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

My daughter got picked to intvw for a top LAC merit. Didn’t win but was accepted to the school - W&L. Big ego boost.

But chose the 16th of 17 schools rank wise she was accepted into. It was right for her.

Don’t fall in love. Find the right school. There are many. It’s out there. As an added happy surprise you may find one that recognizes you with a big award.

Your deferrals may or may not come through. But you still have time to create happy for you.

Don’t know your situation but if you could save your folks $250k off a top level school would they be happy ? That could happen thanks to your hard work !!! Only because of your hard work.

Unless you are satisfied with your safety - I’d say don’t wait - create.

Create happy. However it looks. There’s still time.


Thank you! I’m really trying to do that and I’m mostly a happy person. Just not used to so much uncertainty and waiting to hear where I’ll spend the next four years of my life when it’ll be my first time away from home ever.

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30 plus kids applied to Michigan from our district. 2 got in EA, including his best friend who had a few more points on the SAT but lower grades and less extra curriculars. My son was postponed. He wrote a great LOCI and was admitted RD - the only one from our district. It was surprising. Even more surprising was two acceptances on IVY day. He’d been waitlisted a few less competitive schools (including Northeastern which turned out to be understandable but was unexpected) so he didn’t think he had a chance, and he’d even put down a deposit elsewhere - but then those two schools came through! He’s at one of them.


Any hints on what to include in LOCI? My daughter is trying to write a few now. This is all new to me.

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My point is - go find a new happy. A back up plan in case. Truth is there’s a zillion schools kids can love. Go find one that’s a safety.


Last year I followed the story about an interesting student who was accepted to two state-school safeties. But then she was waitlisted from one match school, was accepted by another whose aid package was unaffordable, and then only had one affordable match acceptance. She then got two rejections and three waitlists to her reach schools. But then as she was becoming quite dispirited, her one reach that she came very close to not applying to because of how unlikely it seemed accepted her with the type of generous aid package that the highly wealthy and rejective colleges are known for. She is now a mammoth! (Have fun figuring out which school it is…I hadn’t known the school’s mascot until that thread.)

Is this a school you would be happy to attend? If so, great! Focus on it and get connected and become excited about it. If not, let us know if you need suggestions of schools that are still accepting applications. (If you do want suggestions, you should also let us know what you want from a college experience.)


Please dont feel dejected. Try to stay hopeful. DS was in the same boat as you last year - deferred from one of his top choice schools and it was a very long 3 month wait for that school’s decision and his other RD applications to come in by late March. He agonized over that deferral (Georgetown) because he knew they defer all EA applicants and he was truly worried he wouldnt be accepted in the RD round. Today, he’s a freshman at Princeton this year. There is hope - you will end up exactly where you are supposed to!!!


I love that you are asking for happy surprise stories! A positive mental thing to do while waiting. It wasn’t last year but between my 2 kids that applied a few years ago they had 5 EA deferrals. They were so dejected and knew the odds were not in their favor it was torture to come up with another writing assignment…the dreaded LOCI. But they did sent LOCI’s to their admission officers at each school. They re-read the mission statements of each school, found specific actives and classes they would like to participate in if they were accepted, reached out to people they knew that had attended and asked them what their favorite things about the school were, bullet paragraphed any achievements or grades since their application was sent and added a non academic but fun thing that they had done since the original application was sent. They kept the LOCI short but packed in a meaningful way. Two schools allowed additional recommendations and they received one for those schools. They were ultimately accepted to all their EA deferrals and received aid. My DD ended up attending one of the deferred school on a full ride. During the convocation speech by the President he said they had only admitted 3 deferred students, calling them unicorns. But, she was one. Don’t lose hope. Keep giving it your all. Fall in love with the schools who have loved you so far. You might not even want to go to the deferred schools when you are accepted.


SO helpful - about to start that LOCI process with my daughter now. 4 EA deferrals.

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Hang in there! This happened to BOTH of my daughters, one year apart. Both deferred ED/REA, both without any other decisions coming until March (you think we would have learned, but no). There was devastation, panic, all around anguish. It was not fun for anyone and we all worried that they had greatly overestimated their chances of success. March started with a string of waitlists and then the real panic set in. At the end - they both had some incredible choices and both chose to attend Stanford. It’s not over until it’s over! Wishing you the very best of luck for happy Spring results!


Thank you for posting this! My HS guidance counselor said he thinks that I’ll land on a lot of wait lists at my reaches – no ivies, but a lot of T30s.

Is there some magic to getting out of the deferral/waitlist loop? Did your daughters do anything that helped their cause?

I’m just like many other students who worked really hard, took the toughest classes, have strong grades and test scores. My parents are both 1st gen college students who paid their own way through college and grad school and worked really hard too. So, I’m a full pay majority, with ZERO hooks. I feel like most of the people who get off WLs have some wealthy donor make phone calls to admissions for them, or fit some other priority (like big donor, 1st gen, URM etc). Hope I’m wrong.

And p.s. yes I have been accepted to 2 safety schools and my family has thought through the finances.


For wait lists, probably luck, as in the college has under yield overall and under yield of admits similar to you (in whatever ways the college cares about in terms of balancing the class – e.g. intended major, geographic origin, extracurriculars, etc.).

Full pay will help should you get waitlisted because FA budgets are often maxed out after May 1. After that it’s as ucbalumnus says…whether you fit what they are looking to finish building the class…gender, major, geography, all can play into to it, as well as the number of waitlist offers extended and accepted. But this whole topic is jumping the gun as we have no idea if you will be waitlisted anywhere. Good luck, I know the waiting can be difficult.

My D was also deferred ED at her top choice (Amherst) last year. She assumed it was a soft rejection and tried to fall in love with other schools, including Honors at her in-state safety, which she learned to appreciate in the ensuing months.

However - long story short, she received a happy surprise in March and she’s now a freshman at Amherst this year. It can happen!


I’m a parent. But FWIW, many years ago, I was accepted off the waitlist at a tippy-top Ivy League law school in mid-August, about two weeks before classes started. It does happen!