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  • alexandra1847

Larry receives numerous questions about college admissions from applicants and their families. This week he responds to a timely question about an admissions deferral.

Q: I got deferred from an Ivy League, and I sent a letter of continued interest. Then, my admissions officer responded warmly. Is this normal? Does this happen to everyone who sends a letter of continued interest after deferral?

A: That response means the admissions officer had the time and inclination to be nice. Nobody gets an obnoxious response to a letter of continuing interest.

Your application is now part of a much larger pool of candidates awaiting consideration, from which a percentage at least 1/3 less than were admitted in the early round will be chosen. So, think of that deferred application more as a lottery ticket than an investment with a likely return awaiting you. Put it aside and look for a fine new path into your future. If the ticket pays off, well then you are lucky indeed.

If you have questions about college admissions or would like to learn more about our services, please contact

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  • alexandra1847

As students work on their college applications, they must consider the different admission plans (including Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular Decision, among others) and the implications of each selection. This week's question to Larry pertains to an Early Decision application.

Q: Can I back out of my ED agreement with Claremont McKenna if I get into a better school? I applied to Harvard/Stanford/Columbia RD and am worried I will get into one of them but have to attend CMC.

A: Your high school counselor, one of your parents, and you, all signed the Early Decision agreement when you applied to CMC. In that agreement you agreed to withdraw all other applications if accepted but you reneged on that promise, taking a seat that could have been offered to a student obviously more deserving than you are. You might get caught, and if you do you will lose your seat at CMC, plus you will be rejected by the others. If that happens, it will be a direct consequence of your own bad behavior.

Furthermore, your counselor is duty bound not to send your mid-year report to any of your Regular Decision schools. If that best practice is honored, you will be spared the consequences of your bad intentions.

If you have questions about college admissions or would like to learn more about our services, please contact us at

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  • alexandra1847

As the Director of our College Admissions program, Larry receives numerous questions from applicants and their families. This question to which he responds this week pertains to Advanced Placement testing.

Q: Is it possible to get into a highly selective college without AP test scores?

A: Let’s be sure to distinguish AP coursework from AP testing.

AP Courses indicate to a college that a student has selected a rigorous curriculum in high school, taking advantage of what was offered. So AP courses, where they are offered, are a good credential for highly selective college admission.

If your high school does not require that you take the AP test to receive AP credit, you can choose to skip the test. Offhand, I don’t know that any college requires an applicant to submit all AP scores, although some few require candidates to submit all SAT and ACT scores. (Some high schools report AP scores on the transcript, although that is a thorny issue.)

When you arrive at college the AP tests can result in credit towards graduation or waiver of a prerequisite course. This is usually a registrar's decision, not an admissions function.

The more selective the college, the more unlikely it is that you will receive credit towards graduation.

Do you want advanced standing? Do you want to skip a foundation course? If that option is offered, talk to an adviser on campus first and evaluate your readiness.

Good luck.

If you have questions about college admissions or would like to learn more about our services, please contact us at

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