It's a season for early acceptance/rejection letters. And keeping up with the trends, the acceptance rates don't look so great.
The acceptance rates for this year, at least for the ones that released the info are: Brown 22%, Cornell 25.6%, Dartmouth 27.8%, Duke 24.5%, Georgetown 11.9%, Harvard 14.5%, Johns Hopkins 30.56%, MIT 7.83%, Princeton 15.4%, UPenn 20%, Yale 17.1%.
If you are accepted, obviously congratulations! If you aren't accepted, no worries, there is still the regular decision round. Take a look at your application again. Take a look at the essays. Figure out what you could have done better, if anything at all. Reassess your college list to make sure you have all the bases covered.
The common questions I get asked:
Do senior GPA matter?
Yes. For the regular decision (or those who were waitlisted or deferred) the colleges will take a look at your senior year GPA. If you are on the borderline of acceptance and rejection, the grades will matter.
What can I do? I've been waitlisted.
The game isn't over until March/April. This means you have to approach the college application process as though you haven't sent anything - update them on new research internships, volunteer activities, awards etc. Keep in touch with the admissions. This doesn't mean you have to send them an email update on every single thing that you do; it means you can send them relevant updates on projects you have going.
In other news, congratulations to the following students on their early acceptances!
David K. (Harvard)
Michael K. (UChicago - Questbridge)
Jenna L. (Princeton)
Julius S. (UPenn)
Kevin K. (MIT)