If you have applied for Early Decision or Early Action, you will likely be hearing from the college about admission before January. Some will be accepted; other will be rejected and will begin to apply to other colleges. And, some will receive deferrals. It is important to remember that although you did not make the top tier for admission, you will now be considered once again fully, but along with regular applications that will be submitted in in the next month or two. If you were not rejected, you are still eligible for admission. That means you still have a good chance for admission.
What can you do at this point to get that acceptance? Here are some suggestions.
First, react promptly. Don’t let the holidays put off your response. Schools are looking for applicants who are enthusiastic about them, even those who have been deferred.
Second, have the right attitude. Do not be whiny or desperate. Also do not be angry or accuse admissions of making the wrong choice. Rather be polite. Be positive. Make sure you don’t take up admission people’s time with pestering or harassing. You are selling yourself, and you are your attitude.
Third, write a letter of continued interest, as long as the college has not specifically asked you not do so. There are several things to be aware of when writing this letter. And, make sure you submit your letter electronically if that is what the college requests.
• Do not address it “To Whom It May Concern.” Address it to the Director of Admissions by name, or even better, address it to the admission’s person with whom you have been dealing.
• Include two or more reasons why you still have an interest in the college. Try to be specific by naming a program you want to be part of or something about the campus you have seen and liked. If you can indicate the college is your first choice, this is even better because admissions people like to know you are committed and will likely accept if they offer you admission.
• Include new information about yourself that is relevant. Submit midyear grades, new test scores that are higher than the last you submitted, new honors or awards you have received since sending in your application, as well as new leadership positions you have earned or new activities you have taken up.
Fourth, you can submit additional materials. Another essay about special circumstances or activities and/or recognitions can be forwarded. You might want to include a special project you have worked on or a video of a special talent you demonstrate.
Fifth, consider an additional letter of recommendation as long as the college accepts more letters of recommendation than required. If you can find a person who can match you and your assets specifically to the college, that is best.
Remember you are still under consideration; you are just in a broader pool, a pool that is likely not as competitive as the Early Decision or Early Action pool. You still want to do all you can to put your best foot forward.