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Articles / Applying to College / Will Emory Early Decision Applicant Move to Regular Decision Pool if Aid is Insufficient?

Jan. 4, 2012

Will Emory Early Decision Applicant Move to Regular Decision Pool if Aid is Insufficient?

Question: If I apply Early Decision to a university and I am accepted, but the aid is not enough and so I release the offer (which is allowed at this specific school), will I still be considered for Regular Decision and Regular Decision financial aid? I am talking specifically about Emory; I'm not sure if all schools vary on this issue.


You’re right ... colleges do vary on this issue. Some will automatically put admitted Early Decision candidates into the Regular Decision applicant pool if the student turns down the ED offer for financial reasons. However, others, including Emory University, do not. Thus, if you say no to Emory now, you won't be reconsidered in the spring.

BUT … before you pull the plug on your first-choice school, “The Dean” suggests that you appeal your current aid offer (or lack thereof), if you haven’t done so already. Here are some tips:

1) Make an appointment to speak with a financial aid official at Emory. (If you live close by, going in person is ideal, but a phone appointment is fine, too.) It can be helpful for both you and for the college staff to have your materials at the ready before the meeting, so use your first contact to set up the appointment only, and then plan to talk turkey at a later date.

2) Provide the specific dollar amount that you require. In other words, don’t just insist, “I will need more money to attend” Instead, say, “With an additional $6,000 in grant money, I would be able to enroll at Emory.”

3) Be prepared to provide documentation of your additional need, when possible. Sure, you’ve already filled out copious forms that detail your family’s income, assets, and many expenses. But are there additional expenses that weren’t included in the FAFSA or CSS Profile (e.g., a sibling attends a special school, a grandparent has medical or housing costs that your family covers)? Are there any other extenuating circumstances that you haven’t mentioned or that could be reiterated (e.g., a parent recently lost a job or became disabled)? Sometimes, too, parents find that the EFC (Expected Family Contribution) simply isn’t realistic. So even if you have already provided figures such as the cost of monthly mortgage or car payments, it can be worthwhile to list these again and to “remind” college officials of how much they eat into your household funds.

Colleges don’t like to lose students they’ve already admitted via Early Decision and are usually willing to work with you to facilitate your enrollment. However, if you can’t reach a compromise this month with the Emory financial aid folks, then you will have to walk away and set your sights elsewhere.

(posted 1/4/2012)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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