Fall 2014 Regular Decision Letters Sent!

Last week we released the first of our Regular Decision notification letters, and we will continue to mail decision letters on a weekly basis over the coming weeks and months.  If you haven’t received a letter yet, don’t worry!  When you submitted your application, and also when you completed your application file, will affect when you receive a decision letter. Please check your application status through myUMBC and be sure to allow time for processing and To Do List updating.

Many students contact us to ask what their decisions mean.  Regular Decision is the first time we release a range of decisions for fall applicants. With Early Action we admit or defer students, but during Regular Decision we offer admission to some, add others to the wait list, and unfortunately, notify some students that we cannot offer them admission. Below is a brief explanation of the various decisions we render.  Many thanks to my colleague Josh who first developed this guide!

Admitted to UMBC: Congratulations! Being offered admission to a college or university is an exciting experience, especially if this is the first college decision letter you’ve received. In your UMBC admission packet you will find a variety of information about the campus and a future at UMBC. Later in the spring we’ll host several receptions and events, on campus and off, for admitted students to get to know UMBC. May 1 is the national deadline to submit an enrollment deposit so take some time to consider what school will be the best fit for you. Also, feel free to share your decision with friends and family, but keep in mind that not everyone received this decision. If you have questions for us, please let us know.

Wait List: In a way, being placed on the wait list is not a decision at all: you’ve not been offered admission, nor have you been denied admission. We place students on the wait list for further review as we learn more about our enrollment numbers. Essentially, as more students submit their enrollment deposit to UMBC we begin to get a better idea of our incoming class and can determine if we can admit students from the wait list. Additional academic information is welcome from wait list applicants; this can include mid-year grades or additional test scores. We do not assign students a number on the wait list; rather the wait list will be reviewed as a whole when the time comes to begin our review. We don’t have an exact notification date for wait list students but we do our best to send decisions by the end of May.

Not offered admission to UMBC: This, of course, is the hardest decision to receive. Believe it or not, it is also the hardest decision to give. We truly value our applicants but the reality of college admissions is that we cannot admit all of our applicants. In the last few years UMBC has experienced significant growth in our applicant pool, and this larger applicant pool has becoming increasingly competitive. We often see students do two things when they receive this decision: 1) try to compare their application with other students, and 2) try to rack their brains on what they “did wrong” on their application.  We discourage students from trying to do either of these things. First of all, it is very difficult to compare students to one another because we consider each applicant individually. As admissions counselors we have the entire application, and while the exact criteria and review process for applications is kept internal, suffice it to say that we consider many factors.  It is also important to remember that students rarely do something “wrong.” As mentioned earlier, we cannot offer admission to all of our applications.  We only have so much space in our incoming class and as such we have to make the decision not to offer admission to some students. If you’re not offered admission please know that you can still attend UMBC later down the line by transferring.

Next Steps: Plenty of emotions come with receiving decision letters from colleges. We’re very excited to get to know our admitted students over the next few months, and we hope to see you here in the fall. If you were placed on the wait list or not offered admission, please know we are still here as a resource. We’re happy to guide you through the process and clear up any questions you may have. One important note: if you do want to follow up with an application decision, we want to hear from the student. Family members, we appreciate you, but your student should be making the call or sending the email. We know parents want to help, but it’s time for our soon-to-be college students to take control of their education.

All the best,