Colleges release their early decision and restrictive early action results

Class of 2022 opens the first set of a series of college decisions in December


Mackenzie Chen

Senior Julia Tan logs on to her CommonApp account to check her college application progress. “It was definitely a lot of work getting to this point,” Tan said. “However, I’m really relieved that I was able to get through this process.”

The Class of 2022 at McLean is finally going through the rite of passage of applying for colleges and preparing for the next chapter of their lives after high school. Many seniors have already applied to their early action (EA), early decision (ED), or restrictive early action (REA) schools already, with decision results slated to be released in mid-December. Applying to schools has been daunting because of the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the novelty of the entire process for many students.

“Applying to college while getting used to being back in the building full-time has been hard for the class of 2022,” college specialist Laura Venos said. “Many seniors have not visited all or even most of the colleges they are applying to. That makes it harder for students to know exactly what they want and causes longer college lists and more stress.”

This year, while most of the steps to applying to colleges EA, ED or REA are similar to previous years, there are still some noticeable differences.

“The process itself is the same as any other year,” Venos said. “However, the test optional policies that most colleges have this year have taken the pressure off of students to have SAT or ACT scores.”

Despite some changes, the application process has also not changed drastically in comparison to previous years. Students still have to project their own unique voices when crafting their personal statements, their supplemental essays and other forms of writing they must submit to colleges. 

“Students should focus on being authentic in their essays and tailoring their supplemental essays to what each of their colleges is looking for,” Venos said. 

While the majority of seniors did not apply to college using the binding ED option or the REA option, some have. They had to make difficult decisions about committing to a college, as binding policies can be extremely strict. 

“I liked [a] school a lot, so I decided to apply to it early decision,” senior Naveen Patury said. “It was definitely a difficult process, but the experience taught me a lot about myself, and I learned how to make a lot of tough but beneficial decisions in the long run.”

For some seniors, the pressure of applying to colleges ED or REA has been weighing on their minds.

“[The process] is stressful. I feel the pressures of having to make such a big commitment and invest a lot of energy into the application process,” senior Phoebe Li said. “It’s a lot of work having to figure out what to do, and it was overwhelming.”

To cope with the application process, many seniors have used self-care activities to take their minds off their applications and enjoy some lighthearted moments.

“I focus on spending time with my friends and prioritizing sleep, exercise, and healthy eating,” Li said. “I listen to music every so often, and it also helps to uplift my mood.”

One of the most nerve-wracking parts of the college application process is finding out whether or not the status update on every college portal website contains an acceptance or rejection. While rejections can be discouraging, Venos says it is more important to spend time thinking ahead than dwelling on the past. 

“You will literally never know why you were rejected, so don’t waste time speculating,” Venos said. “You will get into other schools on your list! Where you go to college does not dictate your future happinessonly you get to do that!”

After all of the early decision and restrictive early action results have been released, McLean’s Student Services recommends looking forward and planning out the rest of their school year.

“Check your email often, and try to distract yourself from speculating about the next set of decisions,” Venos said. “Get lots of sleep, and make sure to be kind to one another, no matter what.”