Preparing for College

December Deferrals & Springtime Waitlists

Maybe you've already received your decision regarding your ED/EA application. If not, you'll be hearing any day now. It's that time of year. Deferrals are the purgatory of Early Decision and Early Action (ED/EA) college admissions. You're not in, but you're not out. You're just hanging there, waiting for the April decision-shoe to fall. It's exquisite anguish. Many applicants would much rather be rejected outright so that they can just get on with things, without the unfinished business of "admit" or "deny" hanging over them.

For the uninitiated, a word of explanation might be in order. ED and EA admission programs allow students to apply early. The deadline is usually November 1 (sometimes November 15 or even later). The application process is exactly the same as Regular Decision (RD), except that in exchange for the early application, colleges promise to respond with their verdict before the year-end holidays. This can be a great gift for a high school senior. Having his or her college process wrapped up before winter break can give an entirely different flavor to the second half of senior year. Oh, one other note about ED/EA: ED requires a signed promise to enroll if accepted. EA doesn't; accepted applicants have until May 1 to decide whether or not they choose to enroll.

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