College Decisions: The Right & Wrong Way to Find Out

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The Right & Wrong Way to Find Out

The Right & Wrong Way to Find Out

I recommend that you talk with your child about how they would like to find out the news before they begin to receive their college decisions. In particular, ask them whether they want to open the college’s e-mail or letter alone or with family and friends around them.

It might be a good idea to absorb the news— be it good news or bad news—alone and then tell everyone else.

Also, when the college decisions actually arrive in the mail or appear in your inbox, your child should not feel obligated to open them immediately

I know this sounds completely unrealistic, but it is important to at least give some thought about how your child wants to hear the news from each of their colleges.

Far too many students fidget impatiently by the computer waiting for the time that college decisions are released and they don’t think about how they will feel after they know.

For example, no one should open the e-mail or the letter if they are just about to head off to school or attend some important activity. The best advice is to try to save the decision for a time when your child can take in the decision, whether it is good or bad.

Once your child has chosen how and when to learn the decision, tell them to take a deep breath before they open the e-mail or the letter.

And please remind your child that an acceptance or rejection is not a reflection on their worth as a human being. College admissions are insanely competitive these days and many perfectly qualified students are receiving rejections.

No one has control over the particular idiosyncracies of any given admissions committee and a portion of the college admissions decision is subjective. College admission committees view their job as putting together a freshmen class that meets the needs of their particular college. And with far more applicants than available spots, some perfectly qualified students are going to be rejected.

Once your child is ready, they should open the letter or e-mail and take a look.

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