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College Admissions

By Tonya DuBois

You did it! You got in….now it’s decision time. Here are some tips to help you decide:

1. Make a short list – 2 to 3 schools – and go visit them again. This visit should be very different from the campus tour: Sit in on classes, eat in the cafeteria, stay with a host student overnight, check out several dormitories, explore the surrounding town/city, talk to professors in your intended major. Admission Offices should arrange these sorts of visits for accepted students.

2. Spreadsheet the real cost of attendance. Start with the “sticker price” and deduct all the grants, scholarships, etc. Consider the loans and if you can really afford them. If some schools are a car ride away and others a plane ride away, remember to consider this factor in the real cost of attendance.

3. See if the schools have an “accepted student” twitter feed (or similar) and follow them for more detailed information.

4. Do you know anyone who is a current student at the schools you are considering? If so, reach out and learn what it’s really like. Your Counselor may be a helpful resource, as well.

5. Make a pro/con list. Go one step farther and weigh each pro/con with a number of +1, +2, +3 or -1, -2, -3. See which school ends up with the best score.

6. Discuss all of the above with your parents and determine which school is the best fit for your and for your family.

7. Get the deposit in by the May 1 deadlines. For colleges that do NOT guarantee freshmen housing, the earlier you can get that deposit in, the better!


College Admissions

By Tonya DuBois

Find Yourself on the Dreaded Wait List? Here’s a list of 10 things you should do:

1. Evaluate if this school is still your first choice and if so, reply as required by the college, that you would like to stay on the wait list.

2. You must still deposit and plan to attend another institution.

3. If you are accepted from the wait list, you’ll be enrolling sometime after the May 1 enrollment date; therefore, ensure you know all your options as a late enrollee regarding: housing, financial aid, etc.

4. Some colleges rank their wait list. If you call, they are generally willing to tell you if they rank and where you rank, so you know if your chances are good, or slim. You can also ask what their statistics are – do they generally go to the wait list and if so, how many students tend to come off the wait list?

5. Ask the Admission Office if they interview wait listed students. If so, schedule an interview to make your case (well-crafted and well-thought out, in advance, of course).

6. Write a letter to the Admission Office stating any new information/updates they might need re. additional achievements/awards, etc. Make your case for why you are a good fit. And, if true, let them know that if accepted, you will enroll. (Have at least 2 adults review this letter before sending.)

7. Ask your Counselor to call and/or write to the Admission Officer on your behalf, confirming your continued interest. And, if the school remains your first choice, this should be directly stated by your Counselor.

8. Your 4th quarter grades suddenly matter more than ever. Continue to study hard and earn great grades. Have your school counselor send the college a year-end report.

9. Remember, you are on the wait list because the college feels that you are, indeed, qualified for admission. They simply admitted too many students who already meet a similar profile. If you presented yourself as the student-athlete, or the future doctor, consider what else you can tell them about yourself, that may allow you to fit into a more unique niche. Include this information in your letter.

10. Lastly, do not harass the Admission Office – one contact to get all your well-planned questions answered and one contact to mail in your letter and any updates should be sufficient.