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What to know

You’ve studied, tested, written essays and filled out multiple applications. You’ve read about, visited and talked with people about colleges, internet-hopped college websites and come up with a final list. You’ve schmoozed with college students, admissions officers, alums, and friends until you’re blue in the face. Finally! Now is the time when this all pays off.

•  In addition to acceptance, other application decisions come as deferrals, wait-lists, and rejections.

An action taken by colleges for both Early Action and Early Decision applications in which they postpone making an admissions decision about an application until the regular admission cycle.

A listing of applicants that colleges keep to whom admittance might be granted should admitted students turn them down.

When a college informs an applicant that he or she has not been accepted for admission.

•  No matter who you are, or what you have done, receiving a deferral, wait-list or rejection letter is hard to take.


What to know

What To Do About Deferred Admissions,
Waitlists and Denials

•  If you are not accepted to a school, you may be offered a deferred admission, waitlisted or denied.

•   Students offered deferred admittance to a school are accepted, but for some later time like the next semester or year. Find out the terms for the deferred admission and decide if you want to accept them.

•  If you are put on a waitlist, there are things you can do:

✔  Immediately notify the college that you want to remain on the waitlist.

✔  Follow the college’s directions for dealing with their waitlist, such as completing a form, writing a letter, getting extra recommendations, etc.

•  Not many people denied admission later gain acceptance through appeals, but it does happen. If you have plausible reasons, follow the school’s directions for how to appeal a denial.

Deciding Which College Is The Best One For You

•  It is useful to spell out the pros and cons of attending each college that you are considering.

•  The process for deciding on one college includes: 

✔  Identifying what you want in a college

✔  Examining the financial aid packages

✔  Re-reading your notes about colleges

✔  Consulting with your best, most trusted sources about colleges

✔  Attending pre-admit days or receptions

•  Even if you make a decision about a college that you later regret; it’s not fatal.  You can always transfer to another college.


What to know

senior year

April is the month when many colleges let students know if they have been accepted, waitlisted or denied (and sometimes deferred to a later date). This is also when accepted students are invited to attend Pre-Admit events.

This is also the month that students usually challenge waitlists and denials and deal with deferred admissions.

By May 1st, you must notify your chosen college that you plan to attend their school in the fall. You should also inform all other colleges of your decision not to attend their schools.

Make sure that your final high school transcript is sent to the college of choice. If you want to get credit for AP courses, also make sure your AP transcript is sent. Put on your calendar when tuition, room and board, and other payments are due at your college.

If you haven't done it already, it's not too late to put together a resume. This is one of the most useful tools you can have in the college admissions process.


When to do it

Sometimes a final college decision is easy: your child gets into his/her first choice college. In other cases, their first choice schools reject them. Some students are put into a kind of admissions limbo when they are waitlisted or deferred at a favorite school, while others get to pick from among a number of great choices.

Of all the times parent support is needed, it is now. You can celebrate with your child if all has gone well; but it's important that you also be supportive of him/her if favorite colleges don't send acceptance letters. If that happens, it's vital that you help your child resist the temptation of dwelling on where he/she has not been accepted. Rather, encourage him or her to focus on choosing the best college from all the possible options. Most students end up having wonderful college experiences whether or not they have gotten into their first choice school.

by Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz
Excerpted from adMISSION POSSIBLE® (Sourcebooks, Inc, April 2012)

If you want to know more about this and other admissions topics, read
Getting into the Best Colleges for you
. Order it here!



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