Don't just apply to college… Position yourself.

December 15 College News: Early Action Acceptance

“What you seek is seeking you.” – Rumi.

This post offers suggestions for next steps after receiving acceptance from an Early Action college, with advice from Admissions Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting Into College by Sally S. Springer, Jon Reider & Marion R. Franck.

motherhappydaughtercomputerEarly Action (“EA”): Accepted. What a happy relief! If the school is your student’s first choice, the college process could be over, unless your family needs to compare financial aid and merit scholarship packages. If the school(s) offering Early Action acceptance are not your student’s first choice, the application process will continue to meet Regular Decision (“RD”) deadlines in January or beyond. Either way, a decision and deposit are not required until May 1 (National College Decision Day). But it certainly adds a cushion of comfort to know that your student has a college to attend next fall that is an appealing choice.

fatherhandsomedaughterIf your family is looking for financial aid and/or merit scholarships, you should definitely review what the Early Action school has offered and compare it to other schools’ packages (both Early Action and Regular Decision schools in the spring). If your family is comfortable going “full-pay,” has not applied for financial aid, and the Early Action school is indeed the school you plan to attend, it is courteous (albeit not required) to send in your deposit and withdraw applications from other colleges. “If you know for sure where you will be going in September, share your good fortune by giving your fellow students (locally and nationally) a better chance for a regular decision at one of the colleges they would like to attend.” (Springer, p. 214). 

mumthewordCounsel your teenager to keep a low profile at school. Early Action plans come in many flavors and notification time schedules (Restricted or Nonrestricted Early Action, Priority Application, Rolling Admission, Likely Letters). Some students may know, or have an indication, of where they are going as early as October. If your student knows before December, he or she does not need to be coy or act like a secret agent, but urge your son or daughter to be sensitive to the anxiety and stress of other students who do not know anything yet and are on tender hooks.