For Parents: Supporting Your Senior When Receiving Acceptances, Waitlists, and Rejections

With college decisions coming in, it’s now time for your child to decide on where to spend the next chapter of their life. Join Admissions Experts Mark Seamon as he provides strategies on how you can best support your student when receiving college acceptances, waitlists, and rejections. The webinar will start with a 30-minute presentation and end with a 30-minute live Q&A. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!

Date 04/06/2022
Duration 1:02:40

Webinar Transcription

2022-04-06 For Parents: Supporting Your Senior When Receiving Acceptances, Waitlists, and Rejections

[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar on For Parents: Supporting Your Senior When Receiving Acceptances, Waitlists, and Rejections. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q&A on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q&A tab.

Now let’s meet our present.

After you, Mark. Okay. Thanks Rachel. Hi everyone. Thank you very much for joining us. My name is Mark Seamon and I’m a senior advisor and an advisor team lead here at CollegeAdvisor. And I’m very happy to have the chance to speak with you tonight about a topic. Uh, I’m very passionate about we are here at CollegeAdvisor as well, and is one that we think is a really important discussion to [00:01:00] have with, with students and parents alike.

Um, brief background on me. This is my 17th year in higher education. I was a college professor and an academic advisor for 10 years. And then I worked in admissions at my Alma mater, which is the university of Notre Dame, which is here on the slide, uh, for, uh, for six years before coming here to CollegeAdvisor, to work with your sons and daughters all over the country and helping them navigate the, uh, the maze that is college admissions and, and helping them through the process all the way through the end, which is not just applying, but receiving decisions and then making informed decisions about them and all of that.

So again, very happy to be with you tonight. I look forward to answering your questions and, uh, I’ll begin with, uh, with the presentation to get some information out there, and then we can, we can chat at the end. So, uh, This is, uh, just to begin. Um, we’re, we’re all here now. Um, and, and, and so forth. So we all are familiar with the timing in [00:02:00] terms of when the responses have come, chances are your, uh, your son or daughter has heard from most, if not all, at this point, uh, colleges that they apply to.

So if they applied in regular it’s, it’s now it’s early April, so maybe a few are still coming in. Um, and then perhaps you, um, perhaps you have a child who also applied to schools or will apply to schools that do rolling, um, decisions. And those generally are made within two to four weeks of, of, of having applied.

So just a sense of timeline to, uh, by way of. Waitlist. So on a number of students, um, every year are wait-listed at a number of different schools for all kinds of different reasons. So let’s spend a little time on what this means, um, because often it’s misunderstood, particularly by students that they, they, they regard it as bad news generally.

And, and it’s really not. Um, generally it means that to be wait-listed, it means that you’ve got the [00:03:00] qualifications to be admitted. Uh, but it’s a matter of timing and that they could, the school could not admit you at the time, uh, that you applied. It is it’s always an issue of space in the incoming class.

Colleges and universities have enrollment managers where they are always trying to balance and weigh the numbers, the numbers of applicants, the number of students, they admit the number of students who are going to enroll. And part of that process is they have to put some on the list to figure out how many are going to be.

Yes and no. Um, of those who are admitted. So they will colleges wait to see how many students accept or refuse the offer, uh, before they admit additional students, um, students may be put on a waiting list to if their academic and or their non-academic records are kind of on the bubble, uh, relative to other students who were admitted.

So for example, they may say, you look really good. This is a strong application, but we want to see your see second semester senior year [00:04:00] grades. And after that a decision will be made. So that’s another reason, um, that sometimes students can end up on the wait list, but again, It’s important to note, this means you’re qualified.

If you weren’t, they would simply reject the student. You would simply be rejected given the sheer volume of applications they receive. Um, so a couple of, a couple of slides here on an expressing continued interest, perhaps your son or daughter has already done this at one or more schools where they have been waitlisted.

This is a very good idea. Um, and there’s, uh, a particular way to go about doing it. It’s not a formula, it’s just sort of an approach to how do you let a school know that you’re, uh, that you’re very interested in. You would like to come off the whitelist. So, uh, first you need to decide if that’s the case.

Um, there may be good reasons to remain on a wait list. Or not. Um, so sometimes students make kind of a knee jerk reaction about this. Um, [00:05:00] and either cause they know they love the school and they really want to give it every, every best chance. Sometimes it’s the other way around and they’re, they’re kind of hurt or upset or angry, uh, that they didn’t get in.

And they’re just like, well, I don’t want to, I don’t want to wait anymore if they, if they don’t want me. Uh, and that’s, that’s the wrong attitude to take, but it’s worth a conversation with your son or daughter about, do you want to hang in here? Um, and see what happens after May 1st, which we’re gonna talk about in just a moment.

Um, if you choose to remain on the waiting list, you have to figure out plan B. Um, you cannot plan on, uh, uh, you can’t count on plan a working out. So, um, so. To May 1st, you need to commit, um, to a school that you were admitted to. Um, and usually that’s a very simple process of, of simply it’s usually, uh, an online form, uh, through a portal.

And it involves usually, uh, placing a deposit down at the school, a [00:06:00] deposit that will eventually be applied toward your, uh, tuition. That is how you save your seat in the class, in the incoming class, at that school. And again, the universal deadline for doing that is May 1st waitlist decisions come out after May 1st.

Um, some schools release them in may, some take until June. So, and there’s no, everyone does it at a kind of different speed. And it depends on the size of the school and the number of applications they’re dealing with. Um, so what this means is that, so you’ve committed to a school before May 1st, and now you’re going to find.

In may or in June, if you’ve been moved off the wait list at, at the school that you decided to, to, uh, hang in there for. Um, and then at that time you have a choice. You can either accept the offer, um, at the school you were wait-listed and then tell the school where you committed, um, that you are withdrawing and, uh, and that you were going to accepted [00:07:00] an offer at another school.

The only, um, thing to note there is that the deposit that you put down to hold your seat in the classes, uh, nonrefundable. So whatever it was, you will lose that amount of money. Um, but it is generally in my experience worth it to families. Uh, if their son or daughter’s getting pulled off the wait list at a school that is for whatever reason, more desirable, um, If, uh, an important step to take here is the letter of continued interest.

So when you, you should write, the student should write a letter to his or her admissions officer and or other people. And I’ll talk about that in just a second, expressing their continued interest, um, their reasons for being interested, especially if there are reasons that they did not articulate or express in their application for admission admission, the first time around and alerting the school to any new news, like new grades.

New test scores, new [00:08:00] accomplishments, things along those lines, anything that would boost the students’ academic or non-academic profiles. Um, if you know, the, the admissions officer who read your son or daughter’s application, that is the best person for the student to write to. Um, and sometimes you can find this very easily on a college or universities admissions website.

You can look up their admissions officers and they’re usually divided by geography. So there would be someone dedicated to the state of Texas, for example, or something like that. And you can find that person otherwise it’s fine. Perfectly fine. Just to write to the director of admissions or the admissions committee, anything along those lines.

In the letter of continued interest, here are some very quick do’s and don’ts, um, first of all, keep it short. This should not be a long letter. It should be absolutely no more than one page. Um, the tone of the letters should be positive. Uh, it’s very easy, uh, [00:09:00] but it is a mistake to go negative or to whine or to complain or to groan about not having been admitted at all.

That that is, um, that’s a trap that you must avoid. Um, there are other things you can do beyond writing the letter, um, and. And I can’t express just how important these are to be proactive. First of all, pick up the phone and call somebody, call and ask to speak to the admissions officer who’s, um, uh, who covers the state that you live in.

It’s probably that person who read your son or daughter’s application and, uh, and, and let, let your, let your child speak with that person and express their interest over the phone, or maybe over a zoom meeting or something like that. Sometimes schools will do that. Um, if it’s possible, if you’re in, um, uh, within shouting distance of the school, go there, make an appointment and ask to meet in person, asked to meet with someone admissions and say, I’ve been put on the [00:10:00] wait list.

And I want to know what that, uh, I want to know more about that. And I want to talk to you about my interest in the school and they will take the meeting. Um, and, and, and that matters, um, Uh, and then two other things, keep up your grades, keep up your grades and keep the pedal to the metal. Do not quit. Um, keep finish strong, finish the semester strong do as well as you can in your classes.

If you’re, um, if you have any other major projects or things going on too, as well as you can in those do not quit, don’t let up, um, give them, uh, more to look at it and more to see that you’ve, that you’ve, that you’ve kept, uh, you’ve kept the pedal to the metal and you’ve kept going hard for this and see this as an opportunity.

Don’t see it as defeat. Uh, it’s not defeat. Um, it is an opportunity to hang in there, to share with them, your interests, to share with them new information. If there is new information and to let them know. [00:11:00] That you believe in the fit, uh, that, that you’re a great fit for them and they feel the same way. So view it as an opportunity, be positive and, um, and, and trust that things will work out the way they’re meant to.

Um, let’s see. Will you, okay. So a couple of things here, will we be expected to provide supplemental things? Um, I mentioned one of them already, generally know if you’re wait-listed, um, you’re, you’re not usually asked to submit anything else. The only, the most common exception to that I think is an updated transcript with second semester grades.

Um, so that is probably the most common, um, sometimes if there are new test scores to report, um, you should just take the initiative and report them. Um, and then, like I said earlier, like evidence of new extracurricular achievements or new honors or awards, the that’s a, that’s a pretty common one around this time of year schools.

And [00:12:00] organizations are often handing out different kinds of honors and awards to students. And if, if something meaningful happens, um, on that front for your son or daughter, they should communicate that to the school where they’re wait-listed, that’s that’s noteworthy and they should know that. And then sometimes, but this is very rare that the school might ask for an additional letter of recommendation.

I have seen that happen, but it’s, uh, but it, but it’s, it’s not common. So those are some things you might expect to, uh, to submit. Okay. So that was waitlist now to, uh, now to being denied admission from schools and how to understand that and think about that and talk about that. So I think first and foremost, there are reasons that you can’t and won’t ever know, um, including the numbers and data and all of that.

And it doesn’t matter. I say that it doesn’t matter because it. It just doesn’t, it is what it is. The numbers are what they are. The schools [00:13:00] received, the number of applications they did. And it’s very, very complicated process, particularly at schools that are C you know, receiving just enormous volumes of applications.

And it’s. It’s such a complicated web to try to understand it or undo it and understand it is just we’ll we’ll it’ll drive you crazy. Um, so it is best to just under two, to just know you can’t understand all of the moving parts, um, behind the scenes, um, not to say they’re nefarious or anything, it’s just, it’s enormously complicated.

It’s an enormously complicated enterprise. Um, it is important to know. I think both for parents and students alike that applications, um, the number of applications everywhere have increased astronomically in the past few years. It is today more competitive than it has ever, ever been. This is true. Uh, I’ll give you, uh, this is not a data [00:14:00] presentation that’s I don’t want to talk much about that, but just by way of very quick illustration.

I’ll use two schools, one on a one on each coast, just to give you a sense. So, um, NYU, um, was up this year in applications for the 17th year in a row. And this year they hit their, like a new record for them, which was 105,000 applications, 105,000 applications that. Um, an army to read those, to read over a hundred thousand applications.

Um, and they’re on the rise again for the 17th year in a row. On the other side of the country at UCLA, um, UCLA received just under 150,000 applications this year and was again the most applied to university in the country this year. So to deal with 150,000 applications at a slightly bigger university, again, it’s [00:15:00] just overwhelming for us.

And they’re competing for a very small number of spots the students are, and those are just two examples of, you know, very big famous well-known well with schools with great reputations and all of that. And so you can kind of imagine and appreciate that that same phenomenon is happening between the coasts too, at every school, a small, medium, and large, it’s just.

It’s unbelievable. Um, denial, uh, uh, a denial is not a re a reflection of your child’s intelligence or readiness for college and being able to study in college or to live on their own in college or any of that. It is not that, uh, oftentimes both students and parents they think, um, can make. Mistake or interpreted that way that they weren’t smart enough to get into the school, or they’re not smart enough to be ready to take on this kind of work.

A denial is not that [00:16:00] nor is it personal. It is not a reflection of your child’s personality or their character or their, their makeup or any of that stuff. It’s not, it really is about fit. And we’re going to talk about that, uh, here in the next, um, in the next slide. Um, so admissions decisions, they, they are an evaluation of institutional fit.

So yes, there are some hard criteria that, um, that institutions have in terms of just sort of benchMarking applicants in terms of GPA’s and test scores and other kinds of data like that. Like all of that matters. Uh, obviously it’s, it’s very. But as important is the fit, are you a good fit for the school?

Is the school a good fit for you? And it is a two way street between school and applicant. Um, I cannot tell you the number of students with perfect transcripts and perfect test scores who are denied admission at really competitive schools. And sometimes they can’t [00:17:00] understand why because their grades are so good and their test score is so good and all of that, but it’s about the fit.

And that’s what the admissions officers at those schools are evaluating. That’s part of their job is to, is to make that determination. Um, would this student be a good fit for the way it works here and what we’re all about in terms of mission and, and tempo and pace and, and all of those kinds of things.

So that’s a, that’s a little less tangible thing to understand, but it is. It, it it’s enormously important. Um, I do encourage you parents and students alike to believe in the, in the adage. When one door closes another opens, I have known many, many students who did not get into their dream school or their, you know, the, the, the school was at the, that was at the top of their list.

Um, and instead, so went somewhere else that was wherever else on the list. And it turned out [00:18:00] to be the very best move they could have possibly made. And they’ll say that they come back and they say stories of like, I’m so glad looking back that it, that I didn’t get in where I thought I really wanted to go, because now I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

I’m so happy where I am. I have thankfully. A million times. And, um, so I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t offer that up if it, if it weren’t true and real, um, and a very distinct possibility for your son or daughter, please don’t make the mistake of second guessing the choices that you’ve made. Should we have applied early?

Should we not have applied early? Should I have written a different, uh, should I have chosen a different topic for my essay? Should I have done this? I mean, again, you can drive yourself, absolutely crazy doing that. And it will, it leads to nothing except anxiety and negativity. And so don’t [00:19:00] don’t second guess it is, it is not worth your time.

Um, know that you are in good company. Especially right now, especially this year, uh, where the number of applications are up everywhere. That means acceptor, acceptance rates are on their way down everywhere. Lots and lots of students are being wait-listed have been waitlisted and rejected at lots and lots of schools because of the enormously competitive environment, uh, that we are in today.

So you are in very good company. Also recognize last thing here. It’s I wrote it’s not no. Forever. I know a lot of students who have, um, who have aimed really high, uh, when applying for undergraduate admission at, at, at really big and competitive and, uh, schools that are, that have stellar reputation, uh, reputations and so forth.

And I’ve been really disappointed when they didn’t get in. But a lot of those students also have [00:20:00] aspirations to continue their studies after undergrad to go to graduate school and to pursue another degree. And it might just be that one of those schools, that one of those bigs, where they did not get admitted as an undergrad might be just the right place for them four years from now, or whenever they choose to apply to graduate school after they complete undergrad, it might be.

It just wasn’t the right time to go to that school. It might be down the road. And so if you, if your son or daughter is thinking about as an idea of maybe going, uh, pursuing a degree beyond a bachelor’s, that’s something to keep in mind. It doesn’t mean that school is off the table for. Okay. Um, okay. How should you approach, uh, selecting where to go?

So first, uh, my first piece of advice is to consider each school [00:21:00] on its own before you compare it to others and review the school holistically. So don’t look at it strictly in terms of academics and what the academic program is that your son or daughter was admitted to, but also the non-academic stuff.

Um, the, the campus, the, the lifestyle, the living arrangements, the activities that your son or daughter wants to participate in, um, geography, all of this stuff that matters. You have to look. The school from top to bottom, um, just the way they looked at your son or daughter when they reviewed him or her holistically.

Um, and so I encourage you to do it one at a time. And then I, I think it’s really healthy to examine each school against the list of college criteria that your students built his or her list around those criteria are gold. Those are the guideposts. You should follow them. You should trust them. This is what I call working from the inside out.

Right? It’s the, the [00:22:00] criteria that you developed that your son or daughter developed for a college is what presumably prompted them to apply where they did return to those criteria. Now that you have decisions and, and, and measure the schools against them. How well does each school satisfy? Each criterion on that list, it’s worth, that’s worth an exercise, a few last things here pay no mind whatsoever to what your students, um, friends and their peers are doing or not doing or where they’re going or not going, or any of that it’s that’s that’s feudal and it, that does no good.

This is about your kid. This is about your student. It keep the focus right there. Um, I encourage your son or daughter to experience the schools that you’re considering. And there’s a lot of ways that you could do that. Um, certainly post COVID, um, [00:23:00] almost everybody has come up with plenty of virtual options to experience the school sometimes like a virtual tour or a virtual info session or a virtual.

Sometimes it’s a virtual chat with, um, with students, with current students or sometimes with faculty sometimes with both, they have lots of things. So see what’s on the virtual menu. Um, certainly if you can go. If you can set foot on the campus, that is there’s, there’s really no substitute for that. And to ask to meet with people, especially current students.

Um, so be proactive about this. Um, I think that student to student participant communication and also parent to parent communication is really important. So for example, um, if, if, if you got, if the, if your son or daughter is in somewhere and they’re thinking about it, call admissions and, and, and say, you know what I’m thinking about it, and I’m getting closer.

I’d like to [00:24:00] speak to a current student who does this, maybe who has the same intent, the same major, or is involved in, uh, an activity that your son or daughter cares a lot about. Could you put me in touch with a student or two? I’d like to have a conversation with them and just ask them some questions they will do.

They will do it. And there’s no better source of information about a college than its current students, because they will tell it just like it is, they will tell you exactly what they love about it. What they’re happy about, what they would change, you know, all of that. So I encourage that the student just student communication is fantastic.

Likewise, parents don’t hesitate to do the exact same thing, call admissions and say, my son or daughter is considering this place. And we’re weighing all the options. Would it be possible for us to speak with current parents? Like, is there a current parent or two who we could speak to because we’d [00:25:00] like to get some perspective from them about it, they will put you in touch.

They will so incur, pursue that. It’s really helpful to hear from people who are living the experience. Right. Okay. Um, a brief thing here on comparing financial aid, uh, packages, cause those are, those have come or are coming, um, know that your financial aid package is created for you and is based on the cost of attending a particular school.

So your aid amounts will vary from school to school. So don’t expect to see the same dollar amounts in each financial aid package that you receive different schools, do it different, uh, different ways. The key is to determine the net price for each school. So that’s factoring in things like tuition fees, living expenses, books, and supplies and transportation.

When you’re getting a financial aid package, it’s very important that you understand what is being offered by way of [00:26:00] scholarships, grants, and loans. In other words, what money is being offered here, uh, that has to be repaid and what doesn’t have to be repaid. Um, and, and so it’s, it’s, it’s important that you’re crystal clear about that.

And I strongly encourage you to communicate with schools, financial aid offices. They are, um, they’re armed and ready for this. Like, this is what they do. They not only do they put together the packages, which is difficult work, but they also answer questions about them. A lot of questions about them, um, because families always have questions, uh, and they, and, and they’re so specific to your situation.

Um, they, they should be expert on answering those. So I strongly encourage you. If you have financial aid questions to reach out to that school’s financial aid office and say, I’d like to speak to someone about our financial aid package. I need help understanding it. I have some questions about it or whatever the case may be.

And then, um, I [00:27:00] did include it. If you down a little bit, the downloaded, the slides. Just a website there at the bottom that is kind of the federal website for helping you kind of understand and working through a, uh, a financial aid award. If that, if that’s a useful tool for you, um, some final tips, um, or advice on how to support your student around this time.

And then we’ll start to wrap up and, and I can begin to take your questions first. Um, for parents, I would say, this is, this is hard, but, uh, to remember that this is about the student and not. Um, first, last and always, uh it’s uh, I, I absolutely understand how and why, uh, parents, uh, can take this personally and can get, uh, upset about it, can get anxious about it.

Um, can begin, I don’t know, just worrying about things and all of that. It’s, it’s very difficult to keep the focus on your son or daughter, but to the extent that you can do that and make this about [00:28:00] them and not you you’re doing yourselves and your son or daughter a favor. So that, that’s my first piece of advice.

My second is to be a good listener and to listen to your son or daughter, um, let them know. Let them get it out, let them talk about how they’re feeling, let them express their questions, let them express their joy, their frustration, their worry, whatever it is, like, let them get it out, um, and have conversations about it.

Like it’s, uh, it’s very emotional for them cause they invested a lot of time in this. And so in, in applying and they’ve been thinking about it for a long time. And so now a lot of it is just, I gotta get it out there. Um, so I find that one of the best things we can do as parents, um, is to listen to our kids and, and, and hear what they have to say about it.

Um, it is okay and very natural and very appropriate to feel disappointed or upset or even an anger and all of those kinds of things. My advice is to. [00:29:00] Um, and then move on, uh, the sooner you process things and turn the page the better. Um, so you’ve got to get through that upset, that anger, that disappointment, whatever you work through it.

And then as soon as you can get it in the rear view, the better, because then you can focus on now, what are we going to do? Like what, and, and be more, um, constructive about things as opposed to dwelling on, on what did or didn’t happen behind you? Um, oh my goodness. Number four. I, I strongly I’m laughing only because it’s just, this is, it’s like, This is a terrible thing, but limit and avoid the social media noise.

It just, it will not help no matter what, I’m also laughing because I realize this is feudal with the, with the kids. Like the students are gonna they’re on social media. They’re listening to what other students are saying about where they got in and where they didn’t and what’s happening at this school and that school.

And just, and there’s so [00:30:00] much chatter. There’s so much noise. Um, it won’t help. Like, it just will not help. It’s not a place to go for information or for comfort or, or solace or anything like that. It’s just, um, it’s poison. So I would stay away from that entirely. Oh my gosh. Um, a couple last things, and then, uh, thoughtfully review all of the options that you have, including ones that you may not have given much consideration to previously, this is really important.

So oftentimes this, this isn’t limited just to safety schools, but often it is like, okay, I applied to these safeties and maybe a couple of target schools where I got in, but I had never really given them a really hard look before, because I was really hoping that this reach school or these harder target schools were going to come through.

But now that you know what the [00:31:00] options are and if they include some of those that you didn’t pay a lot of attention to too before give them a hard look. And maybe there are things there that you didn’t see before. And perhaps they’ve also come with an attractive package with regard to financial aid.

Yeah. And, uh, maybe an opportunity to do, to do join an honors program or something. I mean, I don’t know, schools do it in lots of different ways, but oftentimes not all of the schools that you son or daughter applied to are given the same scrutiny, uh, at the time of application, they should be given it.

Now, before there, before you, before you discard them or before you say no, and then lastly, let the colleges let them come to you. Um, so you, so you’ve where you’ve been admitted, like these, all the schools. So yes, application numbers are up and everywhere and all of that, but if you’ve been admitted, they [00:32:00] want to enroll.

And so oftentimes colleges will do things to, you know, to make their number, to get to the number of students that they seek to enroll. Um, and oftentimes of course, this is primarily in the form of financial aid packages that include, um, scholarship or grants, uh, that don’t have to be repaid. Um, but sometimes it also comes with other kinds of opportunities that the student might be able to pursue there.

Um, and, uh, like I mentioned, honors program a moment ago is just one that kind of popped into my head, but they will, um, they will, they will talk to you about it. Like what would help, like, uh, what would help get you here? What would help, what would make the school? Um, Uh, more attractive to you or feel like a better fit, what can we do?

And it might just be, I’d like to talk to someone and learn more and that’s great, but it also might be, well, we’re really hoping we’re looking for this kind of opportunity and we don’t see it here. Does it exist or could it, [00:33:00] and asking those questions and engaging in those conversations? I think you’d be surprised, um, how far schools will bend over backwards to try to help make those kinds of things happen.

So, um, let them we’ll you a bit. Um, and, and, and, and let them come. Okay, Rachel, that’s it on the slides. Awesome. Thank you. So, Mark, thank you so much, Mark. So that is the end of the presentation part of the webinar. You know, I hope you found this information super helpful and remember that you can download the slides from the link in the handouts tab.

Um, I also want to note that this webinar is being recorded and will be available for viewing [email protected] dot. Slash webinars. So now we’re moving on to the live Q and a portion of the webinar. I’ll read through the questions you submitted in the Q and a tab, paste them into the public chat.

So you can see and then read them [00:34:00] out loud before a panelist gives you an answer, um, as a heads up, if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, just double check that you joined the webinars through the custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing page. So, Mark first question that we received is how long do you typically have to decide if you are offered a spot from waitlist?

Thank you. Oh, sure. Okay. So, so, uh, good question. So usually, um, it’s usually a pretty short turnaround because as I said, they, um, it will come and it may come in may, it may come in June. Uh, usually it’s not later than that. And then, um, I, it will vary from institution to institution, but it’s usually not, it’s not going to be more than a month.

It’s usually going to be around, um, in my experience about two weeks or maybe a little bit more than that. Um, I will also say though, just as a caveat, that, that, again, that’s not a one size fits [00:35:00] all. Um, But if, if timing is, uh, is, uh, if that is an issue for you, like, for example, if they want an answer earlier than your prepared to give it, um, you should reach out to that school and reach out to that admissions office and explain that situation.

Uh, like we’re thrilled, we’re really delighted this happened. Um, we need, uh, we need a little extra time while we get kind of all of our ducks in a row to sort of figure this out. Um, I, I would think that you would absolutely be able to buy yourself some more time if it is a turnaround that, that doesn’t work for you.

So again, it’s just about reaching out and making community and establishing communication with them. But otherwise, I would say between two and four weeks is usually usually a kind of a barometer that you could count on. But again, I think that’s to a certain extent, negotiate. Awesome. Thank you. So next question we received was my [00:36:00] son was wait-listed at UCLA.

We live in Southern California. What do you think? Could he have a chance of getting in? He did get into some other great schools, like Johns Hopkins and U Penn. He wants to do pre-med but those schools are back east were so conflicted. Does he hold on hope for UCLA? Um, and well, what a, what a good problem you have here?

Congratulations to your son. First of all, uh, Johns Hopkins and Penn, like that’s wonderful. And, uh, and, and would be, uh, without knowing him, of course, like, uh, those are wonderful schools to go to generally, but of course, if he wants to do a pre-med, he’s going to be. Great company there. So congratulations to him on that.

Now with regard to UCLA, I have no idea, you know, is the short answer, does he have, I mean, I don’t know, no one and no one does. Um, because they, because they received so many, right. Uh, such a big, um, applicant pool of 150,000. [00:37:00] Um, and no one knows how many are on the waitlist and no, one’s going to know until after May 1st, after all of the students who were offered admission, they either accept it or, uh, or decline it, how much room they have left.

And there’s just no way to predict that. And even if, and it’s never the same year to year anyway, because sometimes in one year, you know, the schools will, uh, More students will accept the offer of admission. Then the school was counting on and then the next year it will be fewer students accepted the offer admission offer of admission.

Then they were counting on and that dictates how many, um, how many students they’re going to be able to admit from the wait list. So there is no way to know. I do think that, um, I think the best that you can do in this situation [00:38:00] is you, you do have to, um, you do have to commit to one of those right. To Johns Hopkins or U Penn, and, and say, you’re coming and, and put down your deposit and be confident about that and feel good about it.

Whichever school kind of feels right. Um, and then yeah, there there’s no, there’s absolutely no harm in, in waiting to see what, uh, other than losing the deposit at those, uh, at either of those schools, there’s no harm in waiting to see then what happens with, with UCLA. And then at that point you can make, uh, if.

Admitted from it, from the list, then you, then he can withdraw from that school, if that’s what you wish or what he wishes and go to UCLA. I think also I would just want to offer, just to kind of repeat something earlier when you communicate with the school, if, if, if your son hasn’t yet to express his interest in UCLA and, and why this is so important to him and all of that, writing that letter of interest or calling an admissions officer and having a conversation, [00:39:00] um, sometimes in the course of that information or that communication, you can, they’re not going to like give away numbers or, or, or anything like that, but you can start to get just a little bit of a sense sometimes of how, uh, if the wait list is looking.

Sort of normally competitive as it is, or if it’s going to be a little bit tighter this year or a little bit looser again, they’re not going to give away like, like state secrets it’s cause they don’t know yet either, but it’s it’s you might find out it’s the sliver of information on that front that at least gives you maybe a little bit of a hint.

But, um, but again, congratulations to him. Those are big accomplishments and I, and I hope UCLA works out if, if that’s the wish. Thanks Mark. So next question we got was how does wanting to play high-level sports affect the strategy you shared for choosing a college to go to? Okay. So high level sports. Um, I.

Um, I’m not sure if we’re talking [00:40:00] about, like, for example, high level, like highest level would be you’re a division one recruited student athlete, right. I’d so that’s like a completely different thing all, all together, but, um, which I suspect we’re probably not talking about that. I don’t know. So if, if, if you want to resubmit your question or offer, uh, Rachel a, um, a note in there, I’m happy to try to clarify, but I would say that if, uh, lots of students want to compete and participate in athletics in college, besides, you know, being a division one recruited athlete, um, whether it’s, um, competitively or recreationally or what have you.

Um, I think that, you know, this is, this is student by student for some students. Like that is their main activity. Even if they’re not a division one, you know, uh, like scholarship athlete, But a particular [00:41:00] sport is their, their passion and what they really want to do, then it, then it matters a great deal.

So finding out like exactly what those opportunities are and how to pursue them and how likely, um, uh, nah, I was going to say how easy, but that’s not really the right expression, I guess how likely it is that your son or daughter would be able to participate in those sports. Um, and kind of, again, in what context is this like intramural, um, is it competitive to teams travel?

You know, all of that kind of stuff, depending on what you’re looking for. Um, Those are things you have to go and, and, and find out, uh, not literally go to this school, but like to certainly to talk to people there, um, and, and get that information, I would start with admissions. Um, but then I think I’d probably ask to speak to someone who’s running that, running those kinds of programs at the school.

So you can, so you can make as an informed decision about that as possible, [00:42:00] because you’re, I understand for some students it’s, uh, is a very important factor. They don’t, they, they want that to be part of their experience. So, um, it’s important to gather as much information about it as you can.

Great. Thank you. Um, so next question is, um, pertaining to financial aid, how can you compare school for which you’ve been admitted versus a school that you were wait-listed for? Ah, okay, so that’s a great question. So, uh, This is hard because you’re not going to get, um, you’re not going to get a financial aid package, um, uh, from the wait-list school until you come and until you come off it.

Um, and so I think the best thing you can do, um, the best thing you can do is to call the school where you, or email them, just whatever, but get in touch with the school where you have been [00:43:00] wait-listed and ask them that question, um, and say, my son or daughter is on the wait list and we’re, we’re gonna wait this out.

What does that mean in terms of financial aid? When would we, when would we know what our package is? And also how would, um, besides the timing of, of that information, how would the fact that my son or daughter would be coming off the waitlist impact the, the package in any way, shape or form. And there, there isn’t a universal answer to that.

Um, so that’s why I’m saying it’s the best, most reliable source of information is that particular school? Um, because as I, as I mentioned earlier in the slide about financial aid, you know, the awards or the packages are going to vary from school to school anyway. So you might as well find out from them now.

Um, the, and again, I, I don’t know what they [00:44:00] might say, but, but if they say something along the lines of, you know, well, it’s, it’s going to take this long, whatever it might be. And the, um, and the package may be impacted, um, in this, that, or the other way, um, because of, uh, of a waitlist, uh, because he’s coming off the wait list, he or she is coming off the wait list, then I dunno that.

I don’t know how common that is, but it would be good to know from the school, like right from there, right from their mouth. And th they, they’re obligated to tell you this. So, um, I’m not, I’m just, I’m not totally sure of the answer cause I, I know enough to know there’s not a universal answer to it. I think the best solution here is do you contact that school directly and ask them?

That’s a very direct, very reasonable, very important question to ask in any office of financial aid will be able to answer it. Sure. Perfect. We are going to take just a quick break [00:45:00] in our Q and a, um, where I wanted to talk a little more about So I noticed that, you know, some of the folks in the room, um, have students who, you know, are not yet making these final decisions who still have yet to kind of apply to college.

And so for those of you in the room, um, with those younger students, um, our team, we have a team of over 300 former admissions officers and admissions experts like Mark, who are really ready to help you and your family navigated all in one-on-one advising sessions. You know, in last year’s admission cycles, our students were accepted into Harvard at three times.

The national rate accepted into Stanford at 4.4 times the national rate. And we’re still getting our numbers for this year. So sign up for a free consultation with. By registering for our free web [email protected] there, in addition to reaching out and connecting with us students and their families can also explore webinars, keep track of application [00:46:00] deadlines and supplemental materials, research schools find summer opportunities and more all right on our website.

So back onto the Q and a portion of our webinar, um, we received a, another great question. So if my son has been wait-listed at UC SD, his first choice for mechanical engineering, would he have a better chance of getting in if he transferred in as a junior? Because he had been weightless that as a freshmen, we understand that mechanical engineering is kept and super competitive.

So he’s trying to decide if he should go to a safety school that he was accepted to or pursue the transfer route later. Okay. So just based on the law, uh, the very last part first, um, about, should he go to a safety school and pursue the transfer route? Um, I’m, I’m assuming that what what’s meant by that, like, if you go to a safety school and then pursue the transfer [00:47:00] to UCLA as a junior, if I’m under Rachel, are you understanding that the same way?

Am I, I just want to be sure. Yes. I’m understanding. I think, you know, if they were saying he goes to the safety school, uh, and pursues the transfer route, or perhaps makes it a decision that doesn’t include thinking about transfer later on. Gotcha. Okay. I’m with you now. Thank you. All right. So, um, the, okay, so the answers is no, um, that it having been, um, wait-listed now would not.

Improve his chances a year or two from now when he applies officially, the answer would be no. And one of the reasons for that is because it’s impossible to know what the applicant pool will look like a year or two from now. The students are always being admitted, um, and compared it to [00:48:00] everyone else in the pool that year and what it looks like.

So there’s no way to predict, not just the number of applicants, but also like the strength of that applicant pool. Um, so officially, no, it would not give your son, um, a leg up in that regard. Um, that being said, if he were to apply for transferring. A year or two down the road, they would know that he had been wait-listed before, you know, they would see that.

Um, and, and I, I mean, I think I’m just kind of a, I don’t know, in a very soft way, I think that would be a favorable thing. Right. I mean, they would, because that’s going to be part of his file at that school. Like, okay. We had interest in this student one or two years ago. Um, and now here he is again, and looking to transfer.

Um, let’s, I mean, they’re always looking to try to admit, right. Like, they’re always want to find, like, I wanna, I wanna admit this kid and like, that would just be like a little kind of like extra thing [00:49:00] going for him in a way, but nothing I would put like any, I wouldn’t invest any stock in that, you know, like it’s not, it’s not something that’s gonna, like for sure.

Propel him to, um, admitted status then, uh, as a transfer student. So, um, so I would, yeah, I would not bank on that.

Awesome. And the question submitter followed up and they said that they were considering the Los Angeles community college transfer route, um, as a possibility. So I think they either, you know, going the community college route, um, or making a decision for right now. I don’t, I, that, I, I mean, I don’t know, of course your, your, your particular circumstances and your situation, but I do know that I do know students and I have them, uh, who I’m working with right now, who.

Who have concerns who are considering that, that exact option, um, places where they were, um, places where they were wait-listed or in some cases offered sort of [00:50:00] deferred admission, you know, like down there, like they can come a year after, after they complete a year worth of study somewhere else. And students are, are considering like the community college route as a way of getting to where they want to go and sort of being pretty savvy about it in terms of like the finances of it too.

So you have to take all of that stuff into account, but I don’t, but you would be, you would be making a mistake to think that because he was wait-listed this year that he’s going to be in great shape, come one or two years from now. If you do go that route, because you just don’t know what he’s going to be up against, um, when it comes time to.

Great. Thank you. Um, and so with our sports related question earlier, we also got a little more clarity. So to be more specific, how do you weigh the fact that the student can play NCAA caliper sports and are a good student, [00:51:00] um, affect acceptances, weightless and rejection? So how do you kind of decide between those college that has better sports and not exactly the pro the academic prowess that they’re interested in while the other has a better program, but not the sports direction you’re interested in?

Oh, I see. Okay. Well then I think this is, this comes back to the, um, the, the, the recommendation I was giving earlier about, I think about reviewing you reviewing the school, uh, the schools holistically, right. And returning to your list of criteria as the, as the source of truth. Like what really is the most important sometimes?

Um, I think like the simplest exercise you can do, um, is to boil it down to like three things, three, just cause it’s a magic number. Like what are the three things that are most important in a school? And, um, of course you can [00:52:00] make it bigger than that, but if you can boil it down to something like that, it, it sort of forces you to, to identify what is the, what is the most important thing I work with some students for whom participating in a sport in college is the most important thing.

They’re that passionate about it. They care about it that much, that they are willing to give. On the academic front, meaning they’re willing to go to a school where they have the opportunity to pursue or to participate in the sport that they love, even if it means the academic program is not. So it maybe isn’t as strong as where they have other offers.

I also work with students where it works exactly the opposite where they really want to make, they start by saying, one of those three things is I need to participate in a sport, but it also has to have a great program in whatever business or engineering or whatever the case may be. And when you get down to this point and when push starts coming to shove, I have [00:53:00] students who say, you know what?

I’m willing to give that up. I’ve actually, what’s more important to me. If I have to bend on one, I’m going to bend on the sport and I’m going to take the academic program over it because ultimately I want to be able to do this. And I think, you know, this, this academic program is going to help me get where I want to go.

Uh, and so they’re a little more future minded in a certain way than the student. Who’s saying I part of my four years and being happy and content and healthy, and all of that is going to be, if I’m swimming, if I’m in the pool every day, competing and doing all of that, along with my school, I’m going to be a happy, healthy, successful kid.

Like then. Great. So neither is wrong, neither is wrong. It’s really just about understanding your son or daughter and having that conversation about what is really the most important. And I think if you focus on what would make you happy, what would make you healthy? Um, and just, and excited to [00:54:00] be there wherever there is, then I think you’re going, then you’re going to make a good decision.

And so it, it it’s, it’s, it just comes down to your individually, that individual student and, and, and what he, or she really wants and what would make him happy and healthy. Great advice, Mark. So another question that we received is my, my daughter wants to go away to a school far from home, how to reconcile my anxiety when she is so excited.

Oh gosh. I had so much that the B for you, dear parent. Uh, yes, this is, um, this is very hard. So on, on it’s a couple of questions. One is. Is talking about the, the logistics of it, right? Like how are we going to, um, how are we going to see each other and when, and how often and all of that. So, and if it’s a flight, not a car ride, you know, talking about when will you come home and all of those kinds of [00:55:00] things.

Um, and those are important conversations to have. Um, I also think that, I mean, In this day and age, which is like different than when you went to college is just how easy it is, um, to be in touch with your son or daughter. Um, if, if you all wish to be, um, like every moment of every day, I know many, many college students who talk to their parents and see them.

Uh, either or both of their parents or a sibling or something like every day on FaceTime, walking to class, eating lunch, whatever. I mean, they’re just the, the amount of connection is one of the positives of all things like social media. And also is this connection that you have between, uh, the easy, the ease of being able to connect with each other.

So I think the most important thing is to have a conversation where you share, first of all, how you feel about it. Um, and, and with, without, you know, breaking down, although [00:56:00] it’s okay to feel like, obviously it’s okay to feel sad and anxiety about it, but also to turn the conversation to, you know, looking forward and looking ahead to ways that you can and will be, um, in touch with each other.

Kind of routine basis and then on a special basis, like a flight home, are you a flight out there and all of those kinds of things, and it may not be until school starts and they get there and they are in the rhythm of it where they really start to appreciate, it’s really fun to be able to Snapchat my mom, but they’ll get there.

They almost all of them do. Um, so, um, I think expressing, uh, an interest in that and a willingness to that, um, I think will actually make you both feel better, um, uh, both before and then, and then after, uh, after she enrolls. Awesome. So another question we received is if you are wait-listed at schools, do the schools [00:57:00] eventually either accept or deny you?

And if so, when? Uh, yeah. So you will be, you will, yes. You will be informed if like. W we were at capacity. Uh, when is I, I, I don’t know, because it depends on every school is going to as is operating under a different timeline. Um, so that’s why the, the person, the parent who asked earlier, like, you know, how much time basically do they give you?

Um, if they pull, if you are admitted off the wait list, it’s a relatively short turnaround, generally speaking, because they need to know, okay, how many of these students are coming in and when do we, when do we reach maximum so that we can let everyone else who’s on the waitlist know we’ve, we’re, we’re full.

And, um, and there, and there won’t be any more spots. So yes, you will, you will be informed of that, um, in due course, but when is you would have to contact that [00:58:00] school to find out their, their timeline. Awesome. We have time for, I think maybe one or two more questions. So next question, um, that we received is my son is devastated.

He didn’t get into his top choice on IVD, IVD, any advice or guidance that I can share with him. Yeah. That’s uh, so I, uh, yes. Uh, so this is hard. You’re right. It’s, it’s always, um, it’s always hard to, to, to learn that news from any school that’s like right up there at the top, whereas a dream school. I think that, um, again, as I was saying earlier, one of my pieces of advice is to let your son, was it a son?

Yeah. To let your son like. Let that out and feel that, you know, and, and, and to feel that sadness and that disappointment and to, um, and, and to get it out there and express it to you freely and openly. I think that’s, uh, the first step in a, in a really healthy one. [00:59:00] Um, and then I think, you know, after that, I think as you, as you talk with your son, encouraging him to understand, as I hope you do that, that it’s not a reflection on him as a person or as a, as a student or, um, um, or, or, or anything like that.

It’s not about his intellect or his character or these kinds of things. It’s just, those are super competitive places, a million people applied, and it’s just really, really tough. Um, and, and you’re not alone. You’re not the only one who is in this boat and you’re not the only one who feels this way. Um, that may not be the most comforting thing at first, but it is the truth.

And, and I think, I think students respect and appreciate the truth. Um, and then my final piece of advice would be after kind of having those discussions and, and, and those, um, those kind of chats with your son is to [01:00:00] start looking at an and encourage a positive, constructive way forward, like, okay, let’s, let’s talk about what, what did happen?

Like what, what, what has, uh, where, where, where are we in? Like where, where did you get in, what are the options? And like, let’s review them. Let’s talk about, let’s really study them and let’s really have a good talk about them. A deep dive into like what each school, where you were admitted offers and how do you feel about that and not comparing it against.

Where you didn’t get in, but comparing, just evaluate it on its own on its own merits and then against the schools where you were admitted. And I think, I think if you do that, maybe not right away, but pretty quickly some very natural momentum we’ll, we’ll pick up and, and the tone and, and, and the, and the purpose we’ll move from being disappointed and stuck in the mock to.

Moving forward, you know, and, and starting to make forward progress. It [01:01:00] might be baby steps at first, but pretty quick, it’ll be like, oh, I kind of, this, this is at this school. I think that would actually be great. And this over here, this could be great too. And like, you start to see the possibilities that there is more than just that one place.

Um, that was, that was at the top, or that was the dream school. So that’s, that’s the approach I would take with it and just be as, as open and honest and, um, and supportive as, and, and a good listener as you possibly can be, and then help guide a constructive discussion forward about, um, where we go from here and, and, and, and be enthusiastic about it.


Wonderful. Well, Mark, thank you so much for all your insight, um, and guidance during this presentation today. Um, I can’t say it better than a submitted response that we received, um, which [01:02:00] was thank you for a great session, very informative, informative, and balanced insights and guidance. So Mark, thank you so much.

Um, that is the end of our webinar. We had a really wonderful time speaking with you today about supporting your seniors through acceptances wait-lists and declines. Um, here is the rest of our April webinar series. We have a lot of awesome webinars on the docket, um, where you, and you can register for [email protected]/webinars as well as, um, Look at the recording of this webinar there as well.

So again, thank you all for joining. We had a wonderful time and have a great rest of your night. Thank you all. Thank you, Rachel.