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College Counselor: Waiting for early decision

Q: I have applied to my favorite college under the Early Decision plan. Now I am waiting for the answer. I am pretty confident that I will get in – but now I am scared that I might not, or they might “defer” me. I planned that if I got rejected, I’d work on other applications over the winter break but now I am nervous about spoiling my whole vacation. What do you suggest?

A: I am guessing that you have already spoke to your college counselor at school about this, and been advised to get the their applications lined up “just in case.” But many students don’t want to do that, because they know it’s a lot of work and don’t want to end up wasting their time.

But it really is good advice to get the other applications ready. If you don’t get accepted to your #1 college choice in December, you are not going to be in the mood to work on other applications. Sitting down at that time to prepare the supplements for other schools will seem like a huge chore and you are not going to be a in a good mood. This, of course, can affect the tone of what you write.

Yes, you might be “deferred” by your Early Decision college. They will explain that this means your application will be reviewed again in March. At that point, you may or may not be admitted; it’s still an unknown.

I suggest that you start working on the supplements for your additional colleges NOW. Best scenario: you do get accepted by your #1 choice, and you will have spent some time working on essays that prove unneeded. Other scenario: you do not get accepted by #1, but you are poised and ready to hit “SUBMIT” on the additional applications to which you have given your best effort.

Get to work, and best of luck!

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