When College Acceptance Letters Are Sent Out and What to Do While You Wait

After finally being done writing your main college essay, your supplemental essays, and completing your college application forms, a sense of relief washed through you as you hit the last submit button on the application portal. However, that sense of relief is short-lived and is replaced by the angst of having to wait for the results. So many questions are drifting in your head: Will I get in? What do I do now? When will I find out whether I got in or not? All of which has led you here, so welcome. College decisions usually come in four batches: Early decisions first, early action second, then early decision two, and finally regular decision. Below is a timeline rundown of when students should receive their decisions and tips on how to cope in the meanwhile.

With all that being said, there is still the waiting period full of uncertainty, but do not fret! Don’t let yourself get swallowed up by the worries and anxieties, because at the end of the day, there is nothing much that you can do after you hit the submit button but hope for the best. Listed below are some things that you can do while you wait for your results:

The early decision and early action applicant pool

The first wave of decisions is from the early action and the early decision pools. The early decision applications are binding and are reviewed before the early action applicants. Early decisions are usually released in mid-December. For example, Carnegie Mellon, Boston University, and Brown drop on December 12th, 14th, and 17th respectively.

After the first round of early decision comes the early action pool of candidates. This decision is nonbinding and does not require the applicant to make a decision until the normal reply date which is on National College Decision Day on the first of May. These decisions usually come through in late December throughout January. Some even are released in February, like Johns Hopkins University who releases decisions on February 20th, and Virginia Tech who releases in late February.

For the colleges that have the option for the second round of early decisions, the outcomes are usually released in mid through late February. An example of universities that offer this option is the University of Chicago and Tufts University. New York University also offers this alternative and has a determined date which will be February 15th. 

 

The regular decision applicant pool

After the first rounds of early decisions come the results for the regular admissions pool. Regular admission is usually announced by April 1st. Some of the responses come in mid-March, like California Institute of Technology, Swarthmore, Colgate, and MIT. Of those, MIT is the only one with a set release date which is on March 14. Most of them are said to be released by late March, these institutions include Duke, Emory, Pomona, and Amherst. 

However, due to the current global pandemic, some universities are announcing their decisions after April 1st. This includes Ivy day and Stanford who release on April 9. Ivy day is when all of the Ivy League Schools’ regular decisions are released. The 8 Ivies are the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth, Yale, Cornell, Princeton, and Harvard. The decisions usually come in at 5 pm or 7 pm ET. This year, they come out on April 6th at 7 pm ET. 

 

What to do while you wait for your college acceptance letter

With all that being said, there is still the waiting period full of uncertainty, but do not fret! Don’t let yourself get swallowed up by the worries and anxieties, because at the end of the day, there is nothing much that you can do after you hit the submit button but hope for the best. Listed below are some things that you can do while you wait for your results:

01

Prepare for interviews!

Some schools like Georgetown University like to interview students who are applying to their school. Unlike your college application, an interview can seem scary because you don’t know what exactly is going to be asked of you, and talking to someone who may be reviewing your application feels scary. To prepare for this, you can make sure to run through several interview questions and research what certain schools are looking for. At Prepory, we also assist with interview tips and practice, just fill out our contact form and mention that you’re looking for college interview help.

02

Don’t lose faith or confidence

This time can be trying. Between your classmates talking about it and your family inquiring about your decisions, a lot of times it can be hard to not overthink your application or ignore the insecure thoughts that will keep you from enjoying your last year of high school. What is best to do is to keep your head focused and busy. Meditation helps a lot to keep a train of thought with direction and not wander off to negative thoughts. It is also crucial for you to keep yourself busy and from thinking much about your upcoming decision. You can start or continue a hobby, keep focusing on your schoolwork, and enjoy the rest that you have of high school with your friends and family. Remember, there is nothing much you can do now. You got it no matter what happens!

03

Make sure you are constantly checking your mail and email

A lot of times the decisions for the schools that are not announced will come in randomly. You are notified most of the time by email, but some establishments like the University of Southern California like to send their decision in through the mail first.  

04

Make sure to not get behind on school

Even though it may feel like you are done with high school there is still half a semester left to go. This means there is still a lot of work to get done. Senioritis describes the feeling that schoolwork doesn’t matter much after hitting submit on applications. However, colleges still look at your end of semester grades. Therefore, even though you might have gotten into a school but did not use your time wisely and flunked some classes here and there, the acceptance letter can be rescinded. Watch out for senioritis and if you develop any symptoms, make sure to fight against them

All things considered, all you can do now is wait. Remember that no result will be the end of the world. Try to not get demoralized while you wait for your decisions. With all the hard work that you have put into your studies, everything will go the way it should. Now go enjoy the rest of your high school days responsibly. 

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At Prepory, we recognize there is more to college applications than demonstrating interest. Contact us now to learn more about how we can guide you through each part of the college admissions process!