Dear Seniors (and those who love them),

We are finally entering the end of your admissions journey, but don’t forget that it’s the beginning of the rest of your fricking life! So even in the angst and frustration of making a decision, be sure to celebrate all you’ve done! If you’re feeling really unsteady about all the sh!t that’s happening around you, you can do what I do when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Sure, sometimes I sink into Hulu, Connections, or crosswords, but what helps me most is long walks or just sitting a few minutes and just breathing with this short meditation: 

I am who I am. 

This is what it is. 

May I accept things as they are. 

May I trust in the unfolding.

QUESTIONS I’M GETTING A LOT OF: DOUBLE DEPOSIT and GETTING RESCINDED

I’m getting a lot of questions about double depositing. Don’t take the risk of being rescinded for that. It’s not worth it. If you need more time, ask for an extension. Don’t wait for waitlist offers, pick your fave choice among the colleges who love you and commit. If your waitlist offer comes through later and you want to switch, all you have to do is let the first school know.

I’ve also seen questions about being rescinded for grades or other situations. While it’s unusual, it does happen, so finish out the semester strong. Here’s a link to my post about being rescinded. 

WHAT TO DO ABOUT WAITLISTS?

If you’ve been waitlisted — and I know many of you have been — and you’d like to remain on the waitlist, be sure to let colleges know. If they don’t say NOT to send a letter or any other info to them, I suggest that you write the love letter of your life as a Letter of Continued Interest or a LOCI. Here’s a link to my post, Waitlist and LOCI Tips and FAQs, where I go into detail about what you need to do to write your letter. Here’s a link to my live stream about Waitlists with u/novembrrr!

THANK YOU NOTES

Take this time to write thank-you notes to your teachers and LOR writers. You can turn your attention to gratitude toward those who’ve helped you in your admissions journey. A heartfelt thank you note will mean the world to your teachers as you acknowledge their efforts.

UPDATE COLLEGES

Let the colleges you won’t be attending know that you’ve decided to go another way. If they don’t have a way to tell them in the portal, be sure to send a quick email to their admissions office, and if you’ve interacted with your regional counselor, be sure to thank them and let them know too.

IF YOU’RE STILL DECIDING

Here are some hints that might help no matter what schools you’re discussing.

  1. Badass College Apps Livestream: One of my favorite college counselors, Nick Accrocco, and I discussed ways to make your final decision. You should watch or listen if you’re still deciding.  Link is here. 
  2. Pros and Cons: Make an oversized list of pros and cons on paper for each school. Like make it poster-sized. Put the name of the school at the top and then list all the pros and cons that you can think of for each school. Consider aspects like finances, culture, vibe, departments, honors, social, academics, geography, weather, surrounding area, travel from, and distance from home. Put it on your wall and leave it there for a few days so you can look it over and add and subtract from it as you absorb the thoughts. Hang out with these lists for a few days and add to them as you think of something. When one has more cons than pros take it down.
  3. Spreadsheet: Excel the shit out of it and compare, compare compare. I have a sample for you to use to think about what you might want to compare.
  4. Do the 10/10/10 test: Ask yourself: “How will I feel about my decision in 10 hours? 10 weeks? 10 years?”
  5. Tell a Few: Make a choice. Tell your parents and maybe a few friends, and sleep on it. What’s your gut feeling? Does it feel right? If so, go for it. If not, rethink.
  6. Coin Toss: Try the coin toss trick. Assign a side of the coin to a school and toss it. That’s your school. Tell your parents and a couple of friends. Then sleep on it. How do you feel?
  7. Gut Check: What’s keeping you up at night? Sit in silence for 15 minutes and focus on your breath — What thoughts are floating by? What’s your gut telling you?
  8. Finances: My opinion is this should be your number one consideration: I don’t think anyone should be taking on debt if you have the option of attending college without it. But, if you are considering debt, a“rule” of thumb I’ve heard is not to take on more total debt for all four years than your potential first-year salary — so for those of you looking to grad school, especially med and law school, you really want the minimum amount of debt possible. And don’t hesitate to try to renegotiate your financial aid. The worst that could happen is they’ll tell you no. See below for helpful links.

FINANCIAL AID ISSUES

  1. If you need help paying for your deposit, ask your school counselor if NACAC has a fee waiver link this year or reach out to the college and ask them if they can help.
  2. Need help with financial aid appeals? I haven’t personally used either of these websites, but I’ve heard from other counselors and consultants that they can be helpful:FormSwift: https://formswift.com/swift-student and Merit More — https://meritmore.com/compare_offer_and_appeal_letter.
  3. Also, College Essay Guy has a great resource about how to write the financial aid appeal letter — https://www.collegeessayguy.com/blog/financial-aid-appeal-letter
  4. New York Times article from April 2021 — https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/23/your-money/financial-aid-offers-college.html
  5. WaPo article from March 2022— https://www.wsj.com/articles/biggest-mistakes-families-make-when-appealing-college-financial-aid-decisions-11646325797
  6. Comment on A2C — https://www.reddit.com/r/ApplyingToCollege/comments/nmybct/financial_aid_appeal/gzrehbb?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

LIFE ZIGS AND ZAGS

Take time to breathe and care for yourself. Remember life doesn’t go in a straight line. It zigs and zags. You might not be where you thought you’d be or be headed where you’d imagined, but those zigs and zags and spirals will bring you where you need to be eventually if you are present, live your life with intention, and you’re open to learning along the way. If my life hadn’t zagged in a major way, I’d never have found myself writing about college admissions and sharing it with anyone who wanted to learn more!

So, Seniors, this might be my last post just for y’all. Go out and live Big Bold Lives, and come back and share your wisdom and experiences now and then! You’re an amazing group of people and it’s been an honor sharing in your excitement, stress, joy, disappointment, silliness, anger, and humor! 

(Juniors if you’re reading this, get ready! I’ve got a bunch of posts heading your way in the next couple of months! It’s gonna be time to get this party started!)

xoxoxoxo AdmissionsMom