November marks an important date on the college admissions calendar. With the majority of Early Decision (ED) applications wrapping up by November 15, thousands of college-bound seniors will take a collective sigh of relief in knowing that their first (and hopefully last) wave of applications are in the books!

While we encourage students to take a short break after submitting, families should also be aware of some important post-submission steps to follow throughout the rest of the school year:

  • Make sure your child has a plan B…and C. While the goal is always to be receiving an  acceptance letter come mid-December, families should still have a contingency plan in place in the event that a student’s application is deferred or rejected. Even students who are accepted via non-binding Early Action (EA) should be prepared to submit additional applications.
  • Maintain your grades throughout senior year! Remember that acceptance letters are contingent upon students completing senior year in good standing, both inside and outside the classroom. For students who are deferred or rejected, and thus will apply Regular Decision (RD), you should expect an admissions officer to use your first semester senior year grades as part of their evaluation.
  • Be prepared for good news! If your child is admitted Early Decision, there are a couple important steps families should be aware of. a. Students must withdraw/withhold ALL additional applications. b. Review the financial aid package you have been offered. Remember that families are permitted to exit the agreement only if the financial aid package will not allow their child to attend. c. Be sure to pay the non-refundable deposit to the school to accept your child’s spot in the incoming class.
About the author
Marc Zawel

As author of Untangling the Ivy League, Marc literally wrote the book on gaining admission to highly selective colleges. He earned a BA from Cornell University – where he met AcceptU’s co-founder – and an MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Marc chaired the admissions advisory board; he has also conducted alumni interviews for Cornell for more than fifteen years.

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