Early Action and Early Decision Anxiety For Connecticut High School Seniors

6_22_2014The results of early action and early decision programs are coming in and my e-mail and phone is blowing up with anxiety and an occasional “I’m so happy and relieved.”

I’ll address those who are anxious.

Most of College Counseling Connecticut’s clients that are applying to early programs are applying to either elite colleges or colleges that are either reach or range-reach. They are using early action – and particularly early decision – as a strategic way to demonstrate their specific desire for the college. This is a wise college admissions move.

Nonetheless, such a move will create anxiety because those who are applying to elite colleges and/or colleges that are a reach will usually not gain admission in early programs. Here’s why: most every college admissions official that I’ve spoken with has commented something along the following lines: “we use our early admissions programs to capture the students who would otherwise go elsewhere.” While these are not the specific colleges mentioned, an example might be if Connecticut College admitted college applicants in its early admission programs if it believed that the student would otherwise go to Amherst or Williams or some other elite liberal arts college.

If your child got deferred, you should know that that’s better than being flat out rejected and that it may simply be that he/she will be well positioned against regular decision applicants who did not indicate that they had a high level interest in the particular school.