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College Admissions Decisions Are In. Now What?

Accepted! The obvious highlight of the college admissions process is receiving those college acceptance letters. Witnessing the joy that college acceptance notifications bring is always a memorable experience. At this point in the college admissions cycle, high school seniors are hopefully experiencing this joy. Let's talk about the next steps after receiving the college acceptance offer. Accepted students should:

  • Wait to receive notifications before making a decision,

  • Reconsider college decision factors including cost, location, college preference, etc. for each acceptance received, and

  • Compare acceptance offers.

Rejected: There is no sugarcoating the feeling of being rejected. Although receiving a rejection decision sucks, it is a real part of the process and life itself. Students should not take a rejection notice personally but rather focus on the acceptance decisions they have received or hope to receive. Prospective college students who receive rejection letters should:

  • Understand that most students receive a rejection notification,

  • Evaluate and reassess the college list,

  • Focus on the acceptance offers and, perhaps

  • Consider appealing the decision if there is new and compelling information to disclose.

Deferred: Two common reasons that students are deferred are (1) The school may need more time to review applications or (2) The admission committee believes that an application needs a boost, which means they want to give prospective students a chance to do so. Deferred students should:

  • Complete the college's deferral instructions,

  • Submit updated test scores recommendation letters, transcripts, and a letter of continued interest,

  • Evaluate and update the college list, and

  • Stay positive - a deferral is a second chance for admission.

Waitlisted: College waitlists include qualified students who might be admitted if space in the freshmen class becomes available. The chances of being selected from the waitlist will vary by institution, however, NACAC (National Association of College Admission Counseling) reports that 20% of all waitlisted students were ultimately admitted. Therefore, waitlisted students should consider the following:

  • Evaluate the backup plan,

  • Decide if they want to remain on the waitlist and find out where they rank on the waitlist, if possible, and consider financial aid deadlines,

  • Continue to demonstrate interest and communication, and

  • Confirm enrollment at another university as part of the backup plan.

Way Finder Educational Consulting can help you start your college journey. Connect for a free 30-minute consultation, call us at 786-496-3091, click on the link below, or email us at


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