Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Colleges still accepting applications for fall 2019

By:  Nancy Griesmer

Yes, it’s getting late. Most—not all—admissions decisions for fall 2019 have already been made and are in the process of being communicated.
But if you’re disappointed with the decisions you’ve received so far or if you want to continue exploring possibilities, take heart. There are literally hundreds of colleges across the country ready, willing and more than happy to consider additional applications for fall 2019.
In fact, a substantial number of wonderful schools located on stunningly beautiful campuses will consider applications from prospective undergrads well into August. And some of these schools still have scholarships to offer!
And note there are quite a few more that have extended their deadlines without publishing the fact or changing information contained on application platforms or websites.
But don’t delay. Even those colleges with “rolling” admissions eventually fill their seats. And if you need financial support, be aware that scholarships are often allocated on a first come, first serve basis or until the money runs out.
Still, if you’re looking or thinking about submitting additional applications, here are a few insider tips to jumpstart your research long before NACAC’s “space available” list comes out shortly after May 1:
  1. Common Application member institutions still open to new applicants may be found by going to the Common App website.  Click on the College Search tab. Indicate that you’re looking for Fall 2019 and complete the deadline box according to your interest. If you happen to be looking for colleges with deadlines on or after March 15, 2019, you will be rewarded with a list of about 490 institutions.
  2. The Universal College Application makes the search even easier. Simply go to go to this link and click on Fall 2019. Scan the Regular Decision column and find 21 colleges and universities still accepting new applications, including some that are not UCA members, but which are listed as a public service.
  3. The Coalition for Colleges has prepared a list of member college deadlines: . Eighteen Coalition members have deadlines on or after March 15.
  4. Using the College Board’s Big Future search engine, start by using the Type of School filter and select “4-year,” “private” and “public” (this eliminates for-profit institutions). Scan through the other filters and select your preferences for size, location, majors, etc. Click on “Close and see results.” Once results appear, go to the dropdown box labeled “Sort by:” (upper right) and click on “Application Deadline.”
    Caution: The list starts with “01-Jan,” goes through the calendar year.  At this point, you’d want to start reviewing the colleges with late-March deadlines, starting on about page 14.  Schools with “no deadline” are listed at the end. It’s a little confusing, and the information is only as good as what colleges tell the College Board.
Once you have a “starter” list of schools that may still be accepting applications, verify deadlines by visiting individual websites.
But if websites are unclear or you find conflicting information as to the current status of the process, contact admissions offices directly and simply ask.
You might be surprised to find many are more than happy to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

CollegeNET and the Common App agree to settlement

By:  Nancy Griesemer

After nearly five years and millions in legal fees, the lawsuit pitting the Common Application against CollegeNET has finally come to an end.
In a barebones announcement, the parties indicated they reached settlement in a suit charging that the Common Application had suppressed competition in the college application industry through a series of unfair practices. Common App has consistently denied the charges and vigorously defended itself against the accusations.
A joint statement from the two organizations read in its entirety, “The Common Application and CollegeNET have agreed to resolve and dismiss the lawsuit brought by CollegeNET in May 2014. The matter has been resolved in a way satisfactory to the Parties pursuant to a confidential settlement agreement whereby, without admitting liability, Common Application has agreed commencing with the 2019-2020 application season to modify certain of its challenged practices."
Without providing much in the way of detail, the statement suggests that the Common Application, though not admitting liability, has agreed to modify one or more practices starting with the 2019-20 application cycle. These presumably are practices CollegeNET claimed were “anticompetitive and monopolistic.”
The Chronicle reports that as a result of the settlement, the terms of the Common App’s membership agreement for participating colleges “apparently will soon change” in ways that have yet to be announced.
CollegeNET launched litigation in 2014, alleging that the Common App dominated the college application market by forcing schools to either conform to its membership restrictions or lose potential applicants and associated revenue. A year later, the suit was denied, but in October 2017, a Ninth Circuit panel reversed the ruling. The Common App then took the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to take up the petition. A new motion to dismiss was filed last July, which was denied in December.
In other words, the Common App and CollegeNET were headed toward protracted litigation, bound to cost both parties a considerable amount of money beyond what had already been spent.
In an email sent to Common App members, Jenny Rickard, president and chief executive officer, complained, “Our non-profit membership association has spent several million dollars defending itself against these frivolous claims” and went on to suggest that she would prefer these legal fees go toward expanding the Common App’s “outreach and access programs.”
The Common App’s lawyers agreed and argued that if litigation were to continue, member colleges could find themselves entangled in “substantial discovery burdens.”  And if pursued, the lawsuit could “disrupt the college-application process for hundreds of colleges and millions of students.”
In a written statement responding to the settlement, Rickard said the organization was happy to bring “an appropriate and responsible conclusion to the litigation. By agreeing to the settlement, “we are able to avoid the inconvenience, expense, and burden that would have been born by all parties, especially colleges and counselors.”
For his part, Jim Wolfston, CollegeNET’s founder and chief executive said, “I appreciate the fact that Common Application officials were thoughtful, open, and willing to work through the practices challenged in the lawsuit.”
As it progressed through the courts, the lawsuit posed additional problems for the college application industry. Not long after CollegeNET sued the Common App, it entered into an agreement to build and operate an application platform for the Coalition for College (formerly Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success), which is the Common App’s biggest competitor, among others. Institutions with membership in both organizations were uncomfortable with the increasingly bitter disagreement and worried about how money that could be spent on innovation was going to lawyers instead.
But that’s all in the rearview mirror. Both parties are now free to focus their energies in more constructive areas like how to make the increasingly complex process of applying to college easier and less threatening to the average high school student.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

How a ‘high school profile’ makes or breaks a college application

By: Nancy Griesemer

Since the Common Application made significant changes in membership policies a number of years ago, many colleges moved to streamline admissions requirements and eliminated elements of what was once considered essential to a complete application for admission. For a surprising number of colleges, gone are personal statements, counselor recommendations, teacher recommendations and for a growing number of institutions—test scores.
According to the Common App requirement grid and information provided on the FairTest website, out of 823 Common App members listed on the College Deadlines, Fees and Requirements grid:
  • About 40 percent do not require personal statements (the basic Common App essay)
  • Over 53 percent do not require counselor recommendations
  • Over 61 percent do not require teacher recommendations
  • About 44 percent require neither a counselor recommendation nor a teacher recommendation
  • Almost 42 percent  don’t always require test scores (note that FairTest and the Common App differ slightly as to definitions for these policies)
  • And 15 percent don’t always require test scores AND  don’t require a counselor recommendation or a teacher recommendation
So what’s left? Grades and rigor of high school course work as reported by the student or outlined on an official transcript provided by the high school.
But considering issues of grade inflation or subjectivity, how do colleges assess the value of course and grade information? By using a very handy tool called the high school “profile.”
For the record, profiles are generally attached to every transcript or as part of a complete “secondary school report” submitted to colleges.
And given the crucial role this single document plays in the college admissions process, it’s shocking how few students and parents are familiar with their own school’s “official” profile.
For starters, virtually every high school has one.
And its value is enormous, as the profile officially translates your transcript into terms that college admissions offices can use to compare your record against those submitted by other candidates. It also helps readers evaluate a student’s performance relative to other applicants within the same school.
In other words, the profile places you in context of your school and your school in context of other schools in the district, state, and nation.
“…as former admissions officers, we will tell you that a well-done school profile makes all the difference,” explains Alison Cooper Chisolm and Anna Ivey, in How to Prepare a Standout College Application. “It gives a much richer context for evaluating an applicant’s academic abilities and achievements.”
A good high school profile will include
  • Basic school demographics
  • Grading system and how GPA’s are calculated
  • Class ranking policies
  • Scheduling system
  • Profile of most recent graduating class including grade distribution, national awards earned, standardized test score averages (ACT, SAT), and AP score distributions
  • Course offerings with an emphasis on honors, IB, or AP classes
  • Extracurricular opportunities
  • Percent of students attending 2- and 4-colleges
The most helpful profiles also explain class selection policies, prerequisite requirements, or general schedule restrictions affecting course options. For example, if a school has a policy that limits the number of AP classes a student may take in one year, then that policy should be clearly stated. Or if certain classes have “prerequisites,” those too should be noted.
And be aware that there’s a great deal of information that can be read “between the lines” of a high school profile. For example, even high schools that claim not to rank students often provide a very exact GPA distribution that allows colleges to estimate or “force” a rank.
But despite the importance of these documents, variation among profiles—even in a single school district—can be startling.
Some are glossy and detailed; others are much simpler and far from detailed. Some are up-to-date and specific; others are more generic.
And it’s not unusual for pricey private schools to produce 4-color, multi-page marketing pieces on behalf of their students.
Yet even knowing how crucial these documents are in the admissions process, school administrators sometimes put minimal effort into the preparation and presentation of statistical information critical in evaluating student credentials. Input on what should be included on the profile from those most affected—college-bound students and their families—is seldom sought.
The College Board has developed a detailed set of guidelines for the preparation of high school profiles. In general, schools should limit their documents to one page—front and back—on regular (not glossy) 8.5” x 11” paper, using computer-friendly dark ink, as many colleges scan profiles into their systems.
Above all, high schools must update their profiles annually. They need to highlight changes in ranking and/or grading policies as well as document any alterations to curriculum or diploma requirements.
And by the way, the high school profile should never be a confidential document. You should be permitted to review and maybe even comment on the document that will accompany your transcript to all the colleges on your list. And note that these documents can be political “hot potatoes”—leading schools to take the less controversial route by including fewer details on student performance.
In addition to seeing a copy of your school profile, you may also want to evaluate profiles from neighboring or competing schools to judge how yours compares. In fact, underclassmen and their families may want to use the profile to track how well the school is doing or to set personal academic goals.
Note that while some profiles are posted on the web, others are only available directly through school counseling offices.
And if you think your school is not fairly or accurately represented by the profile, ask questions and get involved.
How you and your school stack up against the competition might well affect your admissions prospects.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

UVa increases early admission offers to 6,550 for the Class of 2023

By Nancy Griesemer 

Early applicants to the University of Virginia’s Class of 2023 received decisions last Friday afternoon—somewhat ahead of the January 31st published release date.  

And it’s clear that admission to the Commonwealth’s flagship university remains a highly sought-after prize among high school students—both from within the state and across the country.
With an enrollment target set at 3750 (up from 3725 last year) first year students for fall 2019, the competition for admission under UVa’s nonbinding early action program continues to be intense, as the overall number of applications grew to 25,126—about a 17 percent increase over numbers reported the same time last year.
“Our first reaction after the early application deadline in November was a mixture of excitement and concern,” UVA Dean of Admission Greg Roberts said. “The size of the early pool is incredible this year, and reviewing so many applications in a short period of time is challenging. What’s more, the talent, depth and diversity of this group is astounding and record-breaking, making the selection process even more difficult.”
Predictably, most of the early applicants, 18,079 (or 71 percent) came from out of state. The balance—7019 applicants—came from within Virginia.
Out of this year’s early action pool, 6550 students were admitted—about nine percent more than for the Class of 2022. Of those admitted, 3,051 were from Virginia (43.4 percent offer rate—a little less than last year), and 3,499 were from out of state (19 percent offer rate—down by about two percent). Typically, more offers are made to nonresidents because the yield among students faced with out-of-state tuition is significantly lower. 
UVA offered admission to 41 percent more applicants who would be the first in their family to attend college than a year ago (444 to 627), and admitted nearly 4 percent more minority students via early action.
According to Dean J, those offered early admission bids were very well qualified. The middle range of new  SAT scores among this year’s admitted students fell between 1350 and 1500 for Virginians (ACT between 30 and 34) and 1450-1540 for nonresidents (ACT between 33 and 35). 
Although over 11,500 students were denied admission during the first round of consideration, about 7000 were thrown a lifeline by being deferred to the regular decision pool. Overall a record 40,804 students have applied for spots in this year’s entering class, over 60 percent of whom came through EA. 
Decisions for deferred students and those applying regular decision should arrive sometime before April 1. Note that deferred applicants are specifically encouraged to send new test scores and midyear grades as soon as possible.
All students will have until May 1, to make up their minds. And those early applicants who were lucky enough to be admitted to UVa’s Class of 2023 can expect to receive significant encouragement to commit as soon as possible.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Common App essay prompts remain the same for 2019-20 while strategic plan suggests future change

By Nancy Griesemer
Based on “extensive counselor feedback,” the Common Application decided to make no changes to essay prompts for 2019-20, keeping them the same for the third consecutive year.
And a collective sigh of relief could be heard from the cottage industry that’s grown up to support college essay preparation.
According to the Common App, “Retaining the essay prompts provides the added benefit of consistency for students, counselors, parents, and members during the admissions process.”
It also means that essay advisers won’t have to retool or come up with innovative approaches to new prompts. They can simply add another year of feedback to advice accumulated over the past two years.
The early release of essay prompts together with the ability to “roll over” existing Common App accounts ensures students have more time to plan and prepare applications prior to senior year of high school. Knowing what to expect for the coming year also provides counselors and others the opportunity to get a head start on application workshops and other programs designed to support students in a process many find increasingly stressful.
In the meantime, while preparing for 2019-20, the Common App’s Board of Directors Strategic Planning Committee is simultaneously engaging in an internal “creative and collaborative process” with the support of Tomorrow Partners, a California-based design team, “to reimagine its future.”
Specifically, Tomorrow Partners was asked to “envision a college preparation and application experience that meets the needs of the changing demographic of students” and answer the question, “How can we make this process better and more relevant” for both students and the Common App membership of colleges.
The research spanned four months and 18 states, reaching over 75 students, counselors, admissions leaders and parents.  The resulting strategic plan identified myriad “possible solutions to help improve their existing product” and suggested as a “guiding principle” the desire to innovate “capitalizing on the latest technology to provide students, members, and counselors with an experience that not only serves their needs, but exceeds their digital expectations.”
So while essay prompts remain the same for the coming application cycle, it should come as no surprise that the Common Application may be looking to make future changes in product and operations. And unlike the experience of the recent past with CA4, the Common App is involving stakeholders early enough to voice opinions and respond to proposed changes long before anything new is launched.
For the record, the 2019-20 Common Application prompts will inspire essays on the following topics:
1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? 
7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Also for the record, during the 2018-19 application year, the most popular prompt was #7, “Share an essay on any topic of your choice” (24.1%). The next popular topics were #5 (23.7%) followed by #2 (21.1%).

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Admissions office advice to deferred students

By:  Nancy Griesemer

Johns Hopkins encourages
 the submission of additional information
 from deferred applicants.
Far too many students who applied early this fall are finding they’ve been neither accepted nor rejected, but deferred to a much larger regular admissions pool. And this is not a particularly happy place to be, especially if you were counting on having the college admissions thing totally wrapped up by winter break.

But there’s really no reason to dwell on the negative. Think of the deferral as an opportunity to explore other, possibly better, options. And although there are no guarantees, continuing the campaign for admission to the college that deferred you may sometimes work in your favor.

After the initial shock is past, take stock of the situation and make a plan, preferably in consultation with your school counselor or an independent educational consultant with whom you’ve been working. Once you decide to press your case, it’s usually advisable to provide new information in the way of grades, scores and accomplishments.  Note that it’s very important to follow directions, which should be clearly outlined on the school website or in the notice of deferral.

Unfortunately, not every college specifically states what it is they want in the way of follow-up. Some are coy and general about the kinds of information they’d like to see, preferring to leave it to the imagination of applicants wishing to demonstrate continued interest or improve their odds for admission. Others specifically list the materials they’re interested in and the process by which they should be submitted—often through a portal associated with the application. Most colleges encourage continued communication, especially with regional representatives.

But some, like the University of Virginia, discourage sending additional information or making contact with the admissions office. And the University of Illinoisdefinitely will not consider additional materials from deferred students.
There are some consistent ‘themes’ in the advice provided by different colleges to students they deferred. One that often surprises applicants is how much they are encouraged to submit additional standardized tests. This is usually not welcome news for students who thought they were finished with all that!

In any event, the following is a sample of the many ways colleges and universities want to hear from students deferred:

Brown University
You may certainly let us know if there is a significant accomplishment or a noteworthy change in your circumstances, but it is not necessary to amend your application as a matter of course. Remember that a deferral does not mean that an applicant has fallen short in terms of qualification for admission. Make sure that your counselor has the Mid-Year Report form so we can receive your fall term grades and any updates your school would like to provide.

College of William and Mary
Over the coming weeks, you are welcome to send us any new academic information (first-semester grades, updated standardized test scores) as well as any high-level awards or significant accomplishments not included in your original application. You can also send us a letter/email/statement of continued interest. If you elect to send us such a statement, this does not have to be anything overly elaborate. This should simply be a few paragraph explanation of why you feel like William & Mary is the best fit for you.

Columbia University
If you are deferred under the Early Decision plan, a final decision on your candidacy will be made with the regular applicant pool, and you will be notified by April 1. We encourage deferred candidates update us in the winter with mid-year grades and any significant new achievements.

Dartmouth University
If you've been deferred, we welcome brief updates on recent notable academic, extracurricular, and personal accomplishments. You should also submit mid-term grades, and you are welcome to submit new test scores if you wish.

Elon University
When Early Decision and Early Action applicants are deferred, the admissions committee is requesting new information to be used in reconsidering your application in the Regular Deadline program. While receiving a deferred decision may be disappointing, receipt of new information in the form of mid-year grades or updated standardized test scores provides you the opportunity to be considered for admission in the final pool.

Emory University
Students who are deferred to Regular Decision should send first semester senior grades from their high school and any new application information.

Georgia Tech
…you may augment your application by submitting the following documents:
  • Deferred Supplemental Form (DSF): The DSF allows you to provide us with an update on your extracurricular activities, and other information that will help us in our continued review of your application.
  • Mid-year transcript: Please ask your counselor to submit your fall term grades as soon as available

Georgetown University
Early Action admission is offered to a limited number of students, those whom the Admissions Committee is certain they would offer admission based on information from freshman, sophomore and junior years only. Deferred students are strongly encouraged to maintain high senior year grades and submit any new information, such as standardized test scores, new honors or awards.

Gettysburg College
Some Early Decision applicants who are not offered acceptance at that time will be deferred to the Regular Decision admission pool and their application will be reviewed again. Additional semester grades or new test scores may be submitted for students deferred to Regular Decision.

Harvard University
Further updates may enhance your prospects, although in most cases, the essential details already are on file with the Admissions Committee. Additional information should be limited to significant developments in your high school career.

Johns Hopkins University
You are not required to submit any additional materials. However, if you would like to, you may submit supplemental materials to your application file for review during the RD selection process. This information could be additional standardized test results, your senior year semester grades, additional letters of recommendations, an updated resume, or an additional written statement of your interest in Johns Hopkins.

The only update you need to send is the February Updates & Notes (FUN) form. In the FUN form, you can tell us things like:
  • Your midyear grades
  • Anything new that has happened or will happen before we review RA applications, like new awards, activities, work, etc,
  • Anything about your circumstances that have changed since you submitted your application that you think we should know about
Note: You do NOT necessarily need to fill the form with a ton of new (or really, any) updates. If you’re only providing your midyear grades, that’s totally fine. You can complete the FUN form through your MyMIT account and it’s due by February 15.

If you have new test scores, you can designate MIT as a score recipient and we’ll automatically update your application.

You technically can submit a supplemental portfolio by January 1, but again, your application is competitive as-is and there is absolutely no pressure to submit a portfolio.

Princeton University
If you submitted all of the required components of your application, we have everything we need for consideration. If you have a significant update, you may add the new information to your file through the applicant portal or by email to

Tulane University
DO: Complete the continued interest form on your Green Wave Portal. This is the most important way to let us know you are still interested in attending Tulane.  It will be nearly impossible to be admitted to Tulane if you do not complete this form. We know your plans sometimes change, your list might shift going into the spring semester of senior year, etc. We'd like to only take those students we know want to enroll here. Don't feel pressured to, but you are also welcome to contact your admission counselor and let them know you are still interested in Tulane. Take winter break to think about it and formulate a plan going forward. Then, in the coming weeks let them know that you have been deferred and that you remain strongly interested in Tulane.

DON'T: Over-contact your admission counselor. One email to your counselor over the course of the spring semester can help, especially if you have some bigger news for us (you retook the SATs, a major (major) advancement in your extracurricular activity, etc) but do not send us a weekly email update. It will not help your cause. Major profile in your local paper's community section? Send it in. Promoted to secretary of the National Honor Society? No need to send; we already have a nice list of your extracurricular activities you sent us when you applied. Also, be honest. If you'll enroll at Tulane if you are admitted, tell us, but only if that is the truth.

DO: Send us an essay about why you are interested in enrolling at Tulane, if you have not already done so. See the Why Tulane? prompt on the application for admission. Tell us why you would be a great fit here, and why Tulane is a great fit for you. Do some research. Many times, we defer students who are academically qualified to be admitted, but we are unsure of their interest level. So reach out and let us know.

DON'T: Feel pressured to come down and visit. We know money is tight these days, and New Orleans is a big trip for many of our applicants. If you feel the need to come down to check out campus, you are definitely welcome to do so, however if this is not possible (for financial or any other reasons) do not fret. We understand not everyone can make it down to visit, especially if you are not admitted yet. If you are interested in coming down, let your counselor know.

University of Chicago
  • Complete the defer response form on your UChicago Account by January 15, 2019.
  • Have your school send us a midyear transcript. It’s helpful for us to be able to see your senior year grades when we reconsider your application; your midyear transcript will be the best way for us to do so.
  • Send an email to your regional admissions counselor. If UChicago remains your first choice, don’t hesitate to let us know! We don’t need a novel, but a thoughtful note of one to two paragraphs sent by email can help us understand and consider your continued interest.
  • Optional: You can continue to upload supplemental materials directly to your UChicago Account through the Portfolio and Upload Materials sections. This is not necessary, but if you do have additional materials you’d like to share, please feel free to upload them.
  • Optional: Deferred students who previously did not share testing as part of the test-optional admissions policy may do so as part of their updates to our office. Although this is certainly neither required nor specifically encouraged, we understand that some students may have updated SAT/ACT, subject, or other supplemental tests you may wish to share, and we would be happy to consider them. However, students who had previously applied sharing SAT or ACT testing may not opt in to a test-optional method of continued review.
  • Optional: After consulting with your family and school counselor to determine if this is a good fit for you, deferred applicants may also elect to move into our binding Early Decision II application pool by contacting your regional admissions counselor and completing the Early Decision II Agreement form by January 15, 2019.
University of Illinois
If you applied to a particularly competitive major before our early action deadline, we want to determine how you and your strengths fit into this year’s entire freshman applicant pool. In order to do that, we need to wait until we’ve received all applications.

You’ll be given a decision by our second notification date. At that time, you may be admitted, denied, or wait listed. Please note that we won’t accept additional documents while you’re waiting on your decision.

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Applicants who were deferred from Early Action will receive a second review at the end of March. Make sure that any new academic information (mid-semester grades, higher test scores, etc.) has been sent to us by March 1. Please do not send duplicate information or additional recommendations. Visiting or contacting the Admissions Office will not enhance your chance of being admitted.

University of Notre Dame
Keep us updated with any changes to your application. The most important part of this is sending us your first semester senior year grades. Many high school counselors will do this automatically, but if not, this should be a top priority for you. The admissions committee wants to see that students are maintaining a strong academic performance throughout their senior year, particularly if the applicant is taking high-level courses. Being informed of any changes in GPA or class rank can also be helpful in our evaluation process.

You should also update us on any significant extracurricular accomplishments or awards that you have or will receive after our Restrictive Early Action process. The easiest way to do this is to email this information to either your regional admissions counselor and/or upload additional materials via your applicant status portal.

You do not need to submit any additional letters of recommendation. We generally do not encourage letters of recommendation beyond the required academic teacher letter and optional counselor letter, which you submitted with your original application.

If Notre Dame is truly one of your first-choice schools, you may also write a letter of desire explaining why you believe Notre Dame is the best school for you. You may send this letter directly to your regional admissions counselor and/or upload to your applicant status portal so we can be sure to add it to your admissions file. This letter of desire is a great opportunity to tell the admissions committee a little bit more about yourself and to explain why you would love to attend Notre Dame.

University of Pennsylvania
If you have additional information that sheds new light on your candidacy, you may submit an updatethrough your Penn Applicant Portal.Our form will only allow you to submit an update once, so werecommend you take time to collect any new information or recognition you may have earned since submitting your Early Decision application, andupload one comprehensive document by January 31, 2019.Please be judicious in the information you choose to include in your update.

University of Virginia
If you were deferred from Early Action to Regular Decision it means that we feel your application deserves another review. You possess many of the strengths we expect our admitted students to present in their applications but we cannot offer you admission at this stage. In many cases we want to see how deferred students are doing in the classroom during their senior year.
Please send any updated testing to our admission office as soon as it becomes available. We will review your application again in Regular Decision. Please be sure to forward  new test results immediately.
Other than midyear grade updates or new standardized test results, we will not be able to review any edits to your application or additional information. Please do not send additional information, including recommendations, during this time.

If you are deferred, sending certain additional materials may be helpful to the College during the next round of the decision-making process. You may want to send us your most up-to-date grades, a list of any recent special honors or awards you have received, or any helpful information you may not have provided with your initial application. An additional recommendation may also be helpful. If you have been deferred and you are not sure exactly what to send, just contact us and we'll help you decide.