Instant Decision Day brings seniors closer to solidifying college plans

Jan. 17, 2023

By Emma Bannon
Staff Writer

Dec. 15 was a big day for 25 seniors who participated in Instant Decision Day. This annual event was held in the media center and allowed seniors, who applied and paid application fees beforehand, to meet with admissions representatives from local colleges and universities and receive a response to their application almost immediately. 

Eight New Jersey postsecondary schools–Caldwell University, Felician University, Montclair State University, New Jersey City University, Ramapo College, Seton Hall University, Stockton University and William Paterson University–were present at Instant Decision Day. 

Guidance counselor Mrs. Stacy, who was in charge of organizing the event, said Instant Decision Day is an annual tradition at LHS, as it has taken place for at least a decade.

Stacy said Instant Decision Day has several benefits compared to the traditional college application process.

“Local schools come to us, and you can be accepted on the spot after they view your application and interview you,” Stacy said.

She said because of its convenience, students tend to apply to more schools than they otherwise would. Therefore, they are likely to receive more acceptances and have more options for next year.

Stacy said another reason she encourages students to participate in Instant Decision Day is that interviewing with an admissions representative sometimes enhances an applicant’s chances of being admitted.

“It shows your personality. You get to highlight who you are and your story in your interview rather than them just reviewing your application,” Stacy said. 

Senior Kaitlynn Benjamin, who participated in Instant Decision Day, said she appreciated the chance to sit down face-to-face with an admissions representative.

“I felt good on the way out knowing I was able to make an in-person impression on the schools I applied to. It alleviated the stress of not knowing and the feeling that you’re in the dark,” Benjamin said. 

Benjamin, who intends to major in forensic psychology, had already been accepted to the College of Saint Rose, Felician University, Montclair State University and Point Park University. However, she was still waiting on a response from Seton Hall University and Kean University, both of which were set to participate in Instant Decision Day, though the admissions representative from Kean was not able to attend. 

After Instant Decision Day, Benjamin learned she was accepted to Seton Hall University in South Orange.

She said Instant Decision Day is helpful because it got her closer to making a decision about which school she will be attending next year.

“I felt good on the way out knowing I was able to make an in-person impression on the schools I applied to.”

“I was looking for answers from some schools, and to be completely honest, I was becoming impatient,” Benjamin said. “As of now, I will be attending Montclair State University, but I am still waiting to hear back on a few schools.”

She said Montclair State appeals to her because of the classes offered within her anticipated major and because it offers a master’s program.

Senior Anthony Panella also said he was glad he participated in Instant Decision Day. 

“It was a great opportunity to see what colleges I could get into,” Panella said. “It also helped to narrow down schools I may want to go to.”

Prior to Instant Decision Day, Panella, who plans to major in music production, had already been accepted to Montclair State University. He was still waiting to hear back from William Paterson University in Wayne and was accepted at Instant Decision Day immediately after his interview. 

Like Benjamin, Panella said Montclair State University is still his top-choice school because of the courses within his major.

Although Instant Decision Day did not end up affecting his college decision, Panella said he encourages upcoming seniors to participate in the event.

“It is beneficial for seniors because they do not have to wait for a reply from colleges,” Panella said. “Although it might cause some stress, I highly recommend that all seniors planning on attending college take part in [Instant Decision Day] next year.”

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