Judgment day

December 15, 2006 at 3:16 am 2 comments

Posted by Luke

Judgment day has finally come and passed. To those of you who were admitted under Early Decision, I offer my sincerest congratulations and I hope that you excel and are truly happy with the decision you have made. To those of you who were rejected or deferred, I have a few words of advice:

1. Don’t worry about it

Lots of people are not admitted early. The schools tell you that there is a higher rate of admittance for early appliers, but the rate is still rather low and does not guarantee a spot at the university. Consider this one of life’s little lessons that not everything is certain, but just because you were not accepted does not mean that your life is over. If it is any consolation, I was deferred from the Huntsman Program at Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania, but I rebounded and am now attending a very prestigious university with great students and faculty and I couldn’t be happier if I were freezing in Philadelphia. The trick is to not get discouraged, which brings me to my next point…

2. Don’t lose your confidence

Just because one school doesn’t want you in December does not mean that you are not worthy to be there in the spring. You must look within yourself and see if the reason you were deferred was a fault of the university or a fault of your own. If you look through your grades, scores, and accomplishments and truly believe that you deserve to be there, then you truly do. You must remember that universities look through thousands of applications and not being admitted does not mean that someone is explicitly better than you and took your spot, it simply means that either the time or place wasn’t right and you should move on. My advice now is to…

3. Not sell yourself short

It’s a pretty safe guess that most of you who were rejected or deferred applied to one of the Ivies or another top-tier university like Stanford, Berkeley, Northwestern, Georgetown, etc. The key now is to not sell yourself short by applying to the second-tier universities because you are confident that you’ll be admitted. Just because one premier institution rejects you does not mean all the others don’t want you either. Let’s assume that the admittance rate at these schools is 10% (this is low and most institutions have rates around 16% if not higher, but it is better to assume that they have a low rate for the calculations). This means that the chance of not getting in is 100% minus the chance of getting in, 1- .10= .90, or 90%. If you conservatively apply to only five of these schools, then the chance of not getting in to any of these schools is the probability of being rejected (90%) to the fifth power (the number of schools that you applied to), or .90^5 = .59 = 59%. This means you have a 60% chance of not getting in to any of these schools. If you apply to even more, say eight, then the probability of being rejected is .90^8 = .43 = 43%. As you see, the more of these elite schools you apply to, the greater the chance you have of getting in to at least one of the schools. Keep in mind that these statistics were calculated with a flat acceptance rate of 10%, however for most schools it is considerably higher (the acceptance rate for Cornell is around 25%) so you have an even greater chance of being a student of one of the world’s premier universities.

Numbers aside, it is extremely rare that someone gets into every school they applied to. I was deferred from one school and rejected by a couple others, but I was also accepted to some truly great schools and am perfectly happy with my choice. I have talked to many people about this subject and have only met one person that was accepted to every school she applied to, and she was truly the exception to the application process, not the rule. Everyone gets rejected; it’s a part of life. You just have to remember that it’s not the end of the world and that if one school doesn’t want you, another one is probably dying to have you. Also, it is important to…

4. Remember application deadlines

Some of you were probably so confident that you would get in early that you didn’t bother to apply to other schools (like I did last fall). The only problem with this approach is that you are now officially on a sinking boat without a lifejacket. This doesn’t mean that you won’t get accepted in the spring, but just in case, you might want to start applying to other schools. Be mindful of the application deadlines since most are only 16 days away. Stanford’s application deadline is tonight, Berkeley’s was November 30, and Oxford and Cambridge needed American applicants to apply in the summer. Other than those four you should still have time to complete last minute applications and send them off in time. Finally…

5. Be happy with the choice you make

I discussed the merits of applying to multiple universities in point three, but please make sure that you are happy with the decision you make. A lot of people apply to colleges just because they have prestige but later regret their decision because the university did not match them. Please carefully research the colleges before you apply and if you find that the schools don’t offer what you want or don’t truly appeal to you, don’t waste your time and money filling out an application to a school that you will spend a miserable four years of your life.

Once again, congratulations to those of you who were accepted, good luck and great success to you on the road of life. To those of you who did not have the greatest December 15, I hope my five points of advice help you and I’m sure you will succeed and be happy wherever you end up. I would like to leave you with some words that my Dad gave to me (courtesy of Frank Sinatra) after I learned that I was deferred:

Now nothing’s impossible, I’ve found for when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again.
Don’t lose your confidence if you slip, be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up, dust off, start over again.
Work like a soul inspired until the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired, but you be a man, my son.
Will you remember the famous men who have to fall to rise again,
                         So take a deep breath, pick yourself up, start all over again.


Entry filed under: Accepted, Application, Business, Cambridge, College trends, Colleges/Universities, Deadline, Defer, Early action, Early decision, Georgetown, Grades, Huntsman Program, Money, Motivation, Northwestern, Organization, Oxford, Procrastination, Ranking, Rejected, Research, Stanford, Stress, Summer, Timing, Tips/Tricks, UC Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania, UPenn, Wharton.

A short note on changing UC apps I was deferred; now what?!

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mimi  |  December 16, 2006 at 9:30 am

    Thanks for the advice and for the words of optimism! I was deferred, but I’m not going to worry too much about it.

  • 2. Marcos andres  |  March 17, 2007 at 12:28 am

    i applied to UPENN for regular decision. i would like to know if i could be admitted to UPENN if i got four letter of recomendations, a GPA of 97/100, but i got 900 in the SAT. Besides, i had extra curricular activities such as the following: i was the vicepresident from my high school, and i won the first place in my country as the best public speaker in the national debate tournament.Do you think i could be admitted?………… i am a little worried and anxious to know the answer. MY SAT II was math 1 with 480 and math 2 with 550…….i do not know what to think ……please


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