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. 

The application season has been different this year. There were higher than usual numbers of students applying to top universities.This graph shows significant growth in applications. Look at MIT! 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.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made this year see a more competitive applicant pool at many national universities and liberal arts colleges. So, if your early decision results haven’t gone according to plan, do not stress. You can work through this! And if you still have not heard from your schools, many are predicting that results will be out in late January.

We believe that students end up where they belong. It is important to 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 balance before this started, you should be fine. Anotheroption 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 InGenius Prep and others: Early Decision acceptance rates 2020-2021. 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 this year in order to see what the next round of applications look like. What can you do about it?

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 the reality is that most are rejected in the RD round. So, apply to the other schools on your Regular decision list and make sure there is a good balance of reach, target, and safety options. 

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. 

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