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You’ve Applied! Now What?

Many of you have finished submitting your Early Decision, Early Action, or Rolling Admissions applications. Congrats! This is no small accomplishment! But now what? Here is some advice for students and parents once all of these college applications have been submitted:

Check Applicant Portals: Your application is NOT complete until each school receives the supporting documents they require to make an admissions decision. Once you hit submit, your work is not done! Make sure you have read the application instructions on each school’s admissions website to see what is needed: official transcript or self-reported academic record; official test scores or self-reported; teacher recommendations, counselor recommendations, and/or school report. Make sure you have sent what is needed and have followed the instructions! When each school you’ve applied to contacts you via email to confirm your submission and to share instructions on how to create your applicant portal, create that portal right away! This is where you can check to see if all the parts of your application have been received – and where you will see your admissions decision, once it is released! Keep checking the portal every day until your application is marked complete. If there are any issues (i.e. you sent your transcript but the school shows it as not received) call admissions and follow up. This is on YOU.


Take a Break: Enjoy these next few months without worry about college applications, essays, or test scores. Relax! Hang out! Stop talking about college for a little bit and focus on senior year fun and winding down the fall semester. It may pick up again in January when some decisions have been released and you may have some deferrals. OR when you need to submit your Regular Decision schools!


Finish Fall Semester Strong: Yes, your grades still matter. You need to finish this semester with solid grades! If you get deferred from any school, you will have to send in your mid-year transcript. You want this to reflect well on you! If you apply Regular Decision to any school, you will have to send your fall grades. And remember, that any acceptance to any school is CONDITIONAL – in other words, the student you represented in your application needs to be the same kind of student throughout senior year. If there is a drastic change (i.e. failing classes or major discipline infractions) your acceptance can be rescinded. Also, if you are hoping to receive HOPE or Zell scholarship money, your senior year grades will be calculated into the qualifying core GPA. Keep working hard!


What is a “Deferral”? When you apply early to college, you can receive three different types of decisions: acceptance, rejection, or deferral. A deferral means that they like your application, but want to see how you stack up against their applicants in the regular decision round. Some schools may allow you to update your application with some information about what you have achieved in the fall semester. Some schools may allow additional recommendations and resume updates. Some schools just want your mid-year grades. Some schools will allow you to send in new test scores if you have improved. If you get deferred, read the instructions carefully about what each school allows. It is important to only give them the information they are asking for! If they allow for application updates, it is important to send one! Not only could it enhance your existing application, it will also show your continued strong interest in that school. If you are deferred, you will now receive your final decision on the Regular Decision timeline.


Wait Patiently: Yes, putting together those applications was hard; but sometimes the waiting can be harder! Just be patient. Don’t contact admissions unless you have an important question. Try to focus on other things you enjoy!


Take advantage of this small “break” in all things college! There will be more to do soon – including making some big decisions about where you will attend! In the meantime, keep up your grades and enjoy being a senior!


If you have any questions about applying for college, please reach out!


Kelly Clinch

Clinch College Consulting




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