Wednesday, April 7, 2010

College Acceptance-Rejection Week

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This is the end of about 10 days of cheers and tears as the most selective colleges sent out their decisions.

No matter how well worded the rejection letters are they still sting and in many cases they sound very impersonal. If you are admitted to one of the ultra selective, be kind to your less fortunate classmates. If you didn't get in, the best strategy is not to take it too personally (this is hard)and check out your other options. The Ivy League, Duke, Stanford, Northwestern etc. could fill their classes many times over with talented, wonderful students. Each college has its own institutional needs and these are not public so any consultants or counselors who "guarantee" admission to the ultra-selective colleges are making promises they can't keep.

It is now so easy to apply to multiple colleges through the common application that the average number of applications submitted by students is 7. So, in the next few weeks some students will be rejecting multiple colleges to choose 1. This has a trickle down effect as spots open up at the rejected colleges and students are admitted off of their waiting lists. This uncertainty creates college openings beyond waitlists in May for students who are dissatisfied with their choices, but it is hard to know which colleges will have these openings because it changes from year to year. Super selective colleges like Cornell, Harvard, and Princeton do not have openings beyond the waitlist. In some years, they don't even admit off of their waiting lists.

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