The time that elapses between colleges’ application deadlines and their admission notification dates can feel like years, rather than weeks or months. See if what’s written below matches what’s on your mind as you wait for news of your admission status:
When do colleges notify applicants of their admission decisions? That depends on the college’s application timetable and the decision plan you chose.
—Early Decision: (Those who have applied to a college as their first choice and have given their solemn oath to enroll if admitted.) Applicants should know of their admission status already, unless they were late in completing their files.
—Early Action: (Those who utilized a college’s early notification timetable) Applicants have received news of their standing by now.
—Rolling admission: Colleges review applications as completed and notify students within four to six weeks of the file’s completion.
—Regular decision/non-rolling: colleges will issue all of their admission decisions on the same date, generally in late March or early April.
If I’m offered admission, when will I have to send my enrollment deposit?
That, too, depends on the decision plan you chose.
—Early Decision: Admitted students must send their enrollment deposits within two weeks of receiving the admission offer.
—All other decision plans: Admitted students may submit deposits at any time between now and May 1. (May 1 is referred to in admission circles as the Candidates’ Reply Date.)
Caution: While enrollment deposits may not technically be required before May 1, some schools will offer priority housing choices to those who send early deposits. Read everything the college sends you with great care, so you don’t close yourself out of opportunities.
If I’m admitted to two or more schools, how can I make up my mind about which to attend?
Continue the comparison that led you to narrow your college list thus far. Decide how each school measures up on the following factors:
-access to faculty
-cost (compare financial aid and merit scholarships you’ve been offered, if any)
-nature of student body
-other special factors that are important to you.
Should I visit the schools that have offered me admission?
If you have not visited the campuses before, then by all means, schedule visits if you can. Do your best to go beyond the admission office’s tour and information session, though, and see if they will arrange an overnight stay for you in the residence halls. Also try to sit in on classes and club meetings . . . get a full view of whatever you think you’d like to take advantage of if you enroll there.
If a visit is impossible, call the admission office and ask if they can put you in touch with a current student so you can get a better feel for your “fit” with the institution.
If you have already visited the campuses and you feel you learned as much as you needed to while there, then there’s no need for a second visit. If, however, your first visit left you with questions and you feel that a second visit would clarify your impression and lead you toward a well-informed decision, then you may want to schedule one if time, distance and finances allow.
What if I’m not admitted?
Don’t take it too personally. Whatever strengths and talents you had before receiving that awful letter are still a part of you! If you have significantly improved grades, test scores or personal accomplishments that the admission committee has not seen, consider appealing the decision – asking for another hearing. Your college counselor can help you through this process.
If there is no new information that might alter the decision, focus your energies on places that want you as a member of their student body and determine which of those would be the best for you.
How do I keep adults (beyond my parents) from asking me about my college plans all the time?
That’s hard, because they mean well and would not ask about your plans if they were not interested in your future. Still, you are entitled to keep your own counsel.
First, figure out just how much information you feel comfortable divulging. It’s ok for you to respond to queries by saying that you’re sure students and adults are equally anxious at this time of the year, and that you would prefer to make your enrollment decision before discussing it with anyone.
If you’re especially diplomatic, you might want to let the questioning adult know (gently) that such questioning only increases students’ anxiety levels, and that this is a time when a moratorium on college discussions can be in everyone’s best interest.
Don’t let this waiting period drive you crazy! Find outlets for your stress, like keeping to your workout schedule, losing yourself in books or movies and keeping abreast of your schoolwork.
Family and close friends can provide great moral support and can divert you from constant thought about what will eventually arrive in your mailbox.