A perk that comes with applying to a college through early decision or action is that you can hear back from the school early, too, typically in December or January. This can make your senior year of high school less stressful.
Early application can increase your chances of getting an acceptance letter. In fact, it’s not uncommon for colleges to fill a third of their class with students from the early decision round. But since the early decision acceptance rate is far from 100%, you may be wondering if you may reapply in regular decision if deferred or denied.
There is no need to reapply in regular decision if deferred via early round because the application will automatically be considered along with regular decision candidates. If denied via early round, applying in regular decision is not allowed as a student can apply only once within one admissions cycle.
No matter if you are waiting for the early decision or action results or you have already received the bad news or thinking about whether you should apply early or via regular decision, keep reading.
Below, we will discuss some of the most important matters you need to know just in case you get denied or deferred in the early decision or action round. Knowing them can help you decide so much better if you should apply ahead or simply submit your application together with everybody else in high school via regular decision.
Can You Reapply If Deferred in the Early Round?
Reapplying within the same cycle if deferred via early decision or action is both prohibited and pointless. Applications deferred in the early round are automatically added to the regular decision pile where they will be reviewed all over again. From there, applications can either be accepted or denied.
You can get admissions decisions early when applying to a college through Early Decision or Action. Typically, decisions are sent by admissions officers about 4 to 6 weeks after the deadline.
In case you get deferred, it’s okay to feel disappointed. However, there’s no need to reapply to the same college.
That’s because a deferral means that your early round application will be reviewed once again after the deadline for regular decision, where admissions officers will evaluate all received applications.
If you apply Early Decision and get deferred, there’s no need to commit to the college should you get accepted as the application is no longer binding.
What Should You Do If Deferred Early
Deferred early round applicants should wait for the Regular Decision admissions results because their applications are automatically added to the Regular Decision pool. While waiting, students may apply to other colleges via regular decision since they may or may not enroll in the schools that deferred them.
You turn from an early decision or action applicant to Regular Decision applicant if you get deferred early.
While your early application is good enough for the college, it’s not willing to commit to you during the early decision or action process. So, in other words, it finds you a borderline candidate at least, which is why the school has decided to defer your application from the early round to the regular decision round.
Because it can result in either an acceptance or denial, you should apply to other colleges via regular decision so that you can expect to receive at least one offer to enroll — but only if you have a balanced college list!
But don’t forget to get in touch with the admissions office of the college that has deferred your early round application to Regular Decision. This is to reaffirm that you are still interested in attending the school. While this can be carried out via email, a phone call may be able to convey your gratitude and sincerity to the admissions officer better.
Can You Reapply If Denied in the Early Round?
There are a couple of reasons why reapplying Regular Decision must not be done after an Early Decision or Early Action denial. First, application to a particular college can be done only once per admissions cycle. Second, the admissions officers will certainly reject the application in the Regular Decision round.
If a college defers an application during the early decision or action round, it means that the student may have a fighting chance if evaluated together with the rest in the regular decision pool.
However, a denial only means one thing: the institution does not like the applicant.
Unlike a deferred early applicant, a denied early applicant has no more other admissions decisions to expect to come from the same school. The college’s admissions officers have already made their decision clear, which only means that the student has no other choice but to attend a different institution of higher education within the academic year.
What Should You Do If Denied Early
Being denied during the Early Decision or Early Action round leaves plenty of time for students to apply to other colleges via regular decision. Since there is no more hope that they will be able to go to their top-choice school, they should focus on applying to other colleges and getting accepted to at least one of them.
A handful of things can be done after getting a rejection from an early round college, and reapplying via regular decision to the very same school, as explained earlier, is not one of those.
The smartest step to take after getting bad news from the college of your liking is to try to get a positive one from another school.
So, in other words, you should gear up for the regular decision round. But this time, however, it’s a must that you apply to colleges and universities smarter to ensure that you will be a freshman college student within the year.
If denied early from a highly selective college, feel free to apply regular decision to a lesser selective one.
What you should avoid doing, however, is sending an application during the regular round to a highly selective school after getting rejected early by a less selective school — a denial will almost be absolute!
Refrain from assuming that you are not worthy of a bachelor’s degree just because your first college choice sent you a rejection letter.
It’s just that you and the school have no compatibility, which you and many other institutions may have. And this is when the importance of making a balanced college list comes in.
Just Before You Reapply to a College
Applying Early Decision or Early Action can lead to one of three possible results: acceptance, deferral or denial.
If you get accepted via early decision, relax and enjoy — although you will have to enroll in the college since
Early decision is binding. But if it’s a deferral or a denial, there’s no need to apply to the same school via regular decision.
A deferral means that your application will automatically be reviewed with the rest in the regular decision pool. So, in other words, no reapplication is necessary.
But if it’s an outright denial, don’t submit a regular decision application to the same institution.
That’s because it’s not allowed — you can apply to a college only once within one admissions cycle.
Needless to say, you can reapply the following year. But if the quality of your application isn’t that different from the previously rejected one, it’s probably a much better idea to devote your resources to apply to other colleges.
Related Article: What To Do If You Want To Reject An Early Decision Offer?
Can you apply both Early Decision and Regular Decision?
Since Early Decision is binding, you can only apply through it to only one college. However, you may still apply to other colleges via regular decision. If you get accepted, you must attend the early decision institution and withdraw your applications to other colleges to avoid getting penalized.
Can you switch to Regular Decision after applying Early Decision?
You can move your early decision application to the regular decision pool by sending the institution an email. After about a week of not getting a reply, follow up the request with a phone call. You may also ask your high school counselor to get in touch with the college.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.