The waiting game is almost over. All that planning and hard work, the college admissions tests, AP tests and, finally, the college applications are behind you. Within the next few weeks, colleges and universities are making their final decisions and will be letting you know whether you will be admitted, denied, or maybe even wait-listed. It is a stressful time.
While you are running for your mailbox or frantically checking your email (colleges can notify applicants either way), it is important to keep a sense of perspective. Most students have applied to a range of schools including both “reach” and “safety” schools. With college admissions decisions becoming increasingly complicated and seemingly even random in some cases, many students are surprised by their final list of options and often have to make difficult choices. I addition, with the skyrocketing costs of college, many students are forced to choose a college based on affordability. Most importantly, it is critical not to to take college rejections to heart and use them as an indicator of your self-worth or value. Anyone can be happy at a large number of colleges. Optimally, we can use rejection to learn from the experience and be flexible enough to change our plans, often for the better. Ivy League schools are terrific, but so are hundreds of other schools. In fact, many other schools will actually provide a better education than an Ivy League school will. See William Deresiewicz’s book “Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the way to A Meaningful Life” as an example of some of the concerns about an Ivy League education.
Frank Bruni’s excellent column “How to Survive the College Admissions Madness” is a fantastic piece that speaks about college rejections and how one can make the most of them. I recommend it highly.
We at Launch College Counseling help students to come up with a balanced list of colleges. We encourage all our students to apply to a range of schools and to feel good about attending any of the colleges on their list. Please feel free to contact Launch to help your student begin the college process today or for seniors to review your college options to make the best decision.