Early Decision: FAQs

For those of you who applied Early Decision, the time is almost here to find out your decision!  I imagine that this time is pretty stressful as you are waiting to see if you will be representing the Class of 2015 in August/ September 2011.

To ease your mind a bit (and provide some helpful information), I thought I would provide you with some helpful tips and insight into the Early Decision deadline.  Thus for those of you who have applied, you can find out what the different options are for a decision, and for those of you who may apply next year (I am talking to the juniors/ Year 12/etc out there!), you will have some helpful insight.  Thus I present my Early Decision frequently asked questions post:

What does it mean to apply Early Decision?

Applying Early Decision to ANY university essentially means that the university is your #1 choice for university.  It is the university that you would like to attend and if admitted, you will definitely be enrolling at the university.   Early Decision does require some careful thinking as well as planning on the student’s part however.  Many schools require Early Decision applications earlier (Elon’s deadline is November 1) which means working on your essays, having recommendations completed, and making sure you have completed a test (SAT/ACT/TOEFL) in plenty of time.  Universities vary with their Early Decision requirements as well.  While most universities have Early Decision as the “binding” agreement, there are universities out there that have Early Decision II that is non-binding.  Moral of the story – if you are thinking of Early Decision, be sure to do your research!

I applied Early Decision to Elon University – when will I find out my decision?

Good question to ask!  And you are in luck – you literally find out your decision TOMORROW DECEMBER 1. Students can log onto their Elon OnTrack accounts beginning at 12:01 a.m. on December 1.  But remember…that date and time is Eastern Standard Time!  Thus if you are living in London or Istanbul or Shanghai, it will not be available until the appropriate time later on December 1.  Each student will also receive a hard copy of their decision via post as well.  These mailed decisions will not go out until tomorrow however.  For those residing outside of the country, we typically send this information via DHL – so keep an eye out for the yellow and red truck!

What are the possible decisions/outcomes for my Early Decision application?

While the obvious answer is “ACCEPTED” and “DECLINED”, we also have another decision – “DEFERRED”.  To learn more about each of these different deadlines (and most importantly, what they mean!), I would encourage you to visit my a post from last year.

Hopefully this provide some insight into tomorrow for those who applied and  for the future for those who might apply in the future.  Most importantly, if you do have questions about Early Decision at Elon – do not hesitate to contact me!

Did You Apply Early Decision to Elon?…

If so, you can find out your admissions decision beginning tomorrow morning at 12:01 a.m.!  Yes, December 1st is the official release date for any student that applied under the Early Decision agreement and beginning early tomorrow morning, you will be able to log onto Elon’s OnTrack system to check your admissions decision.  

It also means that it is a great time to re-post a blog that I did last year that describes the differnt admissions decisions.  There are three possible outcomes which apply to not only students who applied Early Decision, but also for students who applied Early Action.  Hopefully this breakdown will provide some insight for those of you who applied to Elon for one of our “Early” deadlines.

Here is a quick run-down of the different decision outcomes and some helpful advice for each group.  Happy Reading and most importantly, please let me know if I can answer any questions for you!

IF YOU HAVE BEEN….

ADMITTED TO ELON UNIVERSITY: First and foremost, congratulations! I am excited for you and all of the amazing opportunities that Elon could offer you. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you about this wonderful university and know that a good deal of information will be forthcoming to you.

DEFERRED FOR FIRST SEMESTER GRADES/ SAT SCORES: This decision can often be confusing. Often times students ask if we were missing information when we evaluated their application or are confused because they had their first quarter/term grades sent to us already. When we list first semester grades, we are looking for your grades that arrive at the conclusion of your semester exams (which for many students occur in the month of January). The first semester grades are essentially the mid-year grades or the grades at the end of the 2nd term. We may also have requested SAT scores from you if you listed on your application that you had or were taking an SAT in the future.
Essentially, being deferred means that within the context of the Early Decision or Early Action applicant pool (both in volume and in academic strength), we were unable to offer you a spot in our freshman class. However, it also means that we would like to consider your application again in the context of our Final Deadline pool. With the addition of your senior grades, you are not only keeping your application file active, but you are also showing interest in being reconsidered. For those of you who truly have Elon high on your list, I would also encourage to you keep in contact with me as well! Please feel free to send me emails (cborden2@elon.edu) to keep me posted on what is going on outside of the classroom for you (Did you land an internship for the spring? Did you receive any athletic accolades following your fall sports season? Do you have big plans for any service projects in the spring?) Again, our Final Deadline pool will be competitive, but the more information you share with me, the more information that I will be able to provide the admissions committee.

DECLINED ADMISSION TO ELON: I know this decision is incredibly disappointing, especially if Elon was one of your top choices for college. Know that in the Admissions Office, it is truly not easy for us to decline students and often we have to make tough decisions. If you were declined, please know that we value your interest in Elon University and if you are still interested in attending Elon at some point, your next option is to consider the Transfer option. This would entail attending a college or university (either a 2- or 4- year institution), and then transferring in after one year. Again, this is a slightly different admissions process and I would encourage you to contact me for more details.

Where Have I Been?…

Reading your applications for admissions and getting to know each of you 🙂

No, in all honesty ETA Readers, I do apologize for not writing sooner. Like many of you, I am currently busy with reading application files, answering emails, and other work obligations. Plus it is NCAA basketball season so I have started attending many of the basketball games on campus! I am sure that many of you are currently working on getting through your 1st semester classes or 2nd trimester classes or for some of you (particularly those of you who attend school in Central & South America), you may even be finishing your final year of high school/ secondary school. Whatever you may be doing, I hope all is going well for you during this busy time of year!

As I mentioned before, I have been reading lots of applications these days – which means I’ve been working on getting to know each of you a little bit more. Some of you…:

  • Have lived in multiple countries and can speak several languages.
  • Have won championships with your high school athletic teams.
  • Are incredibly talented artists/musicians/performers – thank you for sharing your artistic talents with us!
  • Have overcome some tough obstacles along your life journey.
  • Wrote essays that were so creative and funny – thank you for the good laugh that I had!
  • Take fascinating classes – how do I sign up to take “Campaign 2008″or “Out of Tune: Music and the State in the 20th Century”?
  • Are very passionate about things like the economy, the environment, your community, dancing, your family, etc.

And most importantly, all of you have been fascinating to get to know in this application process!

Of course, before I go any further, I definitley need to offer my CONGRATULATIONS to our students who were accepted to Elon under Elon’s EARLY DECISION deadline! Those decisions were released on Monday, December 1st and thus we already have several hundred students who are coming to Elon next fall! To those who were not offered admission to Elon under the Early Decision deadline, feel free to contact me if you have questions about your admissions decison (cborden2@elon.edu).

And finally, I leave you with some photos from one of Elon University’s annual traditions: The Holiday Lighting Event. This event takes place every year around this time and is when much of the main part of campus is lit up by lights in the buildings & trees and luminaries along the brick walkways. Elon is absolutely gorgeous on this evening – be sure to check out the photos from Elon’s professional photographer by visiting: http://www.elon.edu/e-net/Note.aspx?id=933691.

Update on Admissions Open House 2, Football, and More!

Happy Monday ETA readers!

Wow – lots going on right now for Elon University! For students, the end of the semester is near and thus the academic “crunch” is on. Tests are being taken, projects are being completed, and presentations are being practiced as the fall semester rounds its final corner. The U.S. Thankgiving holiday is this Thursday (thus Elon is closed on Thursday and Friday) and fall semester classes end on December 9th. For the Admissions Office, we are finalizing admissions decisions for our Early Decision deadline in preparation for our decision release date on December 1st. Our Early Action deadline releases decisions later on in December – mix in an Open House on campus last Saturday and it is an incredibly busy month!

Open House on Saturday was a great event with a strong turnout – despite colder than normal temperatures in North Carolina. I have included photos from the weekend in a slideshow at the top of my blog.

Also, for a football update for all of you Phoenix fans out there….on Saturday, Elon traveled upto Liberty University and was defeated 26-3 thus minimizing Elon University’s chances of playing post-season football. As a result, Elon was not selected for a spot in the FCS playoffs, although we did remain in the top 20 in the FCS Coaches Poll. So the Phoenix will hang up their cleats for awhile, but they definitely had a great run this year!

And of course, if it is busy at Elon University, my guess is that it is busy for many students these days. So good luck to all of you out there with school and college applications – I know it can be tough this time of year with so many things going on!

From My Inbox: A Soggy Friday Edition

Welcome to another edition of From My Inbox….
 

Yes, believe it or not, but it does rain at Elon University (as you can guess by the title of this post!) I am asked about the weather in North Carolina quite frequently when traveling and I will say that while Elon does experience all types of weather, blue skies & sunshine often prevail!

Here are this week’s questions:
Q. “How is the Fellows [Program] curriculum different from the regular academic curriculum?”
A. This question is referring to Elon University’s Fellows Program which I like to describe as an enhanced academic experience that has opportunities for study abroad grants as well as scholarship money. Essentially, students selected to participate in one of our 6 Fellows Programs (Honors, Leadership, Elon College, Business, Communications, and Teaching) have specialized learning opportunities that others in their academic field may not have. For example, if a student is a Business Fellow, they will take a class each semester as a cohort that is taught just for Business Fellows. Business Fellows also will study abroad together in their 1st Winter Term, travel to New York City during their senior year to visit the New York Stock Exchange, and have the opportunity to either invest part of Elon’s endowment in the stock market or do consulting work with local businesses during their senior year. These are opportunities that normal business students do not have! Students who are Leadership Fellows participate in a 4-phase Leadership Program that focuses on a different theme every year which include Emerging Leaders, Collaboration, Change, and Common Good. Leadership Fellows also have opportunities for travel, earn a minor in Leadership Studies, and have an opportunity to meet & talk with the Isabella Cannon Distinguished Visiting Professor Leadership. Past professors include David Gergen, Christine Todd Whitman, and Ben Bradlee. And these are only the opportunities available in two of our programs….I would encourage you to look into each program to find out more about each of them! Just click on the words “Elon University Fellows Program” to get started….

Q. “My OnTrack information says that Elon is missing my high school transcript – does that mean that I am not eligible for Early Action anymore?”
A. First and foremost, the most important thing to do is to get us the missing information as soon as possible! If your application was submitted on time, we will work with you if you are missing pieces of your application (up to a specific date). We know that for many of you, your college counseling/guidance offices were SWAMPED with transcript requests, recommendations, etc. Thus we allow for flexibility on receiving this information – although that does not mean that you should not arrange to send those materials to us as soon as possible. Please know that there is a cut-off date of when we NO LONGER will accept missing information to complete an application. At that point, if we are still missing a piece of your application, your application will be moved to our Final Application deadline pool. But for now, don’t panic! If you work on getting that missing information to us as soon as possible, we will work on keeping your application in Early Action.

Q. “I applied to Elon during Early Decision/ Early Action. Is there anything else that I can do at this point?”
A. At this point, the Admissions staff is busy reading files, reading files, and reading more files! We are excited to be getting to know each of you a little bit more in this process. At this point, the best thing that you can do is continue to update us (specifically me if you are an international student or go to school in Massachusetts or Rhode Island) with any achievements since you submitted your application. For example, how did your 1st quarter wrap up? How did your soccer team do in the state tournament? What new projects are you involved? This can simply be done via email! You can also start looking into scholarships programs such as our Fellows Programs. However, regardless of where Elon University falls on your list, I would also HIGHLY ENCOURAGE you to start researching financial aid (if you are eligible to apply) and/or scholarship opportunities. There is a wealth of information on those subjects and I would encourage you to visit http://www.elon.edu/e-web/admissions/FinancialAid/tips.xhtml. Many students wait until Spring to start researching what scholarship opportunities are available to them, but I would encourage you to start now.

That is all from my inbox for now…back to getting to know more of you/reading your application files!

Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!

From my Inbox: Election Day Edition

Good evening ETA readers!

As mentioned above, today is ELECTION DAY in the United States so unfortunately at this point (6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 4th), I cannot answer who will be the next President! However, I CAN answer questions about Elon University and the admissions process…here are some of this week’s questions:

Q. “I applied Early Decision/ Early Action/ Final Deadline to Elon University. Will I hear sooner than the deadline about my admissions decision?”

A. No – unfortunately not. Since moving to deadline admissions several years ago, we have not released decisions on a “rolling” basis – everyone who applied during a specific deadline will receive their admissions decisions on the same day. Here are the release dates for our 3 different deadlines:

Early Decision (application due on Nov 1st) – Notification date: Dec 1st

Early Action (application due on Nov 10th) – Notification date: Dec 19th

Final Deadline (application due on Jan 10th) – Notification date: March 13th

You can also view these deadlines at http://www.elon.edu/e-web/admissions/deadlines.xhtml.

Q. “Do Elon admissions counselors look up students on Facebook to find out more about them?”
A. No, we do not although I only speak for Elon University and not other institutions. To be honest with you, every college is different. Some colleges even have a policy against/for Facebooking prospective students. However, I can tell you from Elon’s point of view, we do not do this and do not “check” on students on Facebook. To be quite honest with you, we receive so many applications that we do not have time to check Facebook!

Q. “I am completing an online application and have run into problems with the extracurricular activities section – I have run out of room to list my awards/accomplishments/leadership roles/etc. What do you recommend that I do?”

A. First and foremost, congrats on having so many achievements – that is great! What I recommend is two different options – either works for us. Your options include:

  • Typing that information in the “Personal Statement” section that is towards the end of the application. We will see this section on the application and are used to having students put their extracurricular activity information here. OR YOU COULD
  • Consider creating a resume to submit with your application. Some students choose this option for providing us details about what they participate in outside the classroom.

Either option works for us!

That is all from my inbox for this week- please continue to contact me with any questions that you may have and I will do my best to respond!

Also, look for another post early next week as this weekend at Elon will be a busy one! Not only is it Homecoming Weekend, but I will also be at the Elon football game against Western Carolina, the men’s soccer game against Wofford (the 1st Round of the Southern Conference tournament), and the last performance of Sweeney Todd.