National College Reply Day

National Reply Day, College Decision Day, National College Decision Day

The words of Bruce Vinik in “The Washington Post” from several years ago on double-depositing are still very much relevant today.

Happy National Reply Day! Or National Candidates Reply Date (the official name)! Or National College Decision Day. Whatever you may call it. Oh wait, is this not a holiday you celebrate annually in your family? Who doesn’t celebrate National Reply Day? We don’t get to celebrate Christmas or Chanukah because we’re busy helping students with their college applications but National Reply Day…that we can celebrate. Oh, hi Malcolm. Sorry, while we were busy dreaming up festivities for National Reply Day, Malcolm Gladwell walked into the cafe at which we’re working and we got distracted. He’s in his gym clothes. We think he just came from a workout at Equinox. He’s looking for a table. We have an empty chair. Should we offer him a seat?

Anyhow, moving on from Malcolm, we heard from a parent today who decided to double-deposit. What is double-depositing, you ask? It’s sending in a deposit at two colleges rather than one. She seemed to think this was a good idea. We told her in unequivocal terms that she was jeopardizing her son’s admission at both schools. What a terrible thing to do and, yes, the schools can very easily find out that a student has committed to more than one school and choose to revoke her son’s admission. She didn’t seem at all worried about this…but she should be! It’s amazing how people so often get all worried about things they shouldn’t necessarily worry about and yet can be so cavalier about things they absolutely should be worried about!

Double-deposit at your own peril! You risk the revocation of your offers of admission.

As Bruce Vinik wrote years ago in “The Washington Post” — and his words on double-depositing are still absolutely relevant today: “Double depositing: Two words that strike fear in the hearts of even the most seasoned college admissions officers…What many of these students [who double deposit] and their parents don’t know is that double depositing is a violation of their responsibilities as established by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). The reason many of them don’t know they are in violation is that they have never heard about this or any other ‘responsibility’ and have no idea who or what NACAC is. But students need to understand that double-depositing is wrong. Colleges dislike double depositing because the practice creates an enormous amount of uncertainty about the size of their incoming freshman classes. They can’t be certain about the number of students who are going to show up for the fall because they can’t be certain that each student who has made a deposit will attend…A college that discovers a double depositor is within its rights to withdraw that individual’s offer of admission.”

Let’s repeat that last line for students and parents. “A college that discovers a double depositor is within its rights to withdraw that individual’s offer of admission.” You bet that college is within its rights and you bet we’ve heard from parents and students over the years who foolishly chose to double-deposit only to learn that the student’s admission was revoked at both institutions. Learn from them. Double-deposit at your own peril!

But to all students who did not choose to double-deposit (the vast majority), we wish you and yours a Happy National Reply Day! Now go out and celebrate your decision.

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