By now, the majority of schools across the United States, Canada and the UK have released their admissions decisions. Congratulations to those of you who have gained acceptance into your dream school! Your hard work has truly paid off... but the journey does not end here.
We know though that not everyone's results will be met with excitement. Some of you may not have received the results you were expecting, but we do hope that you know that this is not the end of the road for you. If you were waitlisted or deferred, we have some tips to help you move through that phase of limbo.
Even if this college admissions cycle did not end on a positive note for you, or it did but you have not received enough financial aid to attend, we have tips just for you too!
WHAT TO DO IF YOU'VE BEEN ACCEPTED
The key thing to note is that you have to maintain your high standard of work and clean disciplinary record. Many students think that because they have gotten in, they can flunk out the remainder of their high school career.
It is very possible for a college to rescind your acceptance should your academic and disciplinary records have any drastic negative change. Ensure that your high school has submitted your updated transcript and any other information that your college might have requested in your acceptance letter. Aside from continuing to do well, here are a few other things you'll need to do once you've been accepted:
Review Your Offers: Now is the time to sit with your team (parents, college advisor, mentors etc) to review the offers you've received. Ensure that the acceptance and financial aid offers are accurate and satisfactory before moving on. If you have multiple acceptances, sit with your team to review the offers and decide on the best option. Take into consideration the financial aid and scholarship packages associated with each acceptance offer, the programs you've been accepted to and which of them you are most interested in enrolling in and which best aligns with align your ultimate career and life goals.
Accept and Decline: After you've made your decision, you must formally accept your admission offer. Ensure that your excitement and appreciation is communicated in your acceptance (where this is possible). Instructions on how to accept the offer and the next steps to take will either be listed in your letter or on the admissions portal of the respective institutions. Pay close attention to deadlines! After you've submitted your formal acceptance, you will also have the task to decline the offers from the schools that you will not be attending. Where you are asked submit a written declination, ensure that your tone is graceful and appreciative.
Stay in the Know: It is very important to be aware of all the requirements your college has for admission. After acceptance, colleges may ask you to sit entrance exams, provide proof of financial aid, make a deposit on your tuition, as well as a whole host of other steps. Look out for notifications regarding securing accommodation, financial aid, orientation and other relevant updates. It's also not a bad idea to schedule a campus visit and start getting acclimatised to the new environment. Some schools will even invite you to join Facebook groups for you to begin interacting with your new classmates. Don't get left behind before your college life even begins! Keep abreast. Stay in the know.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU'VE BEEN WAITLISTED
First things first, this is not the end of the world. It is not uncommon for persons on the waitlist to be accepted and go on to have very fulfilling college experiences. The key is deciding whether or not you wish to attend the school you've been waitlisted for and if you do, it's all about proving yourself worthy of one of those remaining slots. And how do you do that?
Demonstrate your Interest: The instructions regarding how to indicate whether or not you wish to proceed with such an application are usually pretty simple - a checkbox or some other selection. However, it is always advised that applicants take it a little further. You can start by writing a letter to the college admissions team indicating your interest and desire to attend the school. Ensure that your letter indicates any improvement in grades, any new advancements in your extracurriculars or any other information you think will pique the interest of the admissions panel.
It is also very important to Manage Your Expectations. The possibility of making it off the waitlist and earning a spot at the institution is very likely, but so is being rejected. And that is ok! It is not the end of the world. Re-evaluate your options, have you been accepted to any other schools? Focus on those and ensuring that your spot is secure.
Get some more detailed information on how to respond to a Waitlist decision HERE
WHAT TO DO IF YOU'VE BEEN REJECTED
It's a super hard pill to swallow. We know. You've tried incredibly hard and you did not get the results you were expecting. But it is not the end of the world. In fact, this makes for a great comeback story. Here are some steps to moving forward after an unsuccessful college application season:
Consider Going To A Local or Community College: If you are adamant that you need to continue your educational journey immediately following high school, then looking into a local university or a community college may be your best bet. It allows for you to spend the next year in a structured learning environment, that you may choose to transfer from in the following year! Spend one year in a local or community college doing the absolute best that you can - take courses that are challenging and do well in them, take the SAT or ACT again and reapply to those dream universities or colleges that are the best fit for you as a transfer student.
Consider Taking A Gap Year: For many students, not getting into college the first time around is an absolute blessing in disguise. You've been going to school day in and day out for the past at least 16 years of your life, and taking a gap year is the perfect opportunity to take a break and re-assess your vision for yourself! Use your gap year wisely to gain work experience, pursue passion projects, take online courses in areas of interest, travel the world, re-sit the SAT or ACT and start fresh on your college application journey.
Don't Reach Out To Schools You've Been Rejected From: Most schools consider their rejection letter to be the final word. As much as you may want to write a letter to appeal your rejection, it can hinder your chances of ever getting in (especially if you decide to apply again as a Transfer student or during a gap year). For the 2021-2022 admissions cycle, the University of Southern California is the only university that the AIM team has come across that allows their students to appeal their rejection. Only do so if the school has directly invited you to write one -- and ensure that you word it CAREFULLY so as to not disprespect the institution, but rather to show off any improvement on your student profile since submitting your application (improved grades, additional extracurricular accomplishments, new positions of leadership, new awards and achievements).
College application and planning is HARD work. But, you don't have to do it alone. Book a consultation today with the AIM Online Academy and let us help you get on track to winning the college game.
If you're heading to college in 2023 or 2024, now is the time to start strategizing your journey to the college... and what better way to do that than with AIM!