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College Talk Blog

College Admission Decisions

My child must go to college X

I sometimes hear parents say that their child must gain admission to a specific college. While it is good to have target colleges, no one can guarantee that any student wil be accepted at any specific college. When you add to this equation that the student may not have the general admission requirements for a specific school, the next suggestion from the parent is often that since they have given money to that college, the student will have an edge in admission decisions.

NEW FLASH-there is also no guarantee that writing a check to a college gives a student any sort of admission advantage.

Applying Early to Colleges...or not?

Some college applications are due in three days to meet early application deadlines. Others are due in a little over two weeks.Students who have not 
started college applications need to decide whether they will file all applications early or file a few early and others as regular decision applications.

Students can apply as an early decision applicant to only one college- which means they are promising to attend that college if the college accepts them.
They can apply as an early action applicant to multiple colleges (non-binding) just as they can apply as a regular decision applicant to multiple colleges.

You don't have to go

Sometimes I speak with students who have accepted the admission offer from a college but are not looking forward to attending. There are many reasons this could be true. Maybe it wasn't their first choice college. Or maybe it was and they are having second thoughts about going to college far from home. In any event, it is important to let them know they don't have to go.

In most cases, the only thing that happens if they don't go is the loss of the admission deposit. And, if there is a good reason to decide not to attend at this point because of changing circumstances or health an exception might be made.

I got my financial aid award letter, now what?

Scholarship and financial aid award notices are arriving in student email inboxes. Some arrive in the mail, others online and some have to be viewed on the college website using a student id and password.The big question in the minds of students and their parents is "what do the notices actually mean?" 

The best way to understand an award notice is to write down what your bill will be including tuition, fees, room and board. Those are the items likely to be on your bill. Then make a list of the free money (money that does not have to be paid back).

Colleges are offering more decisions than yes or no

Students expect an acceptance or rejection letter from their application for college admission. But colleges now offer more variations on their response to student requests for admission such as:

  • you are not being admitted at this time but we are offering you a place on our wait list
  • you have been admitted for the January term, instead of the fall
  • we are offering you admission to our campus in Europe
  • you have been admitted but you are not admitted for the major you declared
  • we are offering you a contract for guaranteed admission next year if you attend another college or branch of our college for one year and accomplish a specific gpa and number of credits