What Do I Do If I Get Rejected from My Early Decision School?

We know. Just seeing this headline makes you want to slam your computer shut and call in sick from school. Take a deep breath. We’re not saying you’re going to get rejected or even deferred. While, every year, kids do get rejected from the ED schools, most of our students get in where they want to go. However, we always recommend a contingency plan because the only thing worse than not getting in is not getting in and having no backup plan. Let’s call this insurance.  

Take Out a Platinum Policy

Consider your early decision application your annual physical. This is really the moment we are expecting you to find out that everything is okay. You’re young, you’re healthy, you make smart decisions, so there’s no reason not to believe an annual physical is all you need, but you don’t stop there. You must take out an insurance policy just in case. Sure, it’s a little bit more work, but it’s worth it. As insurance, we recommend having all of your regular decision applications prepared by or before December 15th. That way, if the worst case does happen, you won’t be in freefall. You will have a plan.

Consult a Professional, Stick to a Plan

In the world of health, we consult doctors and follow health regimens. In the world of college applications, we recommend something similar. If you’re not working with us, it might be difficult to maintain the momentum required for finishing all of your applications by December 15th. For students who don’t have a private counselor with whom they check in once or twice (or sometimes five times) each week, we recommend creating an outline for all of your applications to you can manage your time effectively.

In this outline, you might include deadlines, supplement prompts, and notes on how you will tackle each one. If you're not going to adhere to an outline, at the very least, you should have a list of all the schools to which you are applying.

Is There a Doctor on Board?

Several years ago, as a nasty bout of the stomach flu was just beginning to ravage college campuses everywhere, one of our writers planned to board a plane to Mexico. She had saved up the money, worked really hard in school that semester, and could not have been more excited to go on the trip with her friends. Our writer’s sister had gotten sick a day earlier and our writer’s parents had advised her not to go on the trip, or at the very least, to consult a doctor and see what they recommended for precautionary stomach medicine just in case. Our writer really had no time. She had to pack, finish her homework, and make it to the airport before sunrise, how was she going to fit in a preemptive visit to the doctor? Besides, she had never felt better. Inevitably, 30 minutes into the flight, it hit. Our writer landed and went straight to the minor emergency room, missing most of her vacation.

So you didn’t finish all of your applications by December 15th and now you’re in need of triage. Luckily, we at TKG offer something called the “It’s Going to Be Okay” package. On December 15th, we open up this package to families who didn't have a contingency plan. While the goal is having zero of those each year (it’s no fun doing 10 applications in two weeks) that is the position that a lot of kids get themselves into. Allison was one of those kids. She had applied ED to her top school (an Ivy that rhymes with Ben) and in spite of having great scores, she got rejected. On December 15th of her senior year, she came to us to talk and thus started the inaugural “It’s Going to Be Okay” program. Between December 19th and January 1st, Allison completed 12 applications. While it wasn’t the most fun she’s ever had, she did end up at another elite university where she was very happy.

Superstition Is No Substitution

If you’re reading this post around the time it was written, you have more than enough time to fill out all of your applications. You don’t even have to submit them--just have them all ready to go. Some students don’t want to prepare their backup applications because they are afraid they will jinx their early decision chances. While we fully appreciate the fact that everyone has rituals and superstitions to which they like adhere (by all means, wear your lucky hat every time you take a practice test), now is not the time. In fact, as we mentioned at the top of this post, most of our students (whom we also help prepare their backup applications) get into their choices for early decision.

Do you need some help with that contingency plan for your regular decision applications? Contact us here.