At this point in the year, most top schools have let students from the Early Applications and Early Decision round know their results. We are celebrating all of the acceptances with you!! If you’ve been deferred or denied, we want you to take a minute and think about your school list and forge a plan to show continued interest where you were deferred. 

Much like last year, the application season continues to have higher than usual numbers of students applying to top universities. We believe that many of the early applicants were those students with high test scores or students who took a chance with their reach schools and did not have test scores. As predicted earlier in the year, this clogged the system. Many students were urged to take the “why not try” mindset and apply to not only reach schools but those that have an acceptance level in the teens or lower. We call those “lottery schools.”

We believe that students end up where they belong when they do the research and have a realistic college list with a good mix of schools. If you were deferred or denied, this is NOT the time to apply to tons of additional schools to hedge your bets for regular admissions; it is time to look at your list and, if you had a balance before this started, you should be fine. Another option is to add 1 more safety school that you would love to attend so that you have your bases covered.

Early Decision Outcomescollege campus building

Although getting that first YES! feels wonderful, sometimes your Early Decision outcome is not in your favor and you may have been deferred or denied. You can take advantage of the data here from the Common Data Set to look at the stats. This should give you some idea of where you stand and help you decide about your next steps for the EDII and Regular admission rounds.

Denied or Applying to RD Schools?

A denial can be a tough pill to swallow, but please know that the decision does not define you. Maybe it really was not the right fit? Now it is time for the Regular Decision round, so put your best foot forward. If your ED I school offers ED II, you cannot reapply there in the same application cycle. Reexamine your list, and try to see yourself at each of the schools.

You may want to revise your list, add more safeties, or maybe there is a new school you have been thinking of after hearing great things from the college kids on break.

If You’ve Been Deferred

If you’ve been deferred from your top choice college, it means that the school will look at you again in the Regular decision round. It is not over. The word on the street is that many schools deferred tons of students each year in order to see what the next round of applications looks like. It also helps their admissions rate to go down, making them seem more selective when they admit the same number of and type of student every year. what can you do about it?

Whatever you do, please take a minute to breathe and reflect. Do not immediately email the admissions rep, you will get lost in the shuffle. Make sure to read what the college will allow regarding a letter of continued interest, additional information, updating your resume, or an additional recommendation. 

Meanwhile, now that the Early Decision acceptance rates are out, revisit your school list to decide if other colleges may be tough given your current profile. A small portion of deferred students do get admitted every year, but your strategy should be to look forward and get excited about other schools on your list. 

ED II – is this an option for you?

Some schools have the option to apply EDll, which is also a binding application. Do not make this decision lightly, but if there is another school that you would be willing to commit to, and love to attend, this EDll will work in your favor. BUT…Colleges have been unpredictable this year. Schools may receive a lot of applications, so you must prepare for any scenario. 


Did you get in EDI? Congratulations! Now you can throw yourself into trying to have a stress-free spring and do some fun (socially distanced) activities. Remember that ED is binding, and if you applied anywhere else, you need to withdraw your application. 

If you received positive results from your EA or REA schools, now you may want to lessen your workload and explore other Regular decision options – only apply to schools that you REALLY want to attend or schools where we think you may have a chance at good merit aid. Don’t forget our article on college applications being like the dating game. Make sure you understand your options and the commitments you are about to make. We are excited to hear about your journey. 

Tags :early action,early decision,early decision results,early decision 2020-2021,what comes after early decision