Next steps: An Early Acceptance

Every day this week, we'll be posting a series of "Next Steps" for students who have applied early and are receiving their notifications. First up, next steps for students who have been admitted -- Congratulations! -- under early decision (ED), early action (EA), or restrictive early action (REA). But first let us say that we're so happy you will have one more thing to celebrate over the holiday break! And when you catch your breath, here are some steps to address... Early Action and Restrictive Early Action EA and REA programs are nonbinding and students have until May 1 to inform the college whether they will enroll.

  • If the EA or REA school where you have been admitted is your first choice, you may want to inform them of your intention to attend and withdraw any applications to the other schools on your list. (We'll have more to say about this later in the week.)
  • If you are not sure you will attend the EA or REA school or your family will want to review and compare multiple financial aid awards, complete the applications to the other schools on your list.  (See the note on financial aid at the end of this post.)

Early Decision ED programs are binding and students must enroll if accepted.

  • Immediately withdraw any applications you have submitted to other schools. You may notify these schools by email, but make sure the email is acknowledged. If it is not acknowledged, follow up with a letter and save a copy for your records.
  • You're done. Enjoy your senior year!

  Some further advice: Take a moment to celebrate, but don't give in to senioritis. Remember acceptances are conditional upon completion of your senior year in good standing. Start getting to know the school where you will spend the next four years by networking with the college and your classmates via social media. Keep your eye out for admitted student visits the school may offer in the spring. Be sensitive to your classmates who may not have received happy news or who may have applied under regular decision plans and do not yet know where they will be going next year. Be aware of their feelings and keep things low-key as you discuss your options and opportunities. And remember to circle back and thank your counselors, teachers, and everyone else who helped make this moment possible -- including your parents! A quick note on financial aid: If you are applying for financial aid, check with the college to find out how they handle aid awards under EA or REA plans. Some schools may provide families with an estimated award with the offer of admission or shortly thereafter, which will be updated and confirmed in the spring. Other schools may release decisions on a specific date, usually around March 1. Students who have applied ED will not have an opportunity to compare awards, but may receive an estimated award with their offer. Check with the financial aid office to see how they handle financial aid under an ED plan. Tomorrow: Next steps for students deferred by a college where they've applied under an EA, ED, or REA plan.

Add comment