Friday, April 25, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

College Corner: Applied early but didn’t get accepted? Here’s what you do

JenniferBorensteinW

The new year is underway; a chance for fresh horizons and new endeavors. For high school seniors who applied early to colleges, now might be a time to rejoice … or to regroup.

With about 450 colleges and universities offering some sort of early admission plan, a sizable and growing number of students are taking advantage of this opportunity.

Some of these early birds have started off the year with good news. That college they’ve always dreamed of attending (and therefore applied early to) has extended an offer of admission. Many have even been offered merit aid. These fortunate ones are done and know where they will be going to college. To this subset of students I offer my wholehearted congratulations. It’s reassuring when the process works.

But other students haven’t had such good news. They’ve either been deferred or denied. This can be crushing news coming at a really bad time, right during the holiday season and possibly during finals. What a downer for starting the new year.

So, is it worth it to apply early?
Whether to apply early is a very personal decision that depends on many individual characteristics. In a prior column (Sept. 24, 2013) I addressed the differences between regular decision, early admission and early decision. (See the information box for the pros and cons of applying early.)

If you do apply early, what should you do if you don’t get accepted?
This is a salient topic for many seniors. Let’s start with the worst-case scenario: denied. Often, schools will cite a reason for denial such as competitiveness of the applicant pool or impacted major. Unfortunately, you don’t have any control over the applicant pool, but if the major is the cause of the denial, then consider another major going forward.

In this scenario, it is time to go back to the drawing board and find other schools you like (which have deadlines that have not yet passed), and critically assess your chances of acceptance. Check out average grade ranges and test scores to get a sense of where you stand. Put your best effort into the remaining applications, make sure to go through a thorough editing process and watch deadlines.

Now, let’s walk through the other scenario: deferral. This situation is not the end of the world and should be viewed optimistically, although it can be a bit tricky.

First, what does it mean? Deferral means the admissions office was not ready to make a final decision about you yet. The school has postponed its decision and would like to compare you to the applicant pool at the regular decision time. You are in a holding pen.

Should you simply wait for regular decision time and hope you get lucky then? No, be proactive! It can make a difference.

Here’s what to do if you are deferred:
* Respond promptly to any requests made in the deferral letter and submit any additional information requested.
* Email the admissions officer who is in charge of your file or your area. This information is usually on the school’s website. Explain how interested you are in his or her school and why. Be specific. What about the school intrigues you? How did you learn about it? When did you know you wanted to go there? Have you visited?
* Ask if there’s anything in your application that you could explain further that may have caused them concern. Be brief and diplomatic. Remember, this is a really busy time of year for admissions officers.
* Next, consider submitting additional letters of recommendation as a way to provide new opportunities to distinguish yourself. Try to ask someone other than a teacher. Ask your coach or your boss at work, or possibly a rabbi or pastor. This can help round out your profile and show more dimensions of your personality.
* Even if not requested, send any new grades, test scores or awards that portray you in a positive light such as a high score on a science test, a student-of-the-month award or an impressive grade on an English paper.
* Maintain and work to improve your grades. When decision time rolls around, you want to show improvement.

Keep in mind that some schools are more amenable to this type of outreach than others, so you may not be able to send in additional information. Schools will let you know specific policy in this regard. By and large, though, it is always looked upon favorably to try since it shows you are proactive and enthusiastic.

Until next time
As usual, I want to end on an upbeat note by reminding everyone that there is a right college out there for all students. Although the admission process may be arduous, remember that in life it is more about the journey than the destination. Enjoy the ride.

Jennifer Borenstein is an independent college adviser in Davis and owner of The Right College For You. Her column is published on the last Tuesday of the month. She lives in Davis with her family. Reach her at jenniferborenstein@therightcollegeforyou.org, or visit www.therightcollegeforyou.org.

To apply early or not to apply early
Pros
1. If you have a school that you’re dying to go to.
2. If it is critical for planning purposes to have an answer early.
3. If you think you will be more competitive by signaling to the college that you have your heart set on attending that school.
4. If you think you may increase your likelihood of acceptance when you are compared to the early applicant pool.
————
Cons
1. You may not have all test scores and grades hit their peak for review.
2. You may not have the time to put your best foot forward within the compressed application process timeframe.
3. You may be so discouraged by a negative outcome that it could undermine motivation for rest of the application process.

Jennifer Borenstein

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

Junior high students embrace diversity training

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Measure P asks: Are the water rates fair?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
Neighbors mourn loss of popular wildlife-viewing platform

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Yolo County Bar Association hosts Law Day event

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Beronio gets backing of county’s attorneys

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sierra Club backs Swanson, Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Explorit: Turning Earth Day into Earth Year

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4

 
Yes on Measure P at market

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Smithsonian animal exhibit rolling into UCD

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Fix-a-leak workshop set Tuesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Brennan campaign event set in West Sac

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Judge candidate at Winters Youth Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Oakley to hold office hours in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Yolo CASA plans upcoming training

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Meet judicial candidate at market

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Four women recognized for contributions to agriculture, philanthropy

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Joe Krovoza, at a glance

By Cory Golden | From Page: A6

 
Parting ways

By Cory Golden | From Page: A7

Dan Wolk, at a glance

By Cory Golden | From Page: A7

 
.

Forum

 
Davis is an inspiring leader

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Beronio is tried and true

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Pat Oliphant cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

We’re boiling the frog to death

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Please, let there be light

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Boxing has passed me by; the Sweet Science is lacking

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
Final Aggie spring football scrimmage open to public on Saturday

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS’ volleyball win streak reaches five matches

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DYSA roundup: TigerCats go 4-0 in youth softball action

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

 
‘Eight from ACGA’ exhibit opens at Davis Arts Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A13 | Gallery

‘The Railway Man’: Journey to serenity

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
Davis native’s feature documentary to screen in Woodland

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15 | Gallery

Band plays tribute to The Carpenters

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

 
UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

 
Davis Youth Flute Choir to perform Spring Concert

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

Jazz singer Sachal Vasandani to play four nights

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A15 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Gerald Anthony Martinez

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Friday, April 25, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A12