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FAQ’s for Counselors on Early Action Decision Change

We no longer defer Early Action applicants. Instead, students who apply early action will receive one of three decisions: admitted, denied, or waitlisted. As you guide students, we’ve provided more details below on why we made this change and what it might mean for them. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you for all that you do to counsel students!

Why did you stop deferring Early Action applicants?
In the past, we deferred Early Action applicants when we believed we needed more information in order to treat them fairly. This information typically involved the student’s midyear grades, or the strength and size of the Regular Decision applicant pool, or both. As applications have increased each year, we’ve been able to offer admission to fewer and fewer of these deferred applicants in March. Instead, we’ve been offering most deferred applicants the option to join our waiting list. We hope that giving these students the option of joining the waiting list in January will spare them from being asked to wait twice for a decision. We also hope that, by offering students the option of waiting rather than automatically deferring them, we will give them a chance in January to decide whether they want to move forward in a different direction with their college plans.

Do you have a set number of waiting list offers that you will make?
We intend to keep this number relatively limited, as we want to minimize the number of students who must wait for an updated decision from us.

If your Early Action applicant pool is particularly strong, will you potentially make all your waitlist offers to Early Action applicants and not make any waitlist offers to Regular Decision applicants?
No. We plan to offer places on the waitlist to both Early Action and Regular Decision applicants.

Will you be prioritizing students on the waiting list who applied for the Early Action deadline?
No. We’ll review all students on the waiting list without regard to when they applied. Please also note that we do not rank students on our waiting list.

If students apply for Early Action and are waitlisted, can they apply for the Regular Decision deadline for the same admission year?
No. Students may not apply more than once within the same admission year.

What factors should students consider as they decide which deadline to choose?
While we do not promote one deadline over another, applicants have a better chance to be considered for the full array of special opportunities and merit scholarships if they apply Early Action. Both Early Action and Regular Decision applicants who are admitted have until May 1 to decide whether to enroll.

What additional information can waitlisted students provide?
We are no longer asking applicants to self-report their mid-year grades, so we recommend that students who are waitlisted send us updated transcripts with their first semester grades from their senior year once they are available. No other additional information is needed or required.

Where can students find information about the various decision outcomes they can expect to receive?
We’ve created a decision outcomes page on the Carolina admissions website with more information about the various decisions students can expect to receive when they apply.

If a student receives an offer to join the waiting list, where can they find more information about next steps?
Students can also find on the admissions website a list of frequently asked questions for applicants who receive an offer to join our waiting list.

If a student is offered admission from the waiting list, will they be eligible to receive financial aid?
Yes; however, funds may be limited based on the later timing of when students are offered admission from the waiting list. Students should apply for financial aid before the priority deadline for aid applications, whether or not they have received their admissions decision. However, they will not be considered for aid at Carolina until they receive an offer of admission.

Clothesline Project
Students study at Eve Carson Memorial Garden stone bench