This is the time of year when high school seniors and their families wait anxiously for letters of acceptance from the colleges and universities they applied to.  Most results will start reaching inboxes and mailboxes the second week of December, which is a short time away. 

There are a variety of decisions you may receive and I wanted to take some time to explain them along with your options. 

I’m Accepted! Now what?

Sign Up for E-News

If you were accepted, congratulations! There is a myth that they only get sent out in thick envelopes, but these days, they can be sent via email or via regular thin envelopes at first. 

If you applied early decision, then that means you are going to that school. Ideally, this should have been your first choice, so hopefully you are thrilled. You may receive an estimated aid package along with your acceptance. You will receive information on how to send in your deposit. Once you’ve sent it in, you’re all set! Please also remember to rescind your application from the other schools you’ve been accepted to and let them know you’ve been accepted elsewhere. 

If you applied early action, you have the option of waiting for the rest of your application results to come in, before making a decision. However, if it your number one choice, then you are also free to send in a deposit to secure your place. Similarly, they will offer any preliminary financial packages, including merit scholarships, if you qualify. At the same time, you can wait for the rest of your results to arrive next Spring and make your choice then. 

I’m Deferred. What does that mean?

Good news is it means you are a decent candidate. Unfortunately, they don’t have enough space for early acceptance to take you at this time. They will however re-consider your application with regular decision applicants. It’s like receiving a second chance. You will receive your final decision in the Spring. 

Another upside to being deferred, is if you applied early decision, you are now released from your commitment to attend the school should you be accepted in the regular decision round. The benefit is you can now consider any other schools that may accept you regular decision since being deferred releases you from your early decision commitment. You can now wait for the rest of your results to arrive in the Spring to make your decision.

In the meantime, if you are passionate about attending that school, you can consider sending an email or letter expressing your utmost desire to attend. In a few instances, it can be beneficial. 

I’m Waitlisted. What does that mean?

Being waitlisted is similar to being deferred, except it happens typically during the regular decision results. It means that they thought you were a good candidate, but they do not have enough spaces at the moment. As they start to receive decisions from applicants who have been accepted on whether or not they decide to attend that school, a spot might open up and you may be accepted off the waitlist at that time. 

There is not much control you have over this either, but there have been few instances where students who have written in to express their desire to attend and reiterated why they are a good fit for the school do manage to get off the waitlist and are accepted. 

I was Rejected. What happened?

Oftentimes, it is difficult to accept rejections. However, if you applied to a balanced list of schools, chances are, you may receive a rejection or two. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure or less adequate in any way. There are excellent students who still get rejected by top tier schools. The truth is, there are a limited number of spots and there are more qualified applicants than there are spaces in most situations. 

As long as you have tried your best, just know it might be that you may not have been a right fit for each other. If you receive a rejection letter and you are concerned about your prospects, you can consider applying for schools that have later deadlines or may have rolling admissions. If all else fails, you can always consider community college for the first year and then transfer to another school in the future. You can actually save quite a bit of money this way as well. 

Overall, you know if you have put in the time and effort to competing your applications as thoughtfully as possible. If you plan ahead, you will have many options available to you. Wishing you a happy holidays with hopefully equally happy admissions results!

Elite Advantage Prep, LLC assists its students and their families navigate the college admissions process through personalized consulting. Elite Advantage Prep, LLC assists students with everything from creating a list of "good match" schools based on their unique interests and needs to help them brainstorm admissions essays. Elite Advantage Prep, LLC can also help students create a “four-year plan” to help them achieve the right balance of classes and activities with the goal of helping each student achieve their ultimate potential.