It’s not even December yet but Early Decision / Early Action notification dates are just around the corner. And so we figured we’d write a piece on what to do in the event a student’s admission is deferred. We were about to write this piece when we came across a blog up on “US News & World Report” by Brian Witte that discusses what to do if you’re rejected. The piece, entitled “Revise Your College Admissions Essay for Reapplication Success,” presents a whole lot of absolutely incorrect information. It kind of stopped us in our tracks when we were about to write about what students should do if deferred as we first felt the need to address Mr. Witte’s thoughts. One of the key purposes of our college admissions blog is to correct misconceptions about the highly selective college admissions process — including misconceptions put out there in the press.
In his piece, Mr. Witte begins, “Did your dream college reject your carefully crafted early action or early decision application? This is the bad news – but the good news is that, although rejection hurts, you have a second chance to reapply and restate your case with the regular application pool.” Umm, no. If the school to which a student applies Early Decision or Early Action denies — and does not defer — the student’s admission, that’s it. Can the student reapply a year later as a transfer or after having taken a gap year? Yes. But this is clearly not what Mr. Witte intended in his opening. After all, he subsequently writes: “Even if only several weeks have passed since your early action or early decision rejection – and your reapplication under regular admissions – you can speak to your determination to attend your first-choice school.” No, you cannot. Because you cannot reapply! Oy vey is right! Talk about incorrect advice from someone purporting to be an expert.
But his bad advice doesn’t end there. He writes, “If you are hoping to pursue a STEM field, emphasize your art projects, backpacking trips or work at an animal shelter, for example – all items that will make the student body more diverse if you are accepted.” This must be an April Fool’s prank but, wait, it’s November — not April. So he must be serious. Mr. Witte, highly selective colleges haven’t sought well-rounded students, the very students you’re describing, since “The Cosby Show” was airing. And we’re not talking about the reruns. Highly selective colleges seek singularly talented students (students who are great at one thing, not ok or good at lots of things). If you’re a STEM student, why would you submit an art portfolio? Working at an animal shelter? Cliche. Backpacking? It shows privilege. Yikes!
Over the years we’ve been writing our college admissions blog, we’ve come across a number of inaccurate statements about college admissions. But this article by Mr. Witte is among the most misleading we’ve ever come across. We wonder…is this an example of fake news? It might as well be.