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College Application Decisions

Maryline Michel Kulewicz and Tracy Sullivan of College 101 Admissions Consultants

This is the time of year when students start to hear back from their colleges. Congratulations to all the students who have received acceptances! Students are also receiving decisions where they have either been deferred, waitlisted, or denied, which is hard to not take personally, but think of it in this way, in 2023 UCLA received 145,900 applications and only accepted 12,780. So, focus on what can be done. 

If you are ACCEPTED: 

• If you have been accepted at your Early Decision college, which is a binding agreement, your decision has been made. You will need to withdraw all other applications immediately.   

• For Early Action, Regular Decision, and Rolling Admission acceptances, you do not need to commit immediately. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each college before you make your final decision.  

• May 1st is National Decision Day, the final day that you can submit a non-refundable deposit to a college (except for early decision and transfer students). 

• Many universities grant early priority status in housing and roommate selection for students who commit early.

 If you are DEFERRED: 

• A deferral means the college wants to review your application again with the regular decision pool of applicants. A deferral is not a rejection, and it does not mean there is something wrong with your application.

• There are generally 2 main reasons why a college issues a deferral. For some students, their senior year academic performance is critical in the college’s decision, so 1st semester grades are needed. Second, the student falls in the middle of the pack academically and the college wants to compare the student’s application to the overall applicant pool.  

• The deferral letter will include the protocol for your next steps in the application process. The deferral letter may state that no further action is needed; however, some schools will allow additional materials to be submitted, such as a new recommendation letter, an updated resume, test scores, or a Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI). When writing the LOCI be very college specific by citing exact reasons why you and XYZ University are a good match.

• Meet with your guidance counselor and ask for feedback. They often have good relationships with the college admission representatives and will be able to provide insight on how to best move forward.

• Finally, assess your current college list to determine if there are colleges on your list where you can already achieve your goals. 

If you are WAITLISTED:

• If you are waitlisted, you have met the college criteria for acceptance, but the college is limited in spaces.    

• If you are still interested in the college, accept the college’s waitlist offer.

• You can also email your college admissions representative and express your interest in the college. Consider providing additional recommendation letters or any new academic achievements to support your application review. 

• Consider: According to NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) 20% of all students who chose to remain on waitlists were ultimately admitted.

 If you are DENIED:  

• Give yourself time to grieve, especially if it was your dream school. 

• You are still in the game. Review your college list and determine if you want to apply to additional colleges. Several colleges have Regular Decision deadlines on January 15, February 1 and 15. Additionally, ED II and EA II are options.   

• Many schools would be thrilled to have you as a student, so review what college criteria are important to you and where you feel like you would genuinely fit in academically, socially, and financially.,, and your high school’s college platform are 3 useful resources to research additional colleges. 

• Be certain that the new additions are balanced with likely and probable admit schools. 

Remember, it is important to focus on what can be done, instead of dwelling on the “what ifs.”  The goal of the college process is to find and attend a college that is a right-fit for YOU where you will be happy- and with a little extra work you can accomplish this goal.  

Good luck and enjoy the journey!   

College 101 Admissions Consultants LLC. Website:  Email: [email protected]. Phone: (508) 380-3845.


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