Vassar College‘s little digital slip-up on their application website between 4:oo PM and 4:30 PM last Friday led dozens of early decision applicants to be wrongly informed they’d been accepted by the school when, in reality, they had not.
Isn’t there a quote or something that embodies this kind of love and loss? Something like, “Tis better to have been accepted and then…de-accepted…than ne’er to have been accepted at all….”?’
I highly doubt any of the students involved in the mix-up feel remotely happy they were accepted for a brief thirty minutes, however, there’s something we can all take from this experience: life will go on if you don’t get into your dream school.
So here’s how to cope with all the possibilities of college admissions:
Getting Accepted to Your Dream College
You might want to pinch yourself just to make sure it’s real. You might also want to wait thirty minutes to ensure the school doesn’t retract its decision by telling you about a digital mishap. Once you’ve come to terms with reality, give yourself a pat on the back, tell your family and loved ones, and try to remain humble around your friends who are still waiting to hear back from schools, or possibly even the same school. The moral of the story is to be classy about your success.
Once you’re settled in with the fact that your numero uno choice requests the honor that you to join their student body next fall, it’s time to work out the logistics. How will you pay for school? What kind of scholarships and/or merit aid were you offered? You have until May 1 to make a decision. In the meantime, finish up that FAFSA schtuff, and take your time to weight your options. If you can afford the school, and you know it’s the right place for your higher education, then let the school know you’re enrolling, and let the other colleges you’ve applied to know that you will not be enrolling. This is good karmic measure because the earlier you let other colleges know you will not be enrolling, the sooner they can open up another spot for a student on their waiting list.
Getting Accepted to Two or More Colleges
Not everybody has a dream school. So if you get accepted into multiple schools and are not sure which one you’ll enroll at, the best idea is to visit campus. Sit in on a couple classes, check out the dorm life, the dining halls, and peruse around campus for the overall vibe. Another great way to narrow down your choices is to compare prices. If one school is offering you more money, see if the other schools that accepted you are willing to match offers.
The waitlist is the purgatory of college admissions. You’re not in, but you’re not flat-out rejected either. So what do you do when you get waitlisted? If you want to ride out the possibility of being accepted to the school, send in your waitlist confirmation card. You can also contact the college to let them know you’re still very interested in the college so you can stay on their radar. Earn any new good grades, awards, or improved test scores? Let the college know about your success. If you’re super serious about getting accepted, you can even implore the folks who wrote your college recommendations to contact the college and reinforce their faith in you. Still, there’s no guarantee, but always better to put in some effort than live with regret.
Okay. Hear me out: worse things could happen. Getting a rejection letter is not the end of the world. You might never know why a college didn’t find you to be the right fit for their school, but you will move on and get a great college education. So what do you do when you get rejected? Take about 24 hours to mope and feel bad for yourself, and then move on. That’s it! If you hold a rejection letter too close to your heart, you’ll hinder your growth at the college you do wind up going to. Plus, you’ll forget about it soon enough anyways
Have you heard back from a school yet? Share your story in the comment section below!