Parent College Coach Tip #103: Use This College Decision To-Do List
Mar18

Parent College Coach Tip #103: Use This College Decision To-Do List

One knowledgeable college counselor once told me, “I don’t like to call these letters of acceptance. I use the term—offers of admission.” As a parent, I like that distinction. This alternative wording makes it easier to stomach those not-so-pleasant responses and help your college-bound teen work through the gamut of emotions that come when decisions arrive. Your student may be the one receiving these communications from the colleges, but you feel every emotion they do from failure to excitement and everything in between. Each response from a college requires a unique set of actions. Following is a comprehensive college decision to-do list: Deferred admission If a student is deferred admission, it’s time to get to work, if you haven’t already done so. Here are just a few things your student can do to assure an offer of admission: Read the instructions in the letter and do everything they request. Stay on top of your game. Don’t let senioritis take over, causing your grades to drop. Provide current documentation. This is a good time to send recent grades and test scores if they have improved. Provide them with any accomplishments that have happened since your original application. These might include awards, accolades or anything that might remind them of your value. Demonstrate interest. This would be a good time to schedule an additional campus visit. Wait-Listed A letter informing you that your student has been wait-listed will require the same actions listed above for deferred admission. Before filling out the online form or returning the card to indicate you want to stay on the wait list, consider that the National Association for College Admission Counseling estimates that only about 30 percent of students who opt to remain on a wait list are ultimately admitted. This might be a good time to embrace and explore your other choices. No offer of admission If your student is not offered admission, there is rarely anything that can be done to change the college’s decision. Don’t take it personally. As the Godfather says, “It’s not personal; it’s just business.” Move on and be proactive. It’s time to reexamine your other college choices. Revisit some of the colleges you were accepted to and look at them in a different light. It’s not uncommon for students who were not offered admission from their dream college, to find a better fit among the safety ones. You may not feel that way now, but odds are you will after you set foot on campus and become involved. Embrace the fork in the road and don’t look back. An offer of admission If your student receives an offer of...

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