The final stage of the college admissions season is here! By April 1 colleges have released their application decisions. Accepted, rejected or waitlisted, students have thirty days to finalize their plans. They must submit a deposit by May 1 to the college where they plan to attend. If you have a senior, here are some tips for supporting them as they consider their options.
Rejected-This is never easy. Even when an applicant knows they are applying to a reach school that is ultra-selective, the initial sting of rejection is hard. This is where it pays to have a balanced list, where an applicant is excited about the high probability and target schools as well as the reach schools.
Waitlisted-When an admissions committee puts you on the waitlist, they are telling you that you have the academic credentials to be accepted but they do not have enough room in their freshman class to admit you. This decision is a double-edge sword because the admissions office is complimenting you and giving you hope, but also leaving you in a no-man’s land, since you do not have a seat at their school. Some experts in the college admissions field consider a waitlist letter a soft no. You can accept or decline a spot on the waitlist. Regardless of whether or not you opt to pursue a school that put you on their waitlist, you need to submit a deposit to one of the schools that did accept you by May 1.
Accepted-A student that has taken time to create and sculpt a list of schools that they love should have some interesting options. If a student has multiple acceptance letters, I recommend trying to reduce the list to two or three “finalists”. I always tell parents to leave March and April open to visit schools and attend accepted students visiting days, It is a completely different experience to visit a campus as an admitted student. This is an exciting time!
Here is some rubber meets the road advice on waitlists from the great Lynn O’Shaughnessy Enjoy!