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College Admissions: Handling Early Admission Rejection

Monday, December 17, 2012

 

It's not what you want to see but it just might arrive--how to handle early decision rejections as well as deferrals.

For many seniors around the country, early admission returns have begun to roll in. For some, it is a time of exuberance because they have been accepted to their first choice college. But for others, it is a time

of exasperation over deferrals, or worse, disappointment over rejection. However, there are things you can do to soften the disappointment and create the best opportunity for acceptances in the spring.

For Deferred Students 

While this is disappointing, it is important to remember that a deferral is NOT a rejection. It is a good idea to show your continued interest in a few ways now: 

If a college is you first choice, write a nice note to admissions saying that you were disappointed, but that if you are accepted in the spring, you will attend. This assures the college that you are "yield-able" which is important.

Make sure that your guidance office sends new grades when they come out.

 

Forward updates to colleges when you receive awards, team captain titles, have something published, etc.

If you have any new SAT or ACT scores, make sure that you have them sent from the CollegeBoard or ACT as soon as they are available.

For Rejected Students 

Handling rejection is never easy. It’s understandable if a student is sad for a few days, but lingering in despair for longer than that is not a good idea. It’s time to focus on the positive, and reassess your strategy. First, post every acceptance you have received on the fridge or somewhere visible. Then, go online and find 3 things that you like, but didn't know about each college where you were accepted. It helps reinforce the positive and keeps you from getting bogged down in the negative.

Second, take a hard look at your college list and regular decision schools. If you have Naviance at your school, review scattergrams and make sure that you are looking at schools where students in your academic range have been accepted in past years. If you don’t have access to scattergams, speak with your guidance counselor or invest in a private college advisor to make sure that your choices are realistic. Books and Web sites that list average GPAs and SAT ranges can be very deceiving, especially for elite schools. I don’t recommend that you use those to gauge your chances. Then, if you discover that you have been shooting too high, it’s time to add some additional backup and reasonable schools to you list. File those apps over your holiday vacation, and make sure that you don’t miss January 1 deadlines. 

Remember this

It’s important to remember that very few students get accepted to ALL their colleges. It is a hard part of the process to be rejected from your top choice college, but often one that ends up being a winning path in life. Many famous people, including news anchors, business moguls and Nobel Laureates were rejected from their first choice college. The Wall St. Journal ran a wonderful piece a few years ago that chronicled several, all of whom attributed their success to where they ended up in college.

Wherever you end up in college, you alone have the power to determine your own happiness and your own success. Going to a big name college is not a guaranteed meal ticket today—in any way shape or form. You can get a great education at most colleges and universities in the U.S. if you seek out the best courses, professors and internships--- and if you are driven to succeed! 

Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed. is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC which provides strategic, individual counseling for college-bound students. http://www.collegeadvisorsonline.com

 

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