What to Do if You Didn’t Get In Early Decision

Hogwarts Admissions
What to Do if You Didn't Get In Early Decision

Source: Alexandra E. Rust

For many college applicants, December brings an early holiday gift in the form of Early Decision acceptance. Students who apply Early Decision typically put this school at the top of their wish list, since you must attend if admitted.

But what if you didn’t get into your Early Decision school? Where do you go from here?

Here are some tips on how to deal with not being accepted to an Early Decision college.

Don’t Panic
The beauty of applying through early admission is that it allows you more time to plan. There’s still time to apply to other colleges through regular or rolling admissions.

Check Out Similar Colleges
So maybe you didn’t get into one particular school, but you might get into other similar ones. Students should use Niche’s Frequently Compared tool to find out what schools other applicants are looking at. Look on the right-hand side of an Early Decision school’s page to see this.

For example, if you didn’t get into NYU, a school that ranks highly for having the Most Applicants, check the Frequently Compared schools, which include Boston, Columbia, Cornell, and Northeastern universities.

What to Do if You Didn't Get In Early Decision: Check out similar colleges

Find Out Where Your High School Gets Admitted
If you’re lost for ideas, check out where students from your high school frequently get accepted via Niche K12’s Popular Colleges feature. All you have to do is go to your high school’s page to see where alumni have gone or have considered going.

For example, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is No. 1 in Niche’s Best Outcomes ranking. Popular colleges according to these students include the following:

What to Do if You Didn't Get In Early Decision: Check out popular colleges from your high school

Present Yourself in Another Way
You tried one way—now try a new one with your next college applications. Once you’ve figured out other colleges to apply to, this is a good opportunity to take a look at your college application and figure out what you can do differently. There is a wealth of resources on Niche Ink to help students, including how to ask for the best kind of college recommendation letters. Play to your strengths and think about what you could do differently this second time around.

Remember: You’re Not Alone
Many other people have been rejected from a college. You aren’t the first, and you won’t be the last. Life isn’t without its obstacles, and getting through challenges sometimes prepares you more than simply avoiding difficulty all together.

The Bottom Line
The good news about being rejected through Early Decision is that since you applied early, you have time to regroup, recharge, and re-plan. This one route may be out, but there are many other possibilities in your future.