Most college applicants can expect mid-December or April 1 to bring at least one piece of good news. Although the acceptance rates at the top schools have dropped steadily in recent years as applicant pools have grown, the majority of U.S. colleges and universities continue to admit the majority of their applicants. Seniors who applied to a sensible range of schools should find themselves with at least one admissions offer in hand.
That's small comfort, however, for someone who has been waitlisted or denied at their top-choice schools. For these applicants, it may be time to make some difficult decisions.
Re-Assessing Your 'Safety Schools': Ideally, you did receive acceptances to one or more of your lower-priority schools. Take another look at the information you have on the school. Would you be happy there for a full four years? Could you accept attending a year or two of classes there and then try to transfer to one of your preferred schools? Or would you be genuinely unhappy from the first day you set foot on campus?
If your answer to that last question is 'yes,' think twice about accepting your admissions offer. Even the most disciplined student has a hard time doing their best work if they truly dislike the school they're attending.
Positioning Yourself for a Transfer: You may be able to successfully apply as a transfer student after a year or two at another institution. You'll need to plan ahead for this strategy to work, however. You'll need to do well at the first institution, making sure that your performance there ameliorates any weakness the admissions committee may have seen in you as an applicant for freshman admissions. Top schools tend to accept few, if any, transfer applicants because few of the students who initially enroll there choose to transfer out.
Taking a 'Gap Year': The gap year option – which is when a high school graduate waits a year to apply to colleges – has gotten a lot of attention in recent years. It's not as simple a solution as it might sound, especially for applicants whose gap year is a fallback they turned to after being denied admission to their target schools. Those applicants need to devote their gap year to activities and accomplishments that will outweigh whatever doubts the admissions committees had about them the first time they applied. To be successful, a gap year strategy needs to be carefully planned and thought out.
Appealing a Denial: This strategy hardly ever works. College and university admissions committees do not make their decisions lightly. They are extremely unlikely to reverse an admissions decision once it has been made. You'll be doing yourself a big favor if you do your best to get your college applications right the first time around.
Were You Waitlisted or Denied by Your Top-Choice School? Our Waitlist Assistance or Denied Analysis package can help you understand your situation and options. Our consultant with first-hand college admissions experience will review the application you submitted, give you their assessment of the reasons for your admissions outcome, and advise you on what to do next. Call us at 646,266,6084, email us, or pursue our website to learn more.
Stephenie, having been a tutor/instructor/mentor since 1996, discovered her passion and founded Lee Academia Educational Consulting, LLC. after she left the dental and medical field. She loves teaching/mentoring and counseling her students. Her passion lies in educating others and helping them pursue their educational path. Today, certified in College Counseling and with more than 10 years of experience, Stephenie and her team continues to blog about current updated educational news and events.
Lee Academia Educational Consulting, LLC