How Parents Can Help Students Handle Admissions Decisions

parent and student decision on which college to attend

How Parents Can Help Students Handle Admissions Decisions

Published May 4, 2022

parent and student decision on which college to attend

Parents of Seniors –

For many students and families in the coming weeks, college decisions will cause many emotions. They are the culmination of years of hard work, commitment, and energy. Here are a few things to remember as parents:

How To Handle An Acceptance

Never take any college acceptance for granted. One person’s “safety” is another person’s “reach.” An acceptance is a testament to your student’s accomplishments. Do not tolerate any indifference towards any acceptance. Every acceptance is a reason for gratitude and celebration.

An acceptance from your dream school does not make your student suddenly better than their peers who were deferred or denied.

Admissions officers have an unenviable task. Many at the top institutions will say that they reject hundreds or thousands of perfectly qualified and deserving applicants every year.

That means that peers who are deferred or denied are not undeserving; it does not mean they did anything wrong. It simply means that they will not be attending that college next fall – but surely they will be attending another fantastic institution.

So celebrate, but do not gloat. Be proud, but not vain. Be thoughtful when posting on social media. Your students have all achieved something special. It is now their responsibility to use their education to do something meaningful in the world.

How To Handle A Waitlist

A “waitlist” is not an inevitable rejection. It is incredibly frustrating, prolonging the waiting, but students still have a shot.

If your child is waitlisted, there are a few steps that your student should take beyond any instructions the college provides.

  • Write a letter to their regional admissions officer. Thank them for their continued consideration of your application. Reiterate that their school is your first choice college and you would attend if accepted. Update them on any recent significant achievements in and out of the classroom.
  • Have your guidance counselor advocate for you. Speak with them about reaching out to the college to fight for you.

Bad News Is Not Personal

If the news is not good, we know it is painful to watch your child deal with disappointment. For many, a “deny” shatters confidence.

This is not a time to be angry. Let your child process their emotions. Remind them it’s not personal. It’s competitive. It’s tough. And most importantly, no matter where they go to college, if they work hard and stay true to themselves, they will find happiness and success.

If you need to talk or have questions, please do not hesitate to email or call us anytime. We are here for your students and your families.

Pick the “best fit” college for your child (and family)

It is a lot different revisiting a school as an accepted student. There is a fresh mentality – and sometimes honors colleges and merit money.

The highest ranked school where your child is accepted may be the perfect fit for them. It also may not.

Urge your child to think about where they will thrive the most academically, personally, and socially. Your child’s happiness is so important as they transition into college. They are not just choosing a school for the next four years – they are choosing a home.

Once you pick your college, notify everywhere else you applied

Once your student makes their decision on where to go, have them contact the other colleges where they received acceptances and inform them of their decision. It is not fair to other students to hold a spot because others may have been waitlisted.

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