#The High School Experience

Below is an email we sent to the parents of our senior students, but its message is important for all families at any point in the college admissions process:

We urge you to read this note. It is long, but it is important.

For many students and families in December, Early Decision and Early Action notifications will cause many emotions. It is the culmination of years of hard work, commitment, and energy. As parents, here are a few things we urge you to remember:

How to handle an acceptance

Never take any college acceptance for granted. One person’s “likely” is another person’s “reach.” An acceptance is a testament to your student’s accomplishments. Do not tolerate any indifference towards any acceptance. Every acceptance is a reason for gratitude and celebration.

For those applying Early Decision…An acceptance from your Early Decision school does not make your student suddenly better than their peers who were deferred or denied. 

Admissions officers have an unenviable task. Many at the top institutions will say that they reject hundreds or thousands of perfectly qualified and deserving applicants every year. 

That means that peers who are deferred or denied are not undeserving; it does not mean they did anything wrong. It simply means they will have to wait longer for their decision, or that they will not be attending that college next fall – but surely they will be attending another fantastic institution.

So to those accepted…Celebrate, but do not gloat. Be proud, but not vain. Be thoughtful when posting on social media. You have achieved something special. It is now your responsibility to use that education to do something meaningful in the world. 

How to handle a defer

A “defer” – which is an increasingly popular decision in recent years – is not an inevitable rejection. It is incredibly frustrating, prolonging the waiting, but students should not feel discouraged to receive a “defer” from their Early Decision college.

In fact, they should feel pretty good. It means they are deserving, but the college wants to evaluate its options in the regular decision pool.

If your child is deferred, there are a few steps to take beyond any instructions the college provides.

  • Write a letter to your regional admissions officer. Thank them for their continued consideration of your application. Reiterate that their school is your first choice college and you would attend if accepted. Update them on any recent significant achievements in and out of the classroom.
  • Have your guidance counselor advocate for you. Speak with them about reaching out to the college to fight for you.

Decisions on deferred students will most likely not be made until the same time as regular decision notifications are released. Now is the time to submit any remaining college applications that your student has not already finalized.

Your student may also want to consider Early Decision II, which is offered at numerous universities. If your student has an absolutely clear-cut second choice school, they may want to consider this option if their second-choice school offers Early Decision II.

Bad news is not personal

If the news is not good, we know it is painful to watch your child deal with disappointment. For many, a “deny” shatters confidence.

This is not a time to be angry. Let your child process their emotions. Remind them it’s not personal. It’s competitive. It’s tough. And most importantly, no matter where they go to college, if they work hard and stay true to themselves, they will find happiness and success.

If you need to talk or have questions, please do not hesitate to email or call us anytime. We are here for your students and your families.

Pick the “best fit” college for your child (and family)

Not everyone is applying early decision. For many students, you will receive the majority of your Early Action and Rolling decision notifications by the end of 2018.

It is a lot different revisiting a school as an accepted student. There is a fresh mentality – and sometimes honors colleges and merit money.

The highest ranked school where your child is accepted may be the perfect fit for them. It also may not. Urge your child to think about where they will thrive the most academically, personally, and socially. Your child’s happiness is so important as they transition into college.

Once you pick a college, notify everywhere else you applied

This is SO important. Once you make your decision on where to go, contact the other colleges where your student received acceptances and inform them of your decision. It is not fair to other students to hold a spot that you will never use.

Also remember that you have until May 1st to make a final decision. Do not feel pressured to make a decision before that deadline if you are not ready.

Do not hesitate to email us or call 267-888-6489 anytime. As always, we are here for your students and your families. We are happy to answer any questions you have.


Eric, Karan, and Jim