s What To Do

Wishing and hoping encouraged to you to apply to your top colleges under the Early Decision or Early Action protocols.  6 weeks later you discover that your application has been held for regular decision review.  It’s a tough blow, having to wait another month or two without knowing.

Take stock of the acceptances you may already have.  Are these colleges strong enough contenders for you to be happy with the education and financial aid package?  If so then you only have to send a “No thank you letter” to the office that deferred you.

You may still have a preference for the deferring college.  The number of applications in the Regular Decision pool is larger than the Early groups so you will need to continue to communicate your strengths to the admissions office.

  1. Demonstrate your interest by communicating with the representative who reads the applications from your high school.  Remind him or her that you are still very interested in attending and why.  Don’t repeat what you said in the original application; add something new.
  2. If you have taken the SAT or ACT again, remind the rep to look at the new scores.  Make certain that they have been sent.
  3. Add to your application new awards, challenges overcome, achievements and distinctions.
  4. Visit or visit again.
  5. Consider an additional letter of recommendation from an outside source like a boss or supervisor of a community service initiative.  One could also come from a teacher or coach.  Earn brownie points by asking the college rep if she or he will accept a recommendation before you ask someone to write the letter.

Admission, denial and deferrals are based on the characteristics of the applicant pool and the shape of the class that the admission office is building.  These are qualities that you have no control over and  admission decisions aren’t a reflection of your eligibility.

You are in a great position: you can choose to reject the deferral and select a college that wants you right off the bat or you can play the waiting game and see all the colleges that choose you before you decide.  Either way, you will end up at a great college or university because all of the schools on your list are good choices.

If you need help showing love to the admissions offices that deferred you, lets talk.  We can find new information to send that will strengthen your application.  stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679.

Early Decision, Early Action, Regualr Decision- What’s the Difference?

Not sure what ED, early decision, means? Maybe early action is a better choice? You’re not alone in your confusion!

san-jose-stateEarly decision is an option that lets colleges fill part of their incoming class with students who are committed to attending. When you apply early decision you are promising to attend this college if you are admitted.

Procedure: Fill out the application and check the early decision box.  Be mindful that the deadline is usually November 1 or November 15.  If you miss the deadline you won’t be considered.  To date, there is no additional fee for ED applications.

When to choose early decision: When you have a very clear first choice university or college and are willing to withdraw all other applications if admitted.

Advantages of early decision:

  1. You will know in December or January whether you’ve been accepted
  2. ED is an advantage for the college because it fills part of the class with students who are committed to attending

Disadvantages of early decision:

  1. Early deadlines mean you must decide early in the fall
  2. You can only apply to one college early decision
  3. You give up the opportunity to explore attendance at any other college
  4. Inability to afford attendance after you receive the financial aid package is the only reason to withdraw.

Comments: Some colleges and universities accept a significant portion of the incoming class from early decision applicants but many others accept only a small portion of the early decision applicants.

While you may apply to only one college early decision, you may apply to others early action or regular decision but must withdraw the apps if you are accepted ED.

Early action allows applicants to get a response from a college quickly without committing to attend if admitted.

Procedure: Fill out the application and check the box for early action.  Some colleges have EA I and EA II with application deadlines in November or December and again in January.  To date there is no additional fee for EA applications.

When to choose early action:  Choose early action when you have one or more colleges that you are very excited about attending.  Early action applications indicate your interest in attending without limiting you ability to apply to other colleges.

Advantages of early action:

  1. You can indicate your interest in a college with early action; colleges like to see how interested an applicant is
  2. Colleges typically respond within 4 weeks of having all application materials
  3. You can apply to multiple colleges EA or regular decision

Disadvantages or early action:

  1. Early action shows a preference for a college, not a commitment to attend
  2. EA decisions are typically made later than early decision

Comments: If you choose early action it is wise to combine the application with additional demonstrated interest.

Regular Decision: An RD application is submitted when no preference is being shown.  Most applications fall into this pool.

Procedures: Check the regular decision box on the application and submit before the deadline if there is one.

Advantages of regular decision:

  1. There is no need to submit applications before completing your college investigations
  2. Your application will be compared to a large, less selective, pool of applicants which can be an advantage
  3. There is more time to re-take ACT, SAT, or SAT subject tests
  4. Multiple acceptances will give more choices of where to attend

Disadvantages of regular decision:

  1. Decisions may not be reported until April 1
  2. Applicants may have to work harder to stand out

Comments: Some colleges make and report decisions on a rolling basis meaning that they accept of deny with in a few weeks of receiving all documentation.  Others hold all regular decision application until a specific date so that they can better compare applicants before choosing among them.

As you build your college list, think about which decision type you want to use for each san-jose-state-university-106864_640college.  Rank them according to your interest with reasons for the ranking.  Then you can prioritize applications based on your preferences and level of commitment.

If you’d like help or more information, call or text Stephanie at 610-212-6679; email stephanie@accessguidance; fill in the contact form on the website, www.accessguidance.com.

I look forward to hearing from you!