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I see some questions about 'hold' status...this what we learned last year as I replied to a parent who questioned me privately...
My son's experience was HOLD is good. Better than alternate. Hold means that your child is being seriously considered. It is not 100% but I would say in the high 90%. Hold means that they can't give it to them because their scores are not at the very top so they have to wait and see if someone with higher scores comes along or they have a Dobmer issue that needs to be resolved. Alt means if no one shows up after they have filled the slots they will start from the alt pool.
Have your child call and check his status often (my son called every two weeks). Ask if there is anything else they can do. Bend their ear about some things you are currently doing, running, extra classes. Really show them that USMMA is their first choice! The student needs to do the calling. Have them be friendly and excited when they call.
I would say it is pretty safe as a parent to start buying a few things for the academy (ie white underware, white towels, sole inserts etc) as Christmas presents. They can still use these things (just in case). This will help to pump up your child and keep the excitement flowing.
Very important is to have a back up plan. Go ahead and apply to another safe choice, we even made a refundable deposit on a room. Our son was not notified until March...we were missing a lot of grass between the door and mailbox but the victory was sweet! Good Luck