I hope that each of you have enjoyed 2017 thus far. With February approaching in just a few days, I wanted to remind each of you that decision letters and notifications are coming your way! I get a lot of questions around this time about these notifications and I thought blogging about this part of the process would be a great way to answer some questions…and also give some advice. The most popular type of admissions letters include words like, accepted, waitlist and denied. Below are the three most common phrases that students read in their admissions letters:
“Congratulations, you have been accepted!”
If your letter reads these words, then congratulations! You are officially going to college! Unless you applied Early Decision, you do not need to let the college know that you will be attending their institution until May 1st. However, if you know that you want to attend this university then you should go ahead and send in your deposit in order to start your housing process. Remember, you should not send in multiple deposits. Please be cognizant when making this decision as it is an important one! In addition, some students might let his or her other schools know that they are attending another university and wish to withdrawal their application. Only do this if you are 100% certain that you agree with your financial obligations to attend the school that you have chosen and be sure that you love that school too!
“The admissions committee has met and your credentials meet the requirements that we are looking for in our upcoming class. However, we received a record number of applications and at this time are placing you on our waitlist.” If your letter reads these words, then you need to read the letter carefully to understand what steps the college wants you to take. For example, they might ask you to place your name on the waitlist portal that they created or they might ask you to send in additional information. For students who are waitlisted, if this is your top school, it is critical that you think through this process carefully. I might suggest that you do one of the following steps, if not all:
• Remind your regional admissions officer that you are still interested. • Write an additional essay • Request a teacher or community member to write another letter of recommendation. • Be yourself, but let the school know if you have received any additional accolades or how you are excelling in your senior year. • Request that your counselor reach out to the school directly.
“After careful consideration, I am sorry to inform you that we are unable to offer you a place in the class of 2017.” If your letter reads these words, do not get upset or angry. It is okay to be disappointed. You worked hard and I am sure that your application was great. I have no explanation as to why you were not given a seat, but I can tell you that this process works out exactly the way it should. Stay strong, believe in yourself and know that you will have plenty of options.
Although the above statements are the most common in admissions decision letters, you might receive a letter with something a little different. Some colleges offer acceptances in the spring instead of the fall. Other colleges might offer an opportunity to start at a community college and others might offer a conditional acceptance. I have even seen letters that offer study abroad options during first semester prior to joining the class on campus in the spring! Regardless of what you received, know that this process does not define you or your future. You define your future, not some admissions coommitte in a conference room reading an application! Stay strong and know that soon this process will be over!
Written by Wendy Williams, MA ~ Educational Consultant & Advisor