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Accepted, Waitlisted, Rejected…What to Do Next

At this point in the year, everyone has heard from the schools they applied to. Some people are jumping for joy because they were accepted to their dream school. Congrats! Some people are confused because they were waitlisted, and still others are coping with rejection. You can check out this article for some tips on turning rejection into motivation, and this article for what to do to improve your chances of getting off the waitlist. Today I wanted to talk about what every parent and student should be thinking about as we approach May 1st – National College Decision Day.

1. Make a Pros & Cons List for Every Acceptance

This is my absolute favorite way to make big decisions. Hopefully your student has several amazing schools that they love to choose from (including their safety schools!!). For each school, be sure to list the four-year cost to attend subtracting out any scholarships or financial aid the school is providing. Cost can be very important to this decision for some families! Look at the academic programs and see if they have anything unique that your student loves (pro) or hates (con). See what types of jobs and employers graduates have. Include the culture and setting of the school. Listing everything out can really help your family make an informed choice of school.

2. Do Not Include Waitlisted Schools

You likely will not hear about waitlist decisions until after May 1st, so be sure to accept a position and send in the deposit to one of the schools where your student was accepted. This is super important! Waitlists are very unpredictable, so you don’t want your student to be in the position of not attending a college in the fall.

3. Attend Accepted Student Weekends

If there’s not a clear winner after the pros and cons list or if your student hasn’t visited many of the schools where they were accepted, visiting campus can be a great way to figure out if the school is a good fit for them. Accepted student weekends are especially good because you get to meet some of your potential fellow classmates at the same time. A lot of these weekends are coming up soon, so if your family is able to, I really recommend going. If you can’t make the admitted student open house, just go for a weekend to visit. Students can talk to students who currently attend and figure out if they can see themselves on that campus for the next four years.

4. Get Excited!

It’s really easy for students to let this process overwhelm them, and get really down about their rejections. But always remind them that they got into some amazing schools, and it’s even more important what they do in college and beyond. Getting excited for their college is going to make that transition so much easier.

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