5 Ways for Seniors to Prepare for Admission Decisions

The Huffington Post

By Dr. Kat Cohen
March 6, 2017

It’s March, and over the next few weeks college bound seniors will be learning of their admission decisions. This can be a nerve-wracking time for students, but there’s plenty that students can be doing between now and then to alleviate some stress and prepare for what’s next.

Just as advance preparation during the college admissions process can help students feel more confident and in control, the same can be said for preparing for admission decisions before they’re released. By taking time to get organized, learn dates and deadlines, and prepare for any outcome, students can feel completely ready for what’s next once their decisions start rolling in.

Here are five things that seniors should be doing now in order to prepare for admission decisions later this month.

Keep Up the Good Work
Senioritis can strike at any moment – and students who are waiting on admission decisions are particularly susceptible. Don’t let your anxiety over whether or not you’ll get in keep you from continuing to excel in the classroom. At this point, you’ve done all you can to gain admission to your top-choice colleges. Now, you need to focus on your classwork, tests, AP exams, and more in order to keep your grades up and avoid a rescinded acceptance should you get into one or more of your top-choice colleges.

Get Your Research Ready
In the case of multiple acceptances, all the research you did when building your balanced college list will come in handy when deciding where to enroll. Make sure all the information on classes, professors, activities, research opportunities, and more is in an accessible place and easy to read. If not, organize your research by school, so you can quickly brush up on colleges’ info and develop a list of supplemental questions to ask should you attend an admitted student’s weekend or similar event before the enrollment deadline.

Know When Decisions are Released and How They Will Be Delivered
Many colleges will release admissions decisions at different times and in different formats. While many colleges will allow students to access decisions on an applicant portal, others may only send them via mail. Some colleges have even used Snapchat to deliver admission decisions! Find out when the colleges you applied to are releasing decisions by searching online, visiting the admissions website, checking your applicant portal, or contacting the admissions office. You can also visit the IvyWise blog for a list of colleges and their admission decision release dates. Also, make sure you know how to check your decision – whether it’s in the applicant portal, in your email, or via regular mail.

Prepare for Any Outcome
Sometimes admission decisions are not a clear “yes” or “no.” In addition to an accepted or rejected decision, there’s also the chance that students will be waitlisted, admitted with certain conditions, like they must maintain a certain GPA or complete additional course work prior to freshman year, or even admitted but are not able to enroll until the spring. Often times these decisions are completely unexpected, and can cause a lot of additional confusion and stress. Bypass any uncertainty by learning about all possible outcomes, what they mean, and what you’ll need to do next.

Stay Positive!
If you did your research and applied to a balanced list of reach, target, and likely colleges, you will get into a college that is a good fit for your social, academic, and financial goals. It’s easy to let the stress of the process overshadow all the hard work you have done thus far, but remember – you will get into a college where you will be successful and happy. It’s not the name of the college that makes for a successful experience, but what you do with your time there.

This is an exciting time for students, and they should focus on the present, while also preparing for the future, in order to manage stress and enjoy their last few months of school before graduation. For more information on when admission decisions are coming out and what to do if you’re accepted, rejected, or waitlisted, be sure to follow myself and IvyWise on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!