You did it! You worked hard. You managed through the adversity of COVID, online learning, canceled test dates, and unprecedented surges in application numbers (up 102% at Colgate!) But, your perseverance and strategic thinking paid off. You were admitted to your early decision schools. Here are answers to commonly asked questions:
Now that I have been admitted, what do I do next?
Send a lovely note to each of the admissions officers to the rest of the schools to which you applied. Thank them for their support and, tell them that, as much as you love their school, you have been admitted to your early decision school and, therefore, must withdraw your application from further consideration. Wish them luck in building their freshman classes. Besides just being nice at a time when they are under immense levels of stress and are fielding angry phone calls from students who were not accepted, this will free up spaces to anxious students who will be excited to take the spot you cannot take. And, you never know when you might cross paths again. You might reconsider these colleges in the unlikely event that you decide to transfer or the admissions officer might end up at a different university in the future where he or she may come across your grad school application. It always pays to be polite.
But, I’d really love to see where else I was admitted. Do I have to withdraw my other applications?
Yes. You do. Not only are these the rules to which you agreed when you signed your ED agreement, it is unethical to keep your applications in a pool for consideration when you know you will not attend. Not only is it unfair to admissions officers who are time pressed to work through more applications than ever before, it is unfair to students who are waiting to hear back from schools. And, what do you gain from knowing? If you were not admitted, it puts a cloud on your acceptance to your dream school. If you were admitted elsewhere, you might regret your ED application. No one wins. Withdraw your applications.
My circumstances have changed and I can no longer attend my ED college. What do I do?
If you decide that you now prefer College X to the one to which you committed under the ED agreement, too bad. You are locked in for at least freshman year. You can always transfer if you truly decide it is not a match, however, at one point during your college admission process, you thought it was the perfect school for you. So, it probably is.
If, however, your circumstances truly have changed. Perhaps your financial ability to pay your expected financial contribution is drastically different from what it was when you applied or, maybe, you have been diagnosed with a medical condition that requires you to be close to a specific medical facility or physician, call the college and explain the situation. Usually, they will release you from your ED agreement under such extenuating circumstances. And, very few colleges want students on campus who truly don’t want to be there.
What paperwork do I need to fill out?
Make housing selections and deposits. Depending on the college, waiting may cause you to lose out on your top choices or, in some cases, on campus housing altogether. Also, make sure you have your legal documents in order. Now that you are an adult, it’s time to make sure you are covered, especially in the event of an emergency.
Since I’ve committed to my top choice college and paid the deposit, I can finally stop stressing so much about my grades and finally have fun the rest of senior year, right??
Wrong. As difficult as it may be, be sure to maintain your grades and study for your AP exams. A high score may help you secure college credit or gain exemptions next year.
How can I set myself up for success in college?
Now that you have been accepted, it’s time to turn your focus to how to transfer successfully, beginning with what you can do this summer to ensure a successful freshman year. Please see my eight-part series, “The Complete Candidate’s College Transition Playbook.”
Congratulations on a job well done!