Calling all 2022s - Last Minute, Happy Surprise Stories?

High school senior here, now sitting on 4 deferrals (including from my top choice ED1) and feeling very dejected.

In the long wait to hear from these 4, and my other RD schools in late March, anyone willing to share a regular decision, happy surprise story from last year as hope for me and others in the same boat?

Thanks in advance.


If the other three were EAs, then be aware that depending on how highly your application might have fallen within a college’s typical range, SOME colleges use EA deferrals to avoid committing early to a student they actually “like”, but whom they suspect might eventually enroll in a higher-ranked school anyway which the applicant might secretly prefer.

Your feelings are understandable, but do sit down and communicate, especially if there are EA deferrals, expressing your continued, strong interest to be admitted RD in that particular college - maybe citing something specific about each one of those colleges.

Otherwise, keeping fingers crossed that some of your first choices still come through. Deferrals usually means that you were an interesting candidate to them, so you already passed that hurdle.


Did you apply to any safeties?

As a surprise ending, not last year, but my kid got off two waitlists, one in July. She attended that school. She had great choices before the WL offers and had deposited in the meantime.

Have patience and be in it for the long haul.


Yes, one ED and 3 EAs. Like everybody, I worked really hard in HS and on my apps. IB diploma, 3.99/5.2, 1530 SAT. Good ECs, recs, essays. Full pay. Solid list, no ivies, but many T30s and yes I applied to several likely schools in RD. It’s just really hard this cycle.

I’m looking for happy stories. Anybody?

Hang in there. Unfortunately, the admissions process has become very unpredictable for high stats, unhooked applicants. Don’t lose hope though - write good LOCIs, and send in your spring semester grades.

Meanwhile, do you have an acceptance in hand that you’re happy about?


Sure. My 2022 kid had a happy March surprise, at a sub 10% acceptance school (well, newly sub 10% as of that cycle, I think), after a December ED rejection at a different school. She is at that March acceptance school right now. It can happen. But we would not have been surprised at all had she been shut out of all the March/April schools. We were prepared for that, and she already had safeties and matches in hand by January. Good luck!


With four deferrals, I’m not sure you’ve applied to a true safety. There is still time to apply to some great colleges that have rolling admissions.

A happy ending is having a college to attend that you like and can afford. Anything beyond that is icing on the cake.


Thank you! I did those thing and yes, I have one acceptance at a likely with > 50% acceptance rate. Was just hoping for some stories about happy surprises. Maybe there aren’t many.


I don’t have a surprise story yet to tell, as I’m also a HS senior in a similar boat (2 deferrals, 1 college rejection + 1 BS/MD program rejection), but my advice is try to hold onto the fact that things will work out. And if for some wonky reason it doesn’t- my DMs are open and you can always transfer.

It’s going to be a long wait for the both of us to RD, but I know it’s gonna be worth it. My DMs are open if you want to talk more.


So with these stats, it’s possible that some of the EA colleges are holding out to see whether you’re still “available”, or if one of the even more selective schools might have “snatched you up”.

You seem to have done exceptionally well in HS. Once you’ve shaken off your understandable disappointment, my suggestion is to stay on top of those EA deferrals to make your sincere interest clear.


We’re not on the other side of things yet, but I empathize with how you’re feeling. This is the WORST time of year for many students - if you got a rejection or deferral from your ED/EA schools, your confidence may have taken a hit, and you may be worried now that you won’t get in anywhere. You will. It will work out. It may not be your first choice, but something is going to work out for you. I hope you have one or two safety schools still out there. And even if you don’t, there is nothing wrong with CC and transferring. You ALWAYS have options. But I get it - you have worked so hard in high school. You have made sacrifices while watching other classmates slack off, so you feel that you’ve earned a top spot at a great school. And, yes, you have earned that. But you may not get that. It sucks when it feels like your work hasn’t paid off. But life must be played as a long-game. Your work will pay off. Maybe not right away and maybe not in the way that you hope or expected. But it will. You will land somewhere, and you have the potential to do great things. Just keep pushing through.


Don’t know if it was last-minute exactly, but glad to share. Could not afford for high-stats unhooked D22 to ED anywhere financially, so we were all EA/RD. Accepted to first choice T30 EA in Feb., but with very disappointing financial aid package (much worse than NPC), so not affordable. Crushed. BUT, in March she was accepted RD to a reach with a much stronger aid package, and she has absolutely thrived there. As others have said, you can’t count on reaches, so be sure to have an affordable safety that you like in your back pocket - we definitely did. But it’s certainly possible that a student with your profile gets a reach acceptance down the road.


RD is not last minute, by the way. It’s Regular. A late acceptance off the WL at the end of summer is last minute.


My S22 got waitlisted at his 2 top schools. Then got admitted to another reach (T30) school, but got no merit or financial aid. So put his deposit down on a T75 school that we had never even heard of prior to doing college research the year before, but which gave him huge merit. He ended up coming off the waitlist for the first 2 school (one in the late spring, one in the summer), but by that time he was already getting excited about the T75, and in a surprise decision, turned both of them down! He is now thriving and happy at the T75.


That’s a really happy surprise! Thx.

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Thank you for starting this thread. My daughter is in the same boat. So many schools have admitted half their class through ED, but we couldn’t afford to do that. Two EA deferrals, one more likely next week. We just added some super-safety schools with rolling or late admissions, but some of the merit/honors deadlines are already passed. The guidance counselor thought she had good choices; she was very undereducated in ED rates vs RD rates, which I only now know.


I have 2 stories for you, and want to echo - you are not alone - this is definitely the hardest stretch!!
My oldest is sophomore at a T20. She was deferred from her ED, and due to COVID had not visited her other reach schools. She was not excited about anywhere else, but did have an admission at a safety school. She was sure that she was going to be rejected everywhere, so decided to make the best of it and joined the admitted students chat at her safety and started to get excited about it. Just when she had convinced herself that she would be okay there she got an email that she had received a full tuition scholarship at a T20 school that she did not even think she would be accepted to - she applied b/c we knew someone else who was very happy at the school. She is there now and LOVES it!!
My youngest is in the same boat you are - applying now, deferred EA from choice 1. Waiting for top 5 responses. First week of January was so hard, finishing essays after being deferred, sure that they will be rejected from everywhere. Last week got an email that they are a finalist for a full tuition scholarship at their safety school. One of 60 being interviewed for 20 scholarships. Still not their top choice, but a confidence builder for sure, and reminder that good things will happen. Also, helped them get excited about an option that is on the table.
Same for you - you have worked hard in HS, you will land somewhere with great opportunities and it will work out for you!! If you are admitted somewhere that you think you could attend, I suggest connecting there and seeing if you can get excited about some of the opportunities, it may help with some of the stress.


Love both of these happy stories. Thanks and fingers crossed that they win the scholarship.


A story similar to @fiftyfifty1’s from a couple of years ago. Friend’s son was admitted to Rutgers and a couple of other “very likely” schools. Was deferred at UMich (his top choice) and at another school. Rejected at several others.

He was upset and dejected, but being local to Rutgers he took the opportunity to learn more about the program, met students, and kept himself engaged. He was accepted into the honors college in March with good merit money. He was able to visit the fancy honors dorm and talk to kids there.

Ultimately, he did get an acceptance from UMich. Yaay! Right?
But at this point he was looking at Rutgers honors college with a COA of under $15k/year vs over $60k at Michigan. Was the additional $45k+ ($180k+ over 4 years) worth it? He ultimately decided it was not.
He’s had a great time at Rutgers, and this last summer he interned with a Wall Street bank along with undergrads from many other schools including Ivies and Stanford. Same role, same pay, same opportunity to come back next year.

Long story short: continue pursuing your deferrals, but in the meanwhile, fall in love with the schools you’ve been accepted to. A lot can change between January and April, and it’s possible you haven’t paid as much attention to getting to know those likely schools, as compared to your reaches.


A few years ago at this time my S had been admitted to two of our great in state options and was going through the long wait until the end of March to see what other options he might have, knowing there might not be any more acceptances. Then came a bunch of waitlists, but at the very end, two acceptances to T20 schools, one Ivy. You never know what will happen! I still think S would have done great things and really enjoyed experiences at our state schools, but he sure has loved being in Nashville! :heart_eyes: