Deciding & Taking The Next Steps

Deciding & Taking The Next Steps

Once students have applied to their chosen schools and have completed the financial aid process, all that remains is to wait for admissions decisions and financial aid award packages. Once the offers come in, students may need help in making their final decision. This section offers information about deciding where to go and how to be successful once they get there!

College admission decisions are usually made by a committee. After the admission committee decides which students to accept, they send out a letter to each applicant informing him or her of the decision.

College Admission Decisions

What are the possible answers and what should you do?

YES— Congratulations! You are accepted to the college!

  • Inform the college whether or not you plan to attend by the deadline noted in the acceptance letter.
  • Send a deposit. When you accept an admission offer, you send a deposit to the college to hold your place.
    • Be sure to complete any housing or other paperwork that may be included.
  • If you cannot afford to pay the deposit by the deadline, contact the college and ask about the possibility of a deadline extension.

NO— You are not accepted to the college.

  • Do not get discouraged. Rejection for admission is not necessarily an indication that you lack the ability to succeed at the college. Often, colleges receive more qualified applications than they have space.
  • If you really want to attend the college, contact the admission office and ask about the possibility of attending another college and transferring after a year or two.

WAIT LIST— Wait list means you are qualified to enter the college but there is not enough room in the freshman class. The good news is that not all students who are accepted to the college decide to attend. In some cases, this opens up enough space for the college to accept students from the wait list.

  • If you really want to attend this college, ask for guidance from your parent(s), teacher(s), counselor(s), and the college to make a wise decision about whether to wait to see if the college will accept you at a later date.
  • If you were accepted at another college, you can choose to pay your deposit to hold a spot at that college. Please note that if you are accepted and choose to attend the school where you were on the wait list, you will lose the deposit sent to the first college—and you will need to pay another deposit to the waitlist school once you receive your decision and decide to attend.

DEFERRED DECISION—At colleges that use the rolling admission system, some applicants are clearly at the top of the applicant “pool” and are accepted right away. Others may be denied admission immediately. Many students in the middle, however, are “deferred” until a later date when a larger percentage of the applications have been received. At that point, these students receive a definitive decision.

  • If you really want to attend this college, contact the college to find out when a more definite decision will be made.
  • Once you know this date, you may choose to wait to see if you will be admitted. However, if you are accepted to another college in the meantime, you might choose to enroll at the second college in order not to lose your spot.

Note: If you decide not to attend a college that has accepted you, let them know as soon as possible that you are declining their offer of acceptance. That opens up a space for another student.

Source: TERi College Planning –  – page 34