Road Map for April: Seniors

Congratulations to all of you on your college acceptances! I’m so excited for you as you make your final decisions about where you’ll spend the next four years. My advice for this phase is to take advantage of accepted student visits and other opportunities to talk to students about their experiences on the campuses you’re considering. If there are topics that are particularly important to you, such as specific majors, Greek life, or groups you hope to get involved with, seek out students who are part of these activities and have your questions ready for them.  The admissions office can usually put you in contact with students who will have the information you need.For most students the financial piece is also a consideration. If you are considering a financial aid appeal, I recommend starting with these articles. And note that this is one area where it’s OK for parents to take the lead rather than the student, unlike in the admissions process.

A few additional reminders as you finalize your decision and enrollment: first, thank your recommenders and let them know the outcomes that their support has contributed to. Number two: keep your eye on your email, including your spam folder, and be sure to do everything your college wants to do with respect to your enrollment deposit, financial aid, housing, orientation, etc. There are lots of forms to fill out so once you’ve made your decision, make sure you don’t let anything fall through the cracks. And finally, don’t slack off. It is rare but possible for colleges to rescind an offer of admission. Keep up the good work that got you admitted in the first place.Of course it’s the rare and lucky student who receives only good news. While we all know that some amount of disappointment is simply part of life, it can still hurt. Here’s some advice for parents on how to support students and help them use these experiences to develop resilience. (And a lot of this is applicable beyond college decisions.) 

So, what do you do if some decisions were not what you hoped for?  If you’ve been waitlisted at a top choice, share any positive updates with the admissions office. If you’re certain you’ll enroll if you have the opportunity, let them know that. Then get focused on and excited about the choices you have in hand. If you are truly not satisfied with any of your options, there are some schools that have not yet filled their incoming classes and will accept new applications for this fall.  The National Association for College Admissions Counseling has published an initial list, and additional schools will be added in the coming weeks as admitted students make their enrollment decisions.  If you are considering submitting new applications and need help, I hope you’ll contact me for guidance.

Another option is a gap year, and many students are choosing to accept their admission offers and defer enrollment. If you need guidance on the deferral process, planning your gap year, or a new round of applications for fall 2023 admission, please get in touch.