What Does It Mean To Be ACCEPTED? (Part I of III)

(Please note:  This is part I in a series of  3 posts that help to explain the Early Action Decisions.  Decisions will be available Monday, December 20 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.  Today’s post focuses on receiving an Early Action acceptance.)

You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.  You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.  You are the guy who will decide where to go.  – (Dr. Seuss)

If you have been accepted to Elon, congratulations!  As Dr. Seuss so eloquently put it – you now can decide to enroll at Elon and be a part of the class of 2015 (which I hope you will!)  However, once the initial excitement about your acceptance calms down a bit, it is important to keep in mind these helpful hints about how to learn more about Elon in the future:

  • Don’t Wait – Start Thinking about Scholarships! It’s never too early to research and consider different scholarship programs.  As a student who has already been accepted, I would HIGHLY encourage you to take a second to look at Elon University’s Fellows Program.  This is the largest merit scholarship opportunity that we offer to prospective freshman students.  There are 7 different Fellows Programs that offer scholarships from $2500 – $10000 per year (Please note that scholarships vary depending on the program.)  It does require a separate application that is due January 10 (except for International Fellows which is due on March 1) and a student can apply for multiple programs.  Definitely worthwhile to look into – as I tell all prospective students, it is the one thing I would have done differently about my time at Elon as a student.  (I never applied!)
  • Speaking of Money… it’s never too early to start thinking about the Financial Aid process either!  Elon’s Financial Aid office has a helpful step-by-step guide of how to go about applying for need-based assistance.  It is important to know deadlines for the CSS Profile and FAFSA forms (mid-February) as well as the Elon Financial Aid form (beginning of March).  It is also important to realize your other scholarship options – be sure to read through Elon’s Endowed Scholarship website and consider applying.  (Please note that only U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents are eligible for need-based assistance).
  • You’ve Researched Elon – But There’s Still More! You probably know about our 4-1-4 academic calendar, our amazing study abroad program, and that we have close to 5,000 undergraduates.   You may even know what athletic conference Elon plays in (Southern Conference) as well as Elon’s most popular major (Business).  But do you know where to enjoy a “Killer Cookie” dessert on-campus?  What there is to do on campus on a Saturday night in February?  The quickest route from the driving range to Koury Business Center?  You can find out more by connecting with the Admissions Office with our various upcoming events:  January Hospitalities, Spring Orientations, or Phoenix Fridays.  Or come back and visit us for campus tour, but this time, have lunch with a current student or attend a class.
  • Already Using Social Networking & Media? Find us there.  Be a part of the Class of 2015 group and/or like the Admissions & International Admissions Fan Page on Facebook.  Follow us on Twitter (ElonUAdmissions and CherylAtElonU).  Follow Anthony on Twitter (ElonInterAdm) or communicate with him via email (eloninteradm@elon.edu).  Get an insider’s knowledge of what is going on at Elon’s campus.

Thus there are lots of things to consider once you have that acceptance letter in your hand!  But for now, it’s okay to take a break and enjoy the holidays 🙂

Tips in the Admissions Process: Understanding Your Decision (Part III)

Today is the big day!

By now, many (if not all) Early Action applicants have checked their Elon University decision online using Elon’s OnTrack system.  Over 5,000 of students discovered whether they were admitted, deferred, or declined admission to the university.  Today’s post will solely focus on what happens if a student is DECLINED admission to Elon University.  (If you were ADMITTED and are reading this blog, be sure to check back to Wednesday’s post.  If you were DEFERRED, I highly recommend checking back to Thursday’s post for more information about that decision.)

Part III:  Declined admission from Elon University

“Your application to Elon University has been declined.”

By far, this is the most disappointing of all the decisions, particularly if Elon was a top choice for a student.  It is important for all declined students to know that in the Admissions Office, it is not easy for us to decline students. We often have to make difficult decisions in the admissions process, and trust me – it’s hard especially with such a competitive applicant pool!   A student who has been declined often has many questions – What was it about my application that the Admissions Committee didn’t like?  Was it because of “X” that I didn’t get admitted?  What do I do now?

If a student has been declined admission to Elon, there are several different things to consider and to think about.  Here are a few:

  • Final Deadline:   When a student is declined, I often get asked if he or she can re-apply for our last deadline (Final Deadline).  Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no.  If a student is declined, they are not eligible to apply for a later deadline.
  • Your Interest in Elon is Valued:  Even if a student is declined admission to Elon, we still value the fact that the student was interested in us.  If a declined student remains highly interested in Elon, there is the transfer option.  There are many students at Elon who are transfer students that come to Elon having started their university career elsewhere – whether that is a community college or at a 4-year college or university.   Students who think this might be something they would be interested in should contact their Admissions Counselor at Elon to let them know.

Again, I know it is a tough decision to take – several if not all of us in the Admissions Office have been declined admission to a university or for a job or for something else we applied for!  Hopefully this blog shed some insight into what to do next, but let me know if you have any questions!

Tips in the Admissions Process: Understanding Your Decision (Part II)

Happy Thursday to you ETA readers:

Tomorrow (December 18), the Admissions Office will release over 5,000 Early Action decisions to our applicants from this deadline.  Yesterday’s post focused on what happens when a student is admitted to Elon University.  Today, I will talk about about what to do and what happens when a student is deferred admission to Elon.

Part II:  Deferral from Elon

“Your application to Elon University has been deferred for first semester grades/ first trimester grades/ SAT scores.”

Those words do not quite have the same ring to them as an “Acceptance” would (in all honesty).  It is disappointing to not be accepted.  These words are often confusing because a student may wonder why Elon would want more information.  Was Elon missing something from the application?  Why would a student need to wait until March 15 for another decision if the requested information was sent in sooner than that?

It is important to know that when a student was deferred, Elon was not missing any information from that student.  (Otherwise, the student’s application file would be considered incomplete and the Admissions Office would have not provided a decision.)   Being deferred means that within the context of the Early Action applicant pool (both in volume and in academic strength), we were unable to offer that student a place in our freshman class.  The good news is that being deferred doesn’t mean that a student will not be accepted to Elon.  It simply means that the Admissions Office would like to look at the application again but with additional information and in the context of the Final Deadline pool.

If a student has been deferred, there are sevearl things to consider and think about.  Here are a few:

  • Submit Any Requested Information to Elon:  When a student receives a deferral, it is important that he or she pays attention to the requested information.  In most cases, the requested information is first semester grades.  (Please note:  first semester grades are not quarter grades.  Semester grades are the grades a student receives at the conclusion of their 1st half of their school year [about January or February]).  A student should contact their guidance counselor/ college counselor/academic advisor or dean to be sure this information is submitted to Elon for reconsideration in our Final Deadline applicant pool.  It is important to note that this submitted information keeps a student’s application file “active” – meaning that we would see that the student was still interested in Elon!  Sometimes specific SAT scores are requested as well – this is because a student indicated that they had taken an SAT and we did not have that information on file.
  • Contact Your Elon Admission Counselor:  If Elon remains high on a student’s list, why not contact the Admissions Counselor for the area?  Letting the counselor know that a student is still interested despite being deferred can be helpful.  Email the counselor to let them know about becoming captain of the men’s tennis team or about the December service project that was recently completed or about the upcoming Senior Project that will start.  Providing this additional information not only demonstrates interest, but more importantly, provides additional information that a counselor can present on your behalf to the admissions committee.

Again, a student who has been deferred will receive another decision about their application in March.  It is important to submit the requested information to keep the application file alive in the process. 

Hopefully this sheds some insight into questions that may arise from this decision and check back tomorrow to find out what it means if an application is declined admission.

Tips in the Admissions Process: Understanding Your Decision (Part I)

It’s almost time…

I know that many of you (5,617 of you to be exact!) are eagerly awaiting Friday’s Early Action release date.  And trust me when I say that so are we!  This has been one of the largest applicant pools that I have ever seen and it may even be the largest applicant pool we have ever had for Early Action.   Your decisions will be available on Elon’s OnTrack system beginning on December 18 and you will also receive an actual copy of your decision via post a few days after. 

That being said, I thought I might shed some more insight into each of the possible decisions.   I am going to break it up over the course of the next 3 days so check back tomorrow for another post on a possible decision!

Part I:  Accepted to Elon University

“Congratulations!”  – “Welcome to the class of 2014!”

Wahoo!  Those words just have such a nice ring to them, don’t they?  While these are not the exact words that a student would see if they were accepted, the point is definitely there.  A student finds out they have been accepted which is a wonderful feeling to have!  Once the initial joy/shock/excitement wears off and all family members have been told of this acceptance, a student may be wondering:  what next?  What does this mean?

Once a student has been accepted, there are several different things to consider and to think about.  Here are a few:

  • Merit Scholarships:  Elon’s merit scholarship competition is rapidly approaching!  The Elon Fellows Program is an enhanced academic experience that combines challenging courses, outside-the -classroom experiences, and scholarship opportunities.  There is an application to be considered for the competition, and it is due on January 10.
  • Other Forms of Financial Aid:  While it is not quite time to submit official paperwork to apply for financial aid (for those who are U.S citizens or U.S. permanent residents), it does not hurt to understand the process and what is required.  Review the Steps in Applying for Financial Aid to be better prepared for this process.
  • Learn More About Elon:  Accepted students will have done their initial research on the university, but may have deeper questions to ask.  A good way to learn even more is to consider visiting campus (if that has not been done) or even attending a special event (such as Phoenix Friday).  Elon may be even coming to a city near you!  In the month of January, Elon University travels tovarious cities and hosts a series of Hospitality Nights.  These Hospitality Nights allow students to not only hear from Admissions staff members, but more importantly, students have the opportunity to speak with a professor, currently enrolled students, alumni, and many more!

These are just a few things an accepted student can and should think about after December 18.  There is also a wealth of resources available by visiting the Accepted Students webpage as well. 

Check my blog tomorrow for Part II of Understanding Your Decison…

Tips in the Admissions Process: Missing Application Information

Is it really November already?

Since my last post almost a month ago (yikes!), a good bit has happened in the Admissions process!  Two deadlines have passed (Early Decision and EarlyAction), an Admissions Open House has occurred, and I have made a productive (albeit brief) trip to several European countries.  I will be updating my Flickr photostream shortly with some photos from my travels, but I wanted to spend this blog post talking about “The Waiting Game”. 

With the “Waiting Game”, I am referring to the period of time once a student has submitted their application and is waiting for an admissions decision. While you anxiously await for an admissions decision from Elon, we are working hard behind the scenes.  To provide you with a sense of how busy things are for us, take the number of applications that we have received.  For Early Action,  we currently have over 5,000 applications in our office.  Now take those 5,000 applications and multiply that by 4 – this is the number of pages in our application.  Add to that at least one page for a high school transcript, two pages for a counselor evaluation form, and several additional pages for things like teacher recommendations, student resumes/ portfolios, TOEFL scores, etc.  That is a lot of information to process!  (I will admit that some of this information is online and thus it saves us a bit of time and paper!)  Hopefully, this information will give you a scope of the volume of applications that we are receiving in our office.

The reason why I mention is this is often times students wonder if we have all of their informaion in our possession.  This is a very common question.  For anyone who applies to Elon University, it is important to know that every applicant has an “Elon OnTrack” username and password.  This username and password allows a student to do several things – namely, check to see if Elon is missing any application materials and at the appropriate time, to check an Admissions decision.  It is important that students check OnTrack and check it often.  Application materials are often sent to us and because we are receiving so much mail, can take a few days to officially “show up” on their OnTrack screen. 

At a certain point in our process, you will also be contacted via email if the Admissions Office is missing something from your application and your application is in danger of being “bumped” from that specific deadline.   One of the most important things that you can be doing on your end is to continually check your email as well – we communicate a good deal with prospective students this way (particularly if you live outside of the U.S.)

Most importantly, if you have any questions about your application or the process, do not hesitate to contact the Admissions Office.  You are more than welcome to email myself (cborden2@elon.edu) or the general Admissions email account (admissions@elon.edu).   Never be afraid to ask questions!