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  1. #1
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    Jan. 20, 2010
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    Default Need some college application process wisdom

    So I found out yesterday that I was defered to regular decision (after applying early action) to one of my top schools. Its a highly competitive school but should have been more of a match/fit than a "reach" school based on statistics and such. It wasn't a school that I had my heart set on, and of course I still have the opportunity to get in, but I've just found the whole process to be a bit disheartening. The decision gives me absolutely no hope that I will get into any of the reach schools that I applied to, and is simply not making me feel confident about my future. I also applied to 3-4 schools that are less competitive, but I guess I have a hard time picturing myself being completely happy there. I like to believe that wherever I end up I will end up loving and that it will all work out well, but it seems to me that these days with how hard it is to get a job coming out of college, I need to be getting the best and most competitive education available to me.

    Can some people chime in about their college application process experience and perhaps offer any insight as someone that has already been there?



  2. #2
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    I wouldn't get too worried about it yet, if I were you. You very well may get into one or all of your "reach" schools. There's no way to know.

    The application process can be pretty arbitrary, IMO. One admissions officer might love you, while another might not think you're as good a fit for their school, for completely random reasons. Don't get too stuck on being "good enough". It's all about being the right applicant at the right time.

    And who knows, you may end up choosing one of your fallbacks anyway and loving it there. There's more to a college education than the name on the diploma.

    I got in everywhere I applied, including some big name schools out East. I ended up at Kansas State University for a variety of reasons, without having ever set foot there. And you know what? I wouldn't trade my time there for anything.

    So relax and enjoy the journey. You only get to do this once.
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris


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  3. #3
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    I never did the early decision process, just applied for regular admission. But I know plenty of people who did, got wait listed/ deferred to regular admission, and got in to their school of choice during the general admission period.

    I wouldn't worry about it. Granted, I don't know what your grades, extra curriculars, etc are like, but if you are being realistic in your comparisons with the stats, I think you'll be fine.

    If for some reason you don't get in, it's not the end of the world. It's not hard to transfer after a semester or year. In some schools, it's actually easier to get in as a transfer than it is as a freshmen.
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  4. #4
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    Anything can happen.

    I got rejected from one of my "easy" schools and got into one of my "reach" schools. I was waitlisted from the other "reach" school and got in everywhere else.

    I ended up at the "reach" school. I LOVED the first year, but barely got through 1st semester of 2nd year, for academic and social reasons. It was the middle of nowhere and a huge party school because there was nothing else to do.

    I ended up going abroad a semester early. I applied the week before Thanksgiving break, got in the end of that week & moved to Edinburgh the next semester. Within a month of being there I knew that I belonged at the Uni. I transferred the following summer and wouldn't change that decision for anything.

    Hang in there, and remember that everything happens for a reason. If you're not happy with your first decision you can always transfer. Best of luck!!
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  5. #5
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Speaking as someone who applied to college 150 years ago, but who has worked in higher ed since, I can tell you this:

    1. Be yourself and have that be a consistent, believable and real person. I saw my admissions card via a weird court thing, and that's what I saw the admissions committee see in me. My sister-- better grades, better SATs, more conventional in general and who wrote her essays with an aim to package herself for an audience she thought she knew-- didn't get into the same very selective school.

    2. Find and apply to the schools you actually want to go to and contribute to. Know why that is. I got nixed from a selective school (where I later taught) and realized then that I would have been eaten alive had I gone there as an undergrad. Admissions committees want a good fit for their institution, not just the perfect student.

    Best of luck to you. Applying to colleges is a PITA, but so worth it.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  6. #6
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    I was deferred from my ED school when I applied and ended up going to a school I hadn't even planned on applying to - they sent me so many materials that I finally applied to get them off my back! They offered me a lot of scholarship money and it was also a highly competitive school, so I went.

    I was completely miserable my first year, absolutely hated it, applied to transfer to the school I'd previously applied ED to, got rejected, and decided I'd stick it out for another year. Now I'm a senior, almost a second-semester senior (eek!!) and I love it here. In retrospect, I'm so glad that I came here - I met some really amazing people who I wouldn't know otherwise, including my best friend, who was randomly assigned to be my roommate freshman year (we did not know each other then) and we still live together 3 years later! I wish I never had to leave! You never know where you'll end up.

    I'm going through the same process all over again with vet schools, and just got my first rejection letter today Hang in there! Feel free to PM me if you want advice or to commiserate!
    Last edited by supershorty628; Dec. 15, 2012 at 12:18 AM.



  7. #7
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    Thanks for the insight!



  8. #8
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    Oh and SS628 I may take you up on that offer.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WingsOfAnAngel View Post
    So I found out yesterday that I was defered to regular decision (after applying early action) to one of my top schools. Its a highly competitive school but should have been more of a match/fit than a "reach" school based on statistics and such. It wasn't a school that I had my heart set on, and of course I still have the opportunity to get in, but I've just found the whole process to be a bit disheartening. The decision gives me absolutely no hope that I will get into any of the reach schools that I applied to, and is simply not making me feel confident about my future. I also applied to 3-4 schools that are less competitive, but I guess I have a hard time picturing myself being completely happy there. I like to believe that wherever I end up I will end up loving and that it will all work out well, but it seems to me that these days with how hard it is to get a job coming out of college, I need to be getting the best and most competitive education available to me.

    Can some people chime in about their college application process experience and perhaps offer any insight as someone that has already been there?
    Unless this school is different than others, don't you only apply early decision to ONE school (your top choice, usually) because if you get in you have to commit to it immediately? The way I'm reading your post it's almost like the school is doing you a favor... if you're not SET on that school, early decision is not what you want.

    Good luck! I went through all of this a long time ago, and my DD is a senior this year dealing with her interviews/applications. It can be a bit stressful, but even more important than exactly what school you go to is how well you do and what you make out of your experience.



  10. #10
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    ^Early action and early decision are different; early decision, you have to commit, early action, you just hear earlier but you have not committed to going if you are accepted.


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  11. #11
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    Yes, early decision is binding while early action isn't.
    Thanks! This is just a bit of a stressful holiday season.



  12. #12
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    My sympathies! My son is just exactly where you are: deferred from his ED school. Some schools are very numbers driven (or so I've heard) and others are not, so you cannot extrapolate from this one decision.

    My experience from 30 years ago: I applied to six schools and only got into one. I thought my life was over. It turns out the school was an excellent fit; I worked really hard and when I applied to law school I was accepted everywhere, including "top ten" law schools. So, it ended well!



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by supershorty628 View Post
    ^Early action and early decision are different; early decision, you have to commit, early action, you just hear earlier but you have not committed to going if you are accepted.
    Thanks for the clarification. I had never heard of early action, which is odd being a HS teacher and having two kids going through application processes. Is it a regional thing?



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldpony66 View Post
    Thanks for the clarification. I had never heard of early action, which is odd being a HS teacher and having two kids going through application processes. Is it a regional thing?
    I think it's a nationwide thing- although of course not all schools do it. More schools are turning away from ED to EA because ED is thought to give an unfair advantage to wealthier applicants who don't have to wait for the best scholarship offers.



  15. #15
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    My seniors usually apply to somewhere between 8 to11 schools, and the acceptances are all over the board. The common denominator: by April the ones who didn't get into their first or second choice schools are a nervous wreak. Colleges are looking at things well beyond your knowledge and out of your control. Put as many lines in the water as you think you may need, and see where it goes. You can always transfer elsewhere if things don't work out later.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

    http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by supershorty628 View Post
    ^Early action and early decision are different; early decision, you have to commit, early action, you just hear earlier but you have not committed to going if you are accepted.

    So... what's the point of Early Action? For either side?

    Help me out. I don't get this newfangled contraption. There was only Early Decision in my day.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  17. #17
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    I honestly don't know the answer to that. I applied to one school ED, but I don't remember any of the other schools I applied to having EA as an option. I just know what it is. I'm sorry!



  18. #18
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    My SO is currently in a PhD program. He applied to a bunch of schools. He got into his dream school (Cardiff), but he got no money. He got into his last minute might as well send an application school. Initially, he wasn't impressed. It's a top state school and nothing to sneeze at. This school also offered him a super funding package right out of the gate, better than most grad students get. He's since gotten even more support. Best of all, he found out that his department has super funding and interest in his particular area of study. He's been there 2 years now and he's also found superlative mentors. This is all just to say, don't give up on your college plans just yet. Things may actually turn out better than you expect.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    So... what's the point of Early Action? For either side?
    This was six years ago, but I applied early acceptance to one school, which was a good fit but hardly a sure acceptance. Knowing I had a good certainty (without obligation) in January left me free to experiment with applying to "reach" schools without worrying about applying to any safety schools.

    As I wasn't accepted to my reach schools, and likely couldn't have afforded tuition at either of them, I ultimately accepted my EA spot at UNC.
    Last edited by Scaramouch; Dec. 16, 2012 at 03:45 PM. Reason: wording
    "Why would anybody come here if they had a pony? Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country? It doesn't make sense!"



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by frisky View Post
    My SO is currently in a PhD program. He applied to a bunch of schools. He got into his dream school (Cardiff), but he got no money. He got into his last minute might as well send an application school. Initially, he wasn't impressed. It's a top state school and nothing to sneeze at. This school also offered him a super funding package right out of the gate, better than most grad students get. He's since gotten even more support. Best of all, he found out that his department has super funding and interest in his particular area of study. He's been there 2 years now and he's also found superlative mentors. This is all just to say, don't give up on your college plans just yet. Things may actually turn out better than you expect.
    Slightly OT, but let me point out that applying to a PhD program (in almost any field) and apply to undergrad are very different.

    IMO, no one should pay for a PhD. That's because the ROI isn't there if you are paying full freight, and also because PhD students are supplying very cheap labor to universities.

    With respect to undergrad? Paying more than you can afford is a necessary evil.... to be considered carefully and the financial damage limited.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



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