April 8, 2013

Seniors: Three Things You Should Do After The Envelopes Come

Like an audition, an Intel submission, or an application for a scholarship, the college application process is highly competitive. And over the past few months, you’ve heard from schools – You’ve gotten into some, been waitlisted or rejected from others, and now must, very shortly, make a decision to move forward.

1. Should I appeal decisions?

If a school that you had hoped to attend has placed you on its waiting list, find out how many students on average are ultimately accepted off the list. If the school allows you to send more documentation of new and exciting honors, awards, leadership positions, or summer internships, then do so immediately. If a school that has rejected you has an appeal process and you want to take advantage of it, be sure you follow their requirements precisely. Keep in mind that the success rate of these appeals is fairly small, and you should simultaneously evaluate the acceptances you have received to determine which school you will most likely attend in the fall.

2. When should I tell the schools I have decided not to attend them?

Once you send in your deposit to the school you have chosen, be sure to tell the schools that are saving spots for you or that have you on a waiting list that you do not plan to attend them. That will open up spots for people who, perhaps like you, may be hoping for an opening. It’s a sort of domino effect in the acceptance process.

3. Whom should I tell?

Contact the counselors, teachers, and others who have written you letters of recommendation or helped you in your application process. They will be interested to know where you got in and where you plan to attend. Family, friends, and classmates should be supportive of your decision, but it is up to you to be as public or private as you feel comfortable.

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