So, you just got deffered from Early Action to Regular Decision. CONGRATULATIONS! Yes! That’s right. “CONGRATULATIONS!” Why? The alternative could’ve been much worse; You could have been rejected outright. Now, you are still in the running. And it’s likely that you are on the top of the Regular Decision list. The college just wants to take one more look before making a decision.
Why is that SO IMPORTANT? It’s all about yield. For the most part, all colleges and universities are very careful to make sure that a candidate will say “yes” to an acceptance offer. While Harvard began doing this in the 1950s, most schools followed suit in the 1980s and, by 1990, almost every college or university was playing the game to be as high as possible on U.S. News Best Colleges list.
So now what?
You got pushed to Regular Decision. For now, there is absolutely NOTHING to do, right away. Take a few days to to deal with the disappointment, sadness, and anger, then it’s time to snap out of it and get to work. Here’s what you do:
Send a SHORT update email to your college regional admissions officer* sometime in late January or early February that includes the following:
1) Reconfirm that this College/University is still your number-one choice.
2) Give an update about a class or two that you are doing really well in and/or update the admissions officer on your higher GPA in that class overall. If you don’t have the official GPA transcript yet, that’s ok. Estimate it, but make sure you’re telling them that this is your estimate.
3) Write a brief sentence or two about a new club or organization that you are involved in and/or a new accomplishment of yours that occurred since your original submission. This is the heart of this email. If you’re not doing anything new, this is the time to get more involved.
4) As you come to the final paragraph, ask if you can do anything to bolster your candidacy.
5) If possible, meaning IF COVID ALLOWS and the campus is open to visits, I highly recommend that you visit campus (even if you have done so already). Tell the admissions officer when you will be on campus and that you would love to pop in and say a “very quick” hello.
6) Finally, let the admissions officer know that you know how busy they are at this time of year and finish with, “Thank you for taking the time to read this email. Again, _________College/University remains my number-one choice — no matter what!”
*You can find your admissions officer and get their email by calling the admissions office and asking who handles your high school. It’s no big deal.