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The Harsh Reality of College Decisions: Rejected, Deferred & Waitlisted

College application rejections happen. At highly selective institutions, rejections are the norm. Highly competitive schools are often perceived with academic rigor and quality. But receiving a rejection letter does not indicate the end of college prospects. In fact, college application rejections are a reality for almost one out of three students. However, having a solid admissions strategy improves your chances for your #collegeapps being #accepted. What should students do if their college application is rejected?

Stay Optimistic: Being rejected or denied college admission sucks! Yet, students should remain confident in their ability, intelligence and aptitude. Although rejection letters hurt, students should not allow the decision to shake their confidence and self-esteem.

Be Open-Minded: College-bound students are encouraged to submit more than a few applications. They should continue to submit applications within the published deadlines to other schools. There are plenty of good quality colleges and universities. They should continue to do research and explore other college options.

Remain Focused: Continue to improve the college application. The college application season can be daunting. But it is important for students to stay the course and try to enhance their application, whether it's boosting grades, GPA, test scores, essays, recommendation letters and/or other supplemental items.

Get Help: If students experience college rejections, they should consider obtaining an independent higher education consultant to improve the college applications. They also may need to get tutoring for entrance exams or revise your essays. Other options exist such as, taking a gap year, attending a community college, applying again, and appealing the decision.

Deferrals indicate that an application has not yet been reviewed and a college will review the application at a later date, likely during the regular decision application review period.

Deferrals are not denials or rejections. College applications are deferred when the college wants to review an application and make a decision at a later date. Deferrals usually happen during the early action or early decision admission season. Deferred students should reassess their top college lists, continue to work on regular decision applications, improve their college application and write a letter of continued interest.

In this scenario, students who are placed on a waitlist have met the admission requirements but the college has already accepted the number of applications it has space for. If a space becomes available, that student may be offered a spot. Waitlisted students should determine if they want to remain on the waitlist and respond to the college. It's important for the student to find out the chances of a space opening up and start considering back-up options.

Students must prepare for all potential admission decisions mentioned above including being accepted. If a student's college application is rejected, waitlisted or deferred - know that it is not the end of the world. They will need to consider all available options and carefully consider the next steps.


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