Posted on Mar 23, 2012 - 06:00 AM
| College Admissions
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This is the Good News/Bad News blog, in which we go over how to respond to the good news of an Acceptance Letter and the bad news of a Rejection Letter.
Let’s start with the good news.
Responding to an Acceptance Letter
Reply in writing the same way they contacted you – either letter or email. Let them know that you’re happy to be admitted and will let them know your decision soon.
Review every financial aid offer and send deposits to the school of your choice.
Withdraw all other applications from colleges you won’t be attending.
Respond to all other requests from your chosen college regarding room-and-board contracts, medical forms, fees, course registration, admissions testing, orientation, etc.
One word of warning: NEVER accept two admissions offers simultaneously. You can only attend one college and will have to choose. Accepting two offers is unethical and, if caught, will likely lead both colleges to withdraw their admissions offer.
Responding to a Rejection Letter
- Reflect. Experiences with rejection can be painful. It’s okay to be upset, but you need to accept the situation.
- Don’t blame others.
- Analyze the situation. What part of your record or application could have been the problem?
- Take action by making plans to attend another college.
- Examine your choices. Are you still happy with your less-competitive options?
- Visit your guidance counselor to see if you still have options at other colleges, particularly if all your original choices rejected you. They typically have lists of colleges with slots available in late spring, or they could steer you to a nearby open admissions college
Rejections may seem like the end of the world, but they’re often a window to a new opportunity, one that could be a better fit for your talents and interests.
Responding to a Provisional Letter
Colleges sometimes offer an “in-between letter,” something that isn’t a rejection letter but doesn’t automatically admit you to the school either.
- A different major. A college accepts you, but only if you choose a different major. They think your background or abilities don’t support your choice.
- A different calendar. The college accepts you, but only if you start off-cycle, like January or during the summer.
- Better grades. A college accepts you, but only if your grades improve. This is particularly true if you have a low grade in a subject related to your likely major.
- Additional classes. A college accepts you, but only if you take extra classes in your likely major or an area where you need remedial help. This can sometimes be done over the summer at a community college.
- Wait-listed. This is the best known provisional letter, and the most dreaded You’re not rejected, but you’re not admitted either. While the other suggestions in this section are worth considering, you should know that few students are taken off the wait-list. You’re better off exploring other colleges, even if the wait-list school is your first choice.
You could get any number of letters this spring, from the enthusiastic acceptance to the inflexible rejection, but just as you prepared for college, be prepared for any eventuality. Know your response before the letters arrive and hope for the best. Your college prep work should lead to the best option for you.
Good luck this spring!
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