A Note to Early Decision Applicants: What’s Next?

Okay, you clicked submit. Your application to NYU is no longer in your hands but in the hands of the admissions committee. And trust me, we’ve only been reading files for a few days, but we are already hard at work!

It will be about six weeks before you hear back from us, but what do you do in the meantime?

Back in the day when I submitted an early application, I thought it was appropriate to spend all of November and early December in nervous breakdown mode. I was an emotional roller coaster. Crying one second, overzealous the next. As I reflect on those six weeks, I need to give a shout out to my parents for all that I put them through! (Thanks, Bonnie and Ed!)

Now, as a member of the admissions committee, I’ve realized that the time in between submitting an application and hearing back from NYU should not be spent exploring a spectrum of emotions — leave that for studio, future Tischies! And my colleagues would agree — so from the NYU admissions committee to you, we present our advice for what to do now that you’ve submitted your application:

“Do not panic,” says Bobbe Fernando, Assistant Dean and Director of International Admissions, in her typically British ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ persona. “If we are missing anything, we will contact you.” She says this, while sipping tea. Seriously.

“Keep an eye out for the acknowledgement email. Sometimes it can take up to three weeks, so please do not panic,” says Kellie Fitzgerald, Director of Operations. See what Bobbe and Kellie said about not panicking? How wise they are! Why didn’t someone tell me that back when I was applying? “With your acknowledgment, we will provide you with instructions on how to track the status your application credentials online.”

“If you’re really proud of your performance, think about submitting your first quarter grades,” says Maggie Lucas, Associate Director of Admissions. “Only if they are available!” This is every member of NYU Undergraduate Admissions reiterating: only if they are available!

“Stay on top of those financial aid deadlines,” says Crystal Artis, Associate Director for Diversity Initiatives. “Remember to submit your CSS Profile and FAFSA, and if your high school has any specific scholarship deadlines, get them in as soon as possible!” And you do not want to mess with Crystal, so regardless of whether or not you think you are eligible, get ‘em in!

“If you have not yet had the conversation with your parents on going global, have that conversation now,” says Josh Fein, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions for NYU Abu Dhabi. In addition to beginning your experience in New York, Abu Dhabi or Shanghai, students in the Liberal Studies Core Program could also begin in Florence, London or Paris. His colleague, Margaret Phelan, also an Assistant Dean overseeing international admissions to NYU Abu Dhabi, adds that applicants to Abu Dhabi should have a passport ready in case they are invited to Candidate Weekend.

“Remember, there is still time to express interest in an alternate campus,” says Christina DeCesare, with one of her contagious laughs. “Just remember to do it sooner rather than later as we have already begun reading applications.” As Associate Director of Admissions for NYU Shanghai, Christina and her team are scouring the globe for those trailblazing students who while will join our third degree-granting campus.

“Keep working on those regular decision applications,” says moi, clearly the Debbie Downer of the group. “If you are not admitted to a university through early decision, make sure you’re submitting a quality application for Regular Decision, and not something that was thrown together at the last minute.” Forgive me for the negativity. It’s been a rough day. No one wanted to go to Chipotle with me for lunch.

Yes, each and every member of the admissions committee knows what they are talking about. These six weeks are not for kicking back and slacking off. Keep working hard, and use them wisely! But, remember to enjoy this very special moment. Thus, let’s end on a positive note from Oren Margolis, Assistant Director, Steinhardt undergrad, current grad school Sternie:

“Celebrate! You’ve submitted your first — and hopefully only — college application!”

So, from NYU Undergraduate Admissions to you and your family: congratulations and good luck!



  • I am transfer student for spring semester. Do you offer some tips for us?

  • Very useful blog—thank you!
    Although, I am not sure who is more nervous: my daughter, the applicant; or me, the parent. It would be unfair to say I am or that she is. We both are. Sure, we are doing all these things you write here: filing the CSS profile, talking Shanghai and the excitement of possibly spending time there, applying to other, regular decision schools, and biting the rest of what remains of our former finger nails. We are also spending a lot of time at Chipotle, in case we run into Moi. You just never know.
    Give us a hint, will ya?

    Maurizio Biondo
    November 10, 2014

  • Thanks for the advises and tips…. Somehow they made me feel secure. Although I can’t entirely get over the tense feelings that the waiting time is giving me, I just have to trust my gut feelings. See you in Fall 2015!

    James Kirk Edward B. Mariano
    November 14, 2014

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