Yay you! You all made it through the early rounds, including the Texas apps and the UC apps for those who applied to those schools. So, so, so many high fives to all of you!!! And many of you have even gotten some awesome acceptance letters so far — more high fives!

So what now?

Here are a few reminders to get you through the next few weeks:

  1. Hold onto Your Hearts: As you hear back from early applications over the next few weeks, do some emotional planning. Understand that you have done your absolute best to put forth the strongest application that’ss an amazing reflection of the very best you on your very best day. You’ve done that, I know, because I’ve read many of your essays and seen your applications. Now, the decisions are out of your control, so I want you to hope for the best but plan for the worst. Know that for the highly, highly selective colleges many of you’ve applied to, there are just too many amazing yous to fit into the tiny teacup of colleges, so there will be some disappointments. Know this, too: if the decision doesn’t go your way, it is in no way a reflection of you, your potential, or who you are. You are far more than your college applications, and whatever school is smart enough to accept you will be a very lucky school. You can read more about this in my Emotional Planning post here and in my post about why a little stress just might be good for you — and trees.

  2. Log into Your Portals: Continue logging into your portals and checking to see if your colleges need anything at all from you. Provide any info colleges say they still need. Know that it can take up to a week for materials to be submitted. Here’s my portal mantra: Check your portals regularly, but not obsessively :)

  3. Update Naviance/Your School Counselor: Make sure you’ve checked that you’ve applied to all the schools where you’ve applied on Naviance or Scoir or Cialfo or Maia or whatever system your school uses, or email your school counselor with your list of the schools where you’ve applied. Make sure your school counselor has everything they need from you.

  4. Check-in with your Recommenders: Send them a brief email to let them know you’ve applied to your regular decision schools as you complete those apps, and how excited you are, and how much you appreciate their help on this journey. Be sure to send them a handwritten thank-you note at some point soon.

  5. Check for Interview Info: As you apply to your regular decision schools, be sure to keep checking for interview information. Do the interview. You can find my post with more information about the interview here. Be sure to read it and fill your invisible backpack with your stories.

  6. Send Test Scores: If you haven’t yet submitted test scores for your regular decision schools (if you are submitting test scores) and the colleges require official scores, do so now. Don’t wait and give yourself that stress.

  7. Keep Up with your Supplemental Essays for your RD Schools: Stay on task and make a plan to get those essays done and ready to go — even if you’ve applied ED and you’re waiting to hear back. Get organized and sort your essays into groups like Why Major, Why College, Identity, Future Plans, Greatest Challenge — so that it’s easier for you to reduce, reuse, and recycle. You can read more about supplemental essays in my post from earlier in the fall.
  8. You Might Be Deferred: If that happens, write a Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI), unless the college specifically says not to. I suggest submitting them around the second week of January after the admissions offices have gotten back and settled in — but be sure to read and follow any specific instructions and deadlines they give you. I’ll be posting about your LOCI and what to do if you’re deferred later, but you can read more about this in my post from last year. 

  9. This is your chance: This is your time to learn how strong you are and learn more about colleges and what you want for yourself. This isn’t an ending. It’s a beginning.

  10. Take care of yourselves: Stay healthy and well during the holidays and those early days of 2024. I know these are stressful times in many ways beyond college admissions, which makes it even more important to take care of yourself and take time to breathe, exercise, get outside, and spend time with family and friends.

Please keep me updated as you hear back from colleges. I’m ready to celebrate and commiserate, whatever the case may be. I’m here for you.

XOXOXO AdmissionsMom