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A Reddit megathread discussing this year’s 2020 University of Michigan admissions cycle has already generated more than 150 comments of applicants speculating when they will receive their University decision. 

One month ago, Reddit user erbcr posted a question regarding the regular decision timeline. 

“When will regular decisions come back?” erbcr wrote. “I know I should be hearing from U-M around April-May, but is there any chance I will hear before then? Any insight to the timeline would be appreciated!” 

The user received a reply by droneforce123, who provided insight into the situation based on what he has heard.

“My counselor met with one of the admission officers and confirmed that they usually send batches out at the end of every month,” droneforce123 wrote.

Many Reddit users wrote they were also confused about when Early Action applicants would receive their decisions. According to the University’s Undergraduate Admissions website, Early Action applicants are guaranteed a decision “no later than December 24.” Regular Decision applicants are supposed to hear back by early April.

Kedra Ishop, vice provost for Enrollment Management, said the dates should not be thought of as the exact day that decisions will be released, but rather the latest that decisions will be issued by.

“I think in both cases, for Early Action and for Regular Decision, we give a ‘no later than’ deadline,” Ishop said. “We say ‘no later than’ because it will be no later than. We do aim to get our decisions out as quickly as possible.”

Many students told The Daily Early Action decisions have often been released before Dec. 24. LSA junior Blake Thompson used Reddit to determine the approximate date he would receive his admissions decision.

“I believe the ongoing rumor, at least my time around applying, was if you checked Wolverine Access and some button disappeared, then that would be the night you hear about your decision,” Thompson said.

Thompson also noted that he had read a rumor on Reddit while he was applying that decisions are typically released the Friday before Dec. 24. User mgoreddit echoed the information in the megathread.

“I used to work in the undergrad admissions office and know some folks who are still involved with application review,” mgoreddit wrote. “They don’t say anything publicly besides ‘before Dec 24th’ for decisions, but it tends to be the Friday afternoon closest to the 24th. Historically decisions have rolled out over a few days.”

LSA freshman Alonzo Cortez applied Early Action and discussed the stress he felt while waiting for a decision from the University. Cortez said without a set timeline, he relied on information from people on online chat forums. 

“I was waiting every day, reloading my emails, just to wait on the EAs,” Cortez said. 

While waiting, Thompson said he heard speculation that caused him to worry. He said he thinks the reason the Early Action decision deadline is right before Christmas is to provide the admissions team with some level of flexibility.

“You put the decision before a certain date, and with more people applying, you can’t exactly predict what’s going to happen,” Thompson said. “I think it’s just a safeguard.” 

Ishop confirmed that allowing enough time is indeed a factor when releasing decisions. 

“The vast majority of applications for Early Action come in the last two weeks before Nov. 1, even though applications opened on Aug. 1,” Ishop said. “That’s nearly 40,000 applications in total, 30,000 of which come in a two-week period. That needs to turn around pretty quickly. We need to give ourselves enough time to adequately and thoroughly review each of those applications to render the admissions decisions, to get those decisions loaded into the system and released.”

According to Ishop, the admissions team has also received feedback from the surrounding high school community about the effects of decisions on high school environments. Ishop said their goal is to release decisions at a time where it would be least disruptive to classes. 

“(We) aim towards the end of the week, in the later part of the day so that we’re not disrupting school days given that students are watching their phones … for the decisions to release,” Ishop said. 

Cortez was initially deferred after he sent in his application. According to the Undergraduate Admissions website, deferred applicants are included in the Regular Decision applicant pool and “decisions will be released by early April.” 

While he was waiting, Cortez said he saw someone on Reddit post about the exact date that admissions were released in March 2019.

“On that day, I kept reloading, and then nothing came back,” Cortez said. “I hopped back on Reddit in another tab, and everyone got their letters back and they got denied and waitlisted. Later that night, another wave came back, and they were all accepted emails … I reloaded the page, and I found out I was accepted.”

Ishop said she understands the tension surrounding admission decisions, and the team aims to release decisions as quickly as possible once there have been enough applications to make another round of decisions. She also noted that the University releases decisions in batches, whereas other universities might opt for rolling decisions or one complete release.

“Having been doing this for 20 plus years, all of these options arrive with anxiety, whichever choice we make, be it one-release decision, multi-release decision, rolling decision,” Ishop said. “These are highly anticipated decisions that are coming from this process. We have to make the one that makes the most sense for the way that students apply to the University of Michigan, the way that we make admissions across our colleges and schools.”

Reporter Francesca Duong can be reached at fduong@umich.edu.

 

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