Dealing with College Acceptances, Rejections, and Waitlists

The moment that students and parents have been anxiously awaiting for months has finally arrived. Spring is the time of year when colleges notify applicants whether or not they are accepted or put on a waitlist. Once the notifications arrive, there are many important factors to consider before the May 1st decision deadline. The founder and CEO of IvyWise, Dr. Kat Cohen, and the dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania, Eric Furda, gave expert advice and tips for the decision making process during an interview on the Today show.

The best case scenario for students is being accepted into several of their preferred colleges. According to Dr. Cohen, students should consider the following factors when evaluating their acceptances:

  • Academic opportunities
  • Campus location and culture

  • Financial aid packages

  • Return on investment

After considering the options, Dr. Cohen suggests to students, “always go with your gut” when making the final decision about which college to attend.

If a student is placed on a waitlist, the decision to wait or commit to another college becomes a challenging decision. Eric Furda recommends that students accept the waitlist spot at their first choice school, make a deposit at their next choice school, and update the first choice school on grades and honors while waiting to find out about admittance. Even if students aren’t admitted to that first choice school and attend another school, Furda suggests students “go in with a positive attitude.”

Of course it’s disappointing for students and parents when rejections arrive, but according to Dr. Cohen, “Rejection isn’t a bad thing. It’s a great life lesson. Learn resilience.”  

You can watch the full video here. Do you have questions about how to deal with acceptances, rejections, or waitlists? Contact Hughes College Prep to discuss how to manage your options.

Chenoa Harrington