Welcome to The Big Wait, the post-application period, with nothing to do but check applicant portals and wait for admissions officers to respond. High school students (some transfer admissions candidates too), anxious to “get done” with applications in the fall, expect to relax during the winter months, as “there’s no more college essays to stress over”. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
The majority of colleges send admissions decisions March 1 through April 1. Waiting to receive admissions decisions, without the power to change a line in their essay or second-guessing that they should’ve applied to some other college, can be stressful, even if for no other reason than their patience can be tested to the max.
Additionally, since some colleges send admissions decisions in batches and on a rolling basis, which started last fall, friends or peers may have already been admitted (or denied) to a college where one is still waiting for a decision. Thus, students can worry about their own chances for admissions in some anxiety-ridden comparison, although untethered from fact. Seeking support from peers or worse yet from the internet, in desperate “Chance Me” threads, can be unsatisfying at best and more likely only increase stress, as the inexperienced are advising the inexperienced.
As an antidote to such concern, if a student has not yet been notified about an admissions decision to a campus, they may still be admitted (or denied or waitlisted), just at a later date. There is typically no reason why one student is notified of an admissions decision earlier than another student.
Parents can equally worry, albeit in their own ways, and sometimes separate from their teenagers. Typically, when trying to allay their fears gaining the support of their Parent Network, parents hear conflicting advice or some horror story about so-and-so’s niece’s neighbor’s cousin’s friend with a 4.8+ GPA, high SAT scores and saved every furry creature in a three county radius was “rejected” from a college. Thus, parents, like their teens, can be more confused after their inquiries, as they may not have an experienced advisor to provide perspective.
As antidotes, teens and parents can reflect on the reasons for seeking a college education in the first place, continuing to gain confidence in the type of campus they most seek to join. Then, given the proliferation of virtual tours and visits, especially on social media like Instagram. students can continue investigating the nuances of campuses.
Then, once students receive admissions decisions, they and their families can more effectively decide which campuses to visit and explore more in the various open houses and other newly admitted student welcoming events planned.
Students can use The Big Wait, as a Strategic Time Out for more reflection and conversation with family in order to make a more informed choice, reducing the risk of college malinvestment, before making a final college choice by the national May 1, 2022 enrollment deadline.
For over twenty years, Creative Marbles experts have moderated family conversations regarding complex educational decisions, lending our expertise to reduce the risk of malinvestment. For more information, contact us.