Now What?

Now What?

Erika Giaimo Chapin
Associate Director of College Counseling
The Hopkins School

As your college counselors, our most sincere hope is that right now, you’re happy.  You’ve spent a long time researching, visiting, writing, pondering, and waiting, and so now we hope that you’re able to look back on your experience as an applicant with great satisfaction.  No doubt you’ve earned it.  

Let’s start with the bad news: if you’ve approached this process in a balanced way, you have probably been denied at one or more places. Take heart, though.  You’re in good company, as most seniors will have some rejections.  By all accounts, this year was harder than ever for applicants to selective institutions. But let’s focus on the positive.    

Plan to (re)visit at least a few of the schools where you have been admitted.  The last time you saw some of these campuses may have been a year ago, and you could use a fresh perspective.  Even if the campuses themselves haven’t changed, YOU have.  Do your best to keep an open mind about the possibilities that await you at places that perhaps weren’t initially high on your list: you just might be pleasantly surprised.  Be sure to ask questions of people who aren’t paid or highly trained to answer them for you. Try to connect with alumni from your school who attend colleges you’re considering.  Everyone was once in your shoes, and usually current students are willing to share their perspective.

More and more schools are offering students the opportunity to join their campus communities in the spring semester, so don’t be surprised if this has been presented to you.  It’s often a compliment - and a testament to what the admissions committee has perceived as your industriousness - that you would be considered for this type of program.  Perhaps you can spend the fall semester in another country, participating in a program sponsored by the institution.  Perhaps you can travel on your own, or work, or both before fully matriculating in the spring.  Usually these mid-year entry programs have paths for students to connect with their classmates during the fall, and graduate with their peer group in four years.  If this is one of the options you’ve been offered, take the time to understand all that you can do between now and the spring of 2018.  

And then there are wait lists.  It would probably be a surprise to your college counselor if you completed your application process without at least one wait list - most selective colleges use this method to ensure they can enroll their entering class in the size and shape they seek.  If you decide you’d like to pursue a wait list, there are a few things you should keep in mind.  First, you must confirm your place on the wait list with each college.  Typically this is done through an online form.  Next, you should plan to communicate with your college representative at the school/s where you have confirmed your place on the wait list to let them know about your interest in attending their institution.  If colleges need to use the wait list, they often first look for students who have shown that they would like to enroll.  You might consider sending a brief email now, and a more detailed one - possibly with an update on your third quarter grades - toward the end of April.  Wait lists are impossible to predict, as their movement depends almost entirely on whether the college fills the class by the National Candidate Reply date of May 1st.  If you are offered a place into the class from the wait list, you will forgo your initial enrollment deposit.  The best thing you can do is stay in contact t with the admissions office, and most importantly, submit your enrollment deposit to one institution by May 1st.  

Again, seniors, congratulations!  Thanks for letting us accompany you in this journey, and we wish you the very best in your bright future!

Share this post: