Ethical Issues in the Application Process

There are various important ethical issues relating to applying to college. What follows is the official Ramaz College Office policy on some recurring issues.

If you have questions about the issues discussed below, please ask any of the college advisers!

Completing Applications

Honesty and forthrightness should be your bywords when writing your college applications. Your responses to questions about extracurricular activities and achievements should be truthful and complete. Do not omit things out of a sense of modesty or because you feel that they may be insignificant.

On the other hand, do not overstate the title of a leadership position you hold. If you are an “associate editor,” do not write that you are “editor.” If you are one of two or more “co-captains,” do not write only that you are “captain.”

Obviously, you may include only activities in which you have actually participated and positions of leadership that you have actually held.

Early Decision / Early Action

Applying Early Decision or Early Action is not a decision to make lightly. Because of the nature of an early application, significant thought and planning must go into a decision to apply early.

Colleges offer a number of different early options.

  • Students who apply Early Decision (ED) are committing to attend that college if accepted.
  • Several colleges now offer Restrictive Early Action (REA), which means that a student may not apply early elsewhere (except, in most cases, to public universities); the student will get an early result, but the college may not consider this decision as binding on the student.
  • Other colleges, including many state schools, have Early Action plans (EA) without the term "Restrictive." These function like priority deadlines or rolling deadlines, and the college will allow a student to apply to other colleges without restriction.

While we respect the colleges’ early application policies, Ramaz expects students who are admitted to a private college Restrictive Early Action or Early Decision to accept that early offer. Since there are numerous early plans, please consult with your college adviser before submitting any early application. Ramaz will not submit supporting credentials to other colleges for students admitted early to restrictive private colleges.

In December, when early decisions are released, should you be deferred or denied by the ED or Restrictive Early Action college, the College Office will forward application materials for Regular Decision schools immediately. It is imperative that students who are accepted ED withdraw all other applications immediately.

Early Results

Schools that use rolling or priority admission practices may release decisions as early as December. Students accepted under such a plan have no obligation to attend the school. However, should you be admitted to your first choice, you should withdraw applications immediately from the less preferred schools. There is no excuse for you to remain in the applicant pool at a school which you have no intention of attending. You are taking a place away from someone else, not necessarily a Ramaz student, but a student who might desperately want to attend that school.

You must inform your adviser of any college acceptances, withdrawals, or enrollments immediately.

Making the Choice

May 1 is regarded as the “Candidates’ Common Reply Date” (CRD). This means two things.

  • First, colleges that subscribe to the CRD (almost all do) cannot insist that an accepted applicant respond to an offer of admission before that date.
  • On the other hand, colleges will insist that you do respond by that date. While some colleges, on petition, might be willing to extend that deadline if there are special circumstances, most are firm in requiring a deposit to be in place or postmarked by May 1.

The practice of putting down multiple deposits, and thereby reserving oneself a place at more than one school, is unethical and also dangerous. In doing so, one runs the risk of having an offer of admission rescinded should a college discover a double deposit. It is part of the understanding between secondary schools and colleges that multiple deposits are not tolerated.

Deferring Admission for a Year

Most schools will allow admitted students to defer their admission for one year. It is necessary to write to the college to request a deferral, but this should be done only after you have been accepted both to a U.S. college and to a gap year program. Some colleges will not grant a deferral to a student admitted from the Wait List. You do not need to mention deferral plans prior admission—in the application, in an interview, or elsewhere. If you are asked about deferral plans, tell the College Office, as we are concerned about the propriety of this question.

At the same time, students should be aware that many colleges have deadlines after which requests for deferral will not be honored. Make certain you meet your school’s deadline.

For Those Who Defer: Changing Your Mind

The decision to attend a particular college may be made as early as November of the senior year. That year and the year in Israel that follows frequently involve significant personal change. You may find that you are no longer interested in attending the college you committed to as a senior.

Should this be the case, you must:

  • First, withdraw from the college to which you have committed.
  • Only then are you free to apply to other colleges.

Ramaz will not process any materials for you until you have withdrawn in writing from the college that you accepted as a senior, and we have received verification from the college or have been cc'd on a withdrawal email.

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