Early Decision and Deferred Admission

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Early Decision and Deferred Admission
By Dogstar (Dogstar) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 11:40 am: Edit

I know that some colleges will let you defer admission for a year if you are accepted. If you are accepted under ED, is this still an option? I feel a gap year would benefit my twin sons, who will be HS juniors this fall, but (assuming they decide what their first choices are) I'd also like to see them get the benefit of applying ED. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

By Marlgirl (Marlgirl) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 11:48 am: Edit

My friend did this at Tufts, so I'm sure that there are *some* colleges- if not all- who let the ED students defer as well. You do have to agree not to take classes at another college over that year, but that shouldn't be a big problem...

By Blossom (Blossom) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 11:56 am: Edit

The colleges that don't allow deferrals are up-front about it... the only two I recall from memory are Barnard and Rutgers but I'm sure there are others. Check the websites-- you may need to go off the admissions site and into "Academic Requirements" or something like that.

Also, keep in mind that JR/SR year is very much like the toddler years developmentally, so you may end up with an 18 year old who bears little resemblance to the immature 16 year old you started with... been there, done that. Boys grow up A LOT in those years, and many of us old-timers can tell you how we were sure our kids would forget to eat, have chronic cases of the flu, wear dirty underwear for months, miss every 9 am lab, run out of cash and forget to deposit their paycheck, lock themselves out of their rooms every night, etc. For most of us, Freshman year was a pleasant surprise... each of these things probably happened exactly once, at which point judgement and maturity kicks in.

By Jenniferpa (Jenniferpa) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 12:17 pm: Edit

The other thing is: do you really think it's a good idea for a student who is sufficently immature to benefit from a gap year to be making a binding agreement to attend a specific college 2 years in the future? If you want to benefit from ED perhaps it would be best to wait to apply when they're in that gap year. I don't know that immaturity is the issue here, but if it is, I can well imagine a student's view changing as to "best fit". Even those children who are "mature" have a tendency to change their minds about where they want to go to school in that last year.

By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 04:15 pm: Edit

Took our son to college this weekend and did the parent orientation, President's Convocation, etc. One evening, husband and I were sitting at the restaurant and he said, "I think he's matured considerably in the last two days. He's going to be fine." I agree with Blossom - that they will morph into someone you won't recognize in the next year and especially that senior year. I suspect that my son will morph even more at school. I also agree with Blossom about the freshman learning curve. And, Jenniferpa has a point about trying to finalize a game plan too early if maturity is an issue.

It is hard to be patient. Especially when your freshman daughter comes home and tells you that her classmates are already being pressured by their parents to pick a school. It's easy, I think, to feel like you're neglecting something when you're in an environment like that. My son's friends all seemed to hit on a game plan by RD their senior year, and they all seemed to end up in great schools they were happy with. Getting the boys involved in the exploration process would be so good for them. Info sessions are a good start and I have found the web sites beneficial. Good luck!

By Dogstar (Dogstar) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 05:01 pm: Edit

Thanks for the answers and opinions - I really appreciate the thought and time that goes into your answers. Maturity is part of the issue, but not the whole story. There are financial ramifications, too, because the kids will receive great financial aid from the university where my wife works (for any college), but not until fall 2007. Obviously, I would not encourage an ED application unless they were SURE about where they wanted to go, and I didn't sense that it was a temporary infatuation.
To me, it makes a lot of sense to not apply until during the gap year, but other discussions on this board seem to discourage it.

By Blossom (Blossom) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 05:52 pm: Edit

Dogstar, you may want to have your wife check with her benefits department.... they've probably dealt with this before, and undoubtedly can tell her which schools allow ED deferrals and which ones don't.

I've seen two problems with the gap year applications-- one, it's hard to stick to the deadlines and the discipline when you're not in high school around all your friends who are in the same boat. Two, memories grow dim and situations change, and the French teacher who thought your kid was the best French student she'd ever had, inevitably ends up on maternity leave when you need a rec, or the chem teacher who always raved about your son relocates across the country and nobody has a forwarding address.

Your plan about applying and deferring makes sense if there's a huge financial incentive... but then why do it ED? I am not aware of any college that doesn't allow an almost automatic one year deferral, except to enroll in another college.

By Alita (Alita) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 06:02 pm: Edit

Hi, I am a senior this year, and am planning on taking a gap year to study abroad with AFS (www.usa.afs.org). I decided, after a lot of thought, to apply this year (as a senior) and to apply all regular decision.

I chose to apply as a senior for several reasons. First, I knew that I would be out of the country and that I may not have access to a computer, and that overseas mail systems are not always perfect. Second, I decided I would rather deal with essays/recommendations now when I have teachers/friends/counselors being paid to work with me-I wouldn't get that attention as an already graduate. Finally, to give my parents, and me, a piece of mind. I found they were more comfortable with a gap year, and I was less stressed, if the admissions process was over and we knew I was going somewhere, cards sent in, done deal.

Deciding to apply all regular decision was for some different reasons. I am applying for financial aid, but as it is really hard for me to get it, I decided it would be better to apply regular to schools with all types of aid and compare my options. Also, while I thought at one point this summer that I knew exactly where I wanted to go, I realize that my opinions have changed a lot in the past year and that just because I'm a senior doesn't mean they wont change again. So, I will decide in may, which also relieves a lot of deadline pressure.

I realize some of these issues might be different because of the type of gap year I'm doing. Not knowing what your sons are like or what your reasons are for supporting a gap year, I can hardly say what to do for them. However, I have put a lot of thought into this, and so far, it seems to be working pretty well. Ask again in may, or may 2006, and I'll know for sure!

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 08:37 am: Edit

I think the concern about committing ED to a school that you won't attend for two years is a good one (esp if there are concerns about the kids' maturity). There are plenty of kids who regret their ED choices in April of senior year!

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