Last week admissions decisions for early applicants started making their way into mailboxes and inboxes across the country. For some students, an acceptance to a first-choice school marks a sigh of relief. For many, many others, however, an unfavorable decision on an application is a disappointment.
If you’re one of the applicants that didn’t receive the acceptance you hoped for, it’s ok to be disappointed. But it’s more important to not dwell on the rejection, and instead develop a game plan for how you’re going to move forward with the college application process. Here are some things to keep in mind while you do just that:
1. Understand the Letter
You may have stopped reading the letter you received once you realized that it didn’t contain the acceptance you wanted. But you shouldn’t be so quick to put it down. Many schools, instead of denying applicants outright, defer their applications to be reviewed again with the regular applicant pool.
If this is the case with your letter, you now have more time to demonstrate to the college that you’re exactly the type of student they want on their campus. Don’t resend them information they already have. Instead, focus on providing them with new information. Have you received new awards or positions in your activities? Let them know. Colleges like to know that you haven’t slacked off just because your application was submitted.
If you have unfortunately been rejected, consider sending a thank you note to the Office of Admission at the school. Thank them for their consideration, and if you intend to apply for transfer admission, make them aware of that fact as well.
Hopefully you haven’t been waiting around for this one decision, and instead have been preparing the rest of your applications. The upcoming holiday break from school is a perfect time to tighten up any applications and essays needed for those colleges you’ve been holding off on. Make note of any January 1st deadlines, and get those outstanding applications submitted.
You may even want to revisit some schools that you’re applying to, or even visit some schools you were thinking about, but didn’t end up on your list. Set up some visits, talk to students and counselors. You might find another school fits you just as well.
We know it’s difficult, but try to view the rejection as a positive. It’s difficult, sure, when you’ve been dreaming of yourself on a specific campus for the past few months. But the reality is this: there’s never going to be only one place where you could succeed and be happy.
And remember: you’re not the first, nor will you be the last, to be rejected from your first-choice college. In fact, here’s an article that talks about some of the many individuals who have been rejected in the past, and how it shaped who they became.