Colleges that don’t have early admissions deadlines sometimes review applications in batches and send out acceptances AND denials in groups, starting in the fall and winter, even though the admissions office website says that admissions decisions will be sent in March or April. There may be no particular rhyme or reason why some applications are reviewed earlier than later, and why some get acceptance decisions sooner, rather than in the spring–especially if the application is complete with official SAT & ACT score reports sent and transcripts (if requested) were received. For some students (and their parents), this can create questions about her/his competitiveness for admissions and fuel fears about not being accepted. And, no one wants to be told no.
The seeming roller coaster of feelings and thoughts regarding college admissions is a work in progress–sometimes starting in the beginning of high school, sometimes extending long after deposits and tuition have been paid and the student is well-into their college career. The unknowns about any experience are ever present, yet, with college,the promise of financial security and lifelong success, as well as the validation of a a young life’s entire work (i.e. academic success in school and hours spent in extracurricular activities), are being questioned as reports in the news and from people you actually know–cousins, colleague’s children, client’s nephews, neighbors, older sisters of children’s friends–aren’t able to find work after college, plus have student loans they can’t repay or must defer. All the while, students and their families are facing rising tuition (sometimes yearly or biannually), creating the circumstances for greater questions before selecting colleges for application. Thus, when college acceptances start arriving sooner than expected, previously subconscious concerns can surface, creating more questions than answers. However, rest assured this a cyclical pattern, repeated each year, with its attendant reactions–only to be placed in a proper context next spring when all the college admissions offices have made their decisions. Until then, chocolate, exercise, occasional screams into a pillow, or whatever helps you de-stress, until that which for today is unknown becomes known and the next chapter in life begins to unfold.
Photo Credit: Art Baird, Creative Marbles Consultancy, 2012