One of the goals of my consulting practice is to help families alleviate stress on the road to college. The process of applying and getting accepted to a school is littered with anxiety. One of the best ways to combat stress is to receive an acceptance letter from a college in the fall of senior year. This pops the stress bubble like a thumb tack touching a helium balloon.
I saw this happen first hand last October in my own house. A package arrived from a school where my child applied. This was not unusual, as several of the schools sent thick correspondence confirming the receipt of the application and some provided directions for the next steps in the process. So when I saw the brown box, it did not seem unusual. I left it on the table to be opened after practice and forgot about it. I was upstairs working in my bedroom, when the door burst open. I saw my child, eyes spinning with excitement and I heard the magical words, “I GOT INTO COLLEGE!” There were high fives all around and lots of congratulations. And at that moment, stress left the building. This kid knew he was heading somewhere next August.
My applicant did not end up matriculating at the school that gave him the early yes, but I was terribly grateful for their swift decision. I never expected a college would send an answer so soon, along with a package that included a water bottle and stickers as well as the acceptance letter. As I reflect on that night a year later, I wish that every senior could get a yes early in the game. It made a huge difference in our house.