College admissions decisions are being released and soon it will be your turn to make a decision. Check your inbox and mailbox frequently for news. Also, check for helpful links and information from the colleges and universities you applied to. Soon, you’ll be making an important decision and will be on your way to an exciting new adventure. A few more steps and you’ll be a member of the class of ’18.
Congratulations, you’re in! If you’re considering more than one of your acceptances, look back on any notes you may have taken during your college search and reach out to any current students you know. If you visited a school, try to remember how you felt while you were on campus. You may want to visit or even revisit the schools you’re considering. Often, students are invited to special “admitted student” days and events. This is your opportunity to get answers to your questions as well as to meet other prospective freshman. Have lunch at the cafeteria, visit the student center, look at bulletin boards around campus and read the school newspaper. Notice what students are doing— are they studying while eating or chatting and laughing? Talk to them— what’s their favorite thing, and their least favorite about the school? Do you feel like you belong?
Identify the criteria most important to you, including price, financial aid, distance, programs, size and spirit, just to name a few, and compare and contrast one school to another. Try making a pro/con list to help organize your thoughts. Talk to your parents and ask for their feedback. Bounce your ideas off your guidance counselor as well. Sometimes, putting your thoughts into words and hearing them out loud can help you work toward a decision.
If you’ve been waitlisted by one of your top priority schools— the good news is you’re still in the game. There are four things you should do immediately.
- Contact school reps to express continued interest to be admitted and to offer to provide any additional information in support of your candidacy.
- If this is truly your top choice, let your admissions rep know that if you’re admitted you’ll definitely attend. Also, talk to your guidance counselor and ask him or her to reach out on your behalf.
- If you require financial aid, contact the school to ask whether aid will be available if you’re admitted from the waitlist.
- If you want to secure a spot on the waitlist you must respond by a deadline to let the school know. Schools may not assume you want to remain on the waitlist unless you tell them so.
The number of students admitted from a waitlist varies by school and from year to year. While the Admission Office may provide you with information about prior years’ waitlists, there are no guarantees. Waitlist decisions may arrive after deposits are due, so in the meantime, continue to evaluate any other choices you may have and follow through with a decision and send in your deposit. Be aware, deposits are non-refundable so if you’re admitted from a waitlist and choose to attend that school, you’ll forfeit the deposit you sent to the other school.
Congratulations, you’ve come a long way and you have so much to look forward to.