This week I got responses from Jack, and there's one I don't quite understand. He's pretty excited about his early application getting deferred from Yale. I've never heard a student happy about being deferred before. I assume he's happy because because a deferral--which basically means "we're not saying yes, but we're not saying no. We'll look at your application again with the batch of regular applications instead of the early ones"--isn't a rejection. But I'll update when I hear back from him about his happiness. Also, if you happen to be an admissions professional at Reed, you should follow up with Jack. Read the full interview below.
Meet the Class is an opportunity for parents, educators, and admissions professionals to get a look at individual seniors and what they go through to find their college.
It’s updated each month from September to May. Each month will feature an interview about both the facts and the feelings of where the student is in the process.
Interviews may be edited lightly for clarity and grammar.
This is the fourth interview with Jack, a senior in the Houston area. He attends a public magnet high school.
Have you heard back from Yale? When do you expect to get a decision on the Restrictive EA application?
Yes! I found out I was I deferred this past Thursday!
Have you sent off any other applications since you submitted to Yale, or are you waiting to hear back from them?
Yup. I submitted UT San Antonio, UT Austin, and U Houston.
You finished your FAFSA and, I assume, your CSS. Have you heard any feedback from schools on the financial front? (I imagine they don't send any information until you've definitely applied, but if I'm wrong I'd love to know.)
Not yet--I think it’s just because it’s still pretty early.
Have you had any more interviews or visits since we last talked? So far it's been Oxy and Tufts. Do you have any more coming up?
Unfortunately, I wasn’t accepted for the Oberlin fly-in. My schedule also filled up really quickly, so I had trouble prioritizing interviews since our last update. I did, however, manage to get an interview done for Yale.
You were on the fence about Reed due to diversity. I looked up the numbers, and Reed is indeed the whitest of the schools on your list. Have you done any more thinking about the importance of diversity for you? With one really interesting exception of Pomona, the more diverse schools are the ones closest to you, like UH, UTSA, and Rice. Do you have a sense of how to weigh location versus diversity, or will you just take it school by school?
I have been doing some more thinking and I was having a lot of trouble imagining myself spending the next four years of my life being happy in a predominantly white environment. However, one of my close-to-non-negotiables is to leave Houston, even if that means sacrificing some diversity, because I feel like my potential for growth and living a fulfilling college life would be greater if I chose to be in a city I wasn’t familiar with, where everything is new and I get to grow more comfortable in being with myself. In any case, I think it just comes down to money and what I will value most by the time acceptances come around, and then I can weigh my options, with my family, on a case-by-case basis.
Did you do any college app work over your Thanksgiving break? What about homework for your classes? How much of a break did you get?
Fortunately, the homework I had was pretty limited. I had to study for a couple tests but the whole break was pretty stress-free. I worked more on scholarships than college apps, though.
How's school going? Are you keeping on top of your classes while you also do all this college application work? To what extent do teachers seem aware and sympathetic to all the college app work that the seniors are doing right now?
It’s going alright! I had an original goal of getting more A’s than I currently do since I’m taking less classes, but Yearbook is taking up more time than I thought it would, and Macroeconomics is a lot harder than I thought it would be, so I reevaluated my goals a little bit, but I think I’m doing an OK job staying on top of academics. I feel like my senior year teachers give out a lot less homework than my teachers in previous years, and I do feel like that’s out of courtesy and conscientiousness of seniors navigating the college process on top of academics. There was also a day where one of my teachers gave my class a free day because it was the day before a major college deadline, and I appreciated that a lot.
As of last month, your list was
Yale (applied, Restrictive Early Action)
Wash U in St. Louis
UT San Antonio
Have there been any changes to that list?
I cut out Skidmore, added American University, and cut USC. I’m very close to cutting Reed from my list but there’s something I can’t identify holding me back!
Thanks for reading! I'm taking off for the holidays; the blog will return January 4.