At The Ivy Coach, it’s always our favorite time of year when our students learn of their acceptances to the colleges of their dreams. In fact, at this time of year, we — in part of course — live for college admission decision news! We work all year long and then in a matter of days, we hear about acceptance after acceptance. Our students are excited. The parents of our students are excited. Emails from parents tend to end with lots of exclamation points and they sometimes don’t even completely make sense because the parents are so unbelievably happy. It’s possible they had a little bit of champagne in celebration prior to writing the emails. And rightly so! The highly selective college admissions process is extremely stressful for students as well as parents. Students and parents should indeed celebrate!
We love hearing for our students and parents. We love hearing how excited they are, how they’ve achieved a dream of theirs, how they never thought they’d be able to get in (and how they even sometimes second-guessed a lot of the things we advised) but then it all worked out. Never second-guess us! We’ve been in this business for years. We know the ins and outs of the highly selective college admissions process — that’s why we do what we do and it’s why we’re at the top of our field.
No matter how many years The Ivy Coach has been in business, these excited letters from students and parents never get old. They make us so happy. They remind us that we did a job well done and to know that you’re as happy as can be makes us as happy as can be. So thank you for sharing these letters. Thank you for all of the exclamation points at the ends of your sentences. Thank you for updating us as the admissions decisions come in. It’s the absolute best part of our job. No doubt about it.Categories: College Decisions Tags: College Admissions Decision News, College Decision News, Ivy League Decision News, News on College Decisions, University Admission Decision News
There’s an article on “The Huffington Post” by Hilary Levey Friedman about whether or not parents are prepared should their child be rejected from the college of their dreams. What will they say to their child who had dreams of attending Princeton but didn’t even make the waitlist? What will they say to their child who had dreamed of studying in Manhattan on Columbia’s iconic campus? What will they say to their child who worked so hard for so many years in the hope of getting into one of the best universities in the country…only to fail to do so? Parents should be prepared for these outcomes as the vast majority of students applying to highly selective colleges don’t get into their first choice college (hey, what can we say, the majority of college applicants aren’t clients of The Ivy Coach).
We’re not here to give parenting advice but the best strategy is likely to be supportive of your child, to help convince them that one or many of the schools that they did gain admission to can indeed by a college or colleges or their dreams as well. They just have to check it out some more, get to know some students who go there, take a look at the beautiful campus, and get excited about all of the academic, athletic, and social opportunities at the school(s). Just because this school may not have been an initial dream school doesn’t mean it can’t become the dream school through the backdoor.
Ms. Friedman writes about how basically not every child is a winner, how there’s only one spot at the top of the podium, and how parents need to help their children come to terms with wherever they end up placing — in college admissions and in life. College admissions, after all, is a cutthroat process but so too is the job market. If you don’t achieve your dream job right away, there are other opportunities out there. And maybe the new path you choose will lead to a new dream job. Or maybe it too will lead to the old dream job. College rejection is, in this way, a great microcosm of the real world.
While you’re here, parents, check out this video on parental stress in the college admissions process.Categories: College Admissions, College Decisions, Parents Tags: Ivy League Rejection and Parenting, Parents and College Rejection, Parents and Ivy League Rejection, Parents Dealing with College Rejection, University Rejection and Parents
Don’t forget as you receive word of your university admissions decisions to learn your fate alone. Alone as in with nobody else around. It’s not a good idea to surround yourself with friends when you read the email that will tell you whether or not you’ve been admitted to the college of your dreams. What if that friend didn’t get in? What if they’re jealous? What if they’re resentful because they had better grades and scores than you and didn’t get in? These just aren’t good emotions to surround yourself with as you find out where you might be spending the next four years of your life.
If you’re someone who has been refreshing your email inbox constantly in class, or on spring break, or in the shower, or in between laps in the pool (your phone is bound to get wet), it’s time to stop. Turn off your phone. Your admissions decisions aren’t going to be overturned because you didn’t receive the email the second it was sent. Seriously. College admissions counselors aren’t monitoring how quickly it took you to read your decision. And, frankly, the ball isn’t in their court when they send out their decisions. It’s in yours — whether or not you were admitted.
We can’t tell you how many high school seniors we see who are glued to their phones around this time waiting on their admissions decisions. They all look absolutely miserable. There’s no need to be miserable at this time. If you’re on spring break, enjoy it. Soak in some sun. Read books. Yes, you read that correctly. Read books for pleasure. Does that seem foreign to you? Oy vey. Just get off the phone. There’s no need to constantly click refresh, Mark Zuckerberg.Categories: College Admissions, College Decisions Tags: College Admission Decisions, College Admissions Decisions, College Applicant Admission Decisions, University Admission Decisions, University Admissions Decisions
It’s a stressful time in college admissions season — the time when folks who applied Regular Decision are waiting on pins and needles. There’s a post on “BuzzFeed” by Marcelle Friedman and Jane Kelly entitled “21 Tips For Surviving College Admissions Season.” In the post, they write “try your best to stay calm.” Easier said than done for most college applicants, right? They also say to “resist the urge to discuss hypothetical outcomes that are now out of your hands.” Good advice. Again, easier said than done. “Ignore oversharers.” Seriously — don’t surround yourself with people who are going nuts about the college admissions process. Try to find some calm peers to stay sane.
“Manage expectations and keep an open mind.” Good advice for sure. “Avoid buying presumptuous college swag.” Definitely don’t walk around in a Harvard sweatshirt if you haven’t heard back from the school yet. That’s just bad karma all around! “Reevaluate who you follow on Twitter.” Definitely don’t follow people who Tweet about how they got into the school of your dreams. That’ll only trigger jealousy. You don’t need that! We like how the writers especially pointed out people who write about receiving Likely Letters. So true. Don’t post your Likely Letters on the Internet, people. You’ll only regret this decision later!
“Keep in mind that one man’s safety school is another man’s pipe dream.” Be careful about which schools you refer to as safety schools because while Michigan may be your safety school, there are tons of people who would do quite a lot for the chance to be a Wolverine. “Do not ask someone else to open your envelope or admissions email.” It should be you who reads this news. You should be alone. Don’t be surrounded by friends. That’s a big mistake many high school seniors make each year.
Anyhow, check out the article for more great advice on surviving the stress of college admissions season. The writers are spot on!Categories: College Admissions, College Decisions Tags: College Admissions Season, Ivy League Admissions Season, Stressful College Admissions Season, Stressful University Admissions Season, University Admissions Season
We write about this topic every year around this time, but just in case you’re a new reader to our college admissions blog, we urge students not to wear sweatshirts of the universities they’re admitted to when they go into school in the coming weeks. And we urge them not to wear sweatpants of the universities they’re admitted to as well. Or hats. Or shorts. You get the idea. It’s not nice. It’s not nice to students who are still waiting on word of their admissions decisions. It comes across as though you’re bragging (you kind of are). And it’s just not a good idea. Why cause the conflict when you can avoid it?
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t ever wear swag of your university. Of course you should! And just because a fellow student at your high school didn’t get into, say, Stanford doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to wear your Stanford hoodie. It’s the way the world works. Some people get in, some people don’t. Some people achieve their dreams, some people don’t. They’ll need to get used to this anyhow. All we’re saying is to be conscious of the feelings of your classmates and teachers in the coming weeks. The college admissions process is a stressful time. Years later, you’ll still look back on this time in your life as one filled with stress and anxiety. So be good to your classmates. Be good to your teachers.
Wear an Abercrombie & Fitch sweatshirt. Wear a Celtics hat. But don’t wear a Harvard hat. Don’t wear a Princeton tee. And parents, this goes for you too. Just because your son or daughter got into Columbia doesn’t mean that you should be putting a Columbia decal on your SUV. Seriously? Play it cool. You’ll be better for it!Categories: College Admissions, College Decisions Tags: Admissions Behavior, College Admissions Behavior, Ivy League Admissions Behavior, Stressful College Admissions Behavior, University Admissions Behavior
There’s a good post by Martha C. Merrill, the dean of admission and financial aid at Connecticut College, up on “The Choice” blog on the topic of appropriate college tour questions. In the post entitled, “What (Not) to Ask on a Campus Tour,” Merrill goes through some questions that prospective applicants and their parents sometimes — rather astonishingly — ask. Wondering what those questions are? Have you ever been on a campus tour when a parent in the group asked how much it would cost to buy a library? Oh, it happens. Ms. Merrill didn’t mention this particular gem, but she did mention a few others that got us to giggle.
For instance, students should not ask their tour guide to admit them. That tour guide has no power over your candidacy. He or she is just a student in all likelihood. Maybe at some schools it’s an admissions officer so there are indeed exceptions, but this is neither the time or the place to bring such a question up. In fact, there is never a time or place to outright ask an admissions officer to admit you. That’s absurd. Oy vey. Merrill also says that students and parents shouldn’t ask the tour guide to “predict how much financial aid you might receive.” Yes, some folks really do this! How the heck would the tour guide know this information? Oy vey again.
And certainly don’t ask your tour guide’s grades or SAT scores, writes Merrill. Oh, we’ve heard people ask this. Are they kidding? How nosy can one be? What business is it of theirs? What an invasive question but, yes, there are people in the world on college tours who ask such questions. It happens. Have you been on a tour where an inappropriate question was asked? If so, how did your tour guide respond? Share with us your stories by posting below!
While you’re here, check out our video on What Not to Do on College Tours.Categories: College Admissions, College Decisions, Deciding on a College to Attend Tags: Campus Tour Questions, College Tour Questions, College Tour Questions To Ask, University Tour Questions, University Touring
It happens every college admissions cycle. Every last one. A college admissions office makes a mistake and sends offers of admission to applicants who were supposed to be denied admission or waitlisted. So which university is the culprit this year? We’ll give you a hint. They boast the most successful college basketball program of all time. Nope, not Duke. Not UNC. Not Kansas either. This year’s college admissions culprit is the University of California Los Angeles. Oh, did the UCLA Bruins logo and title of this post tip you off?
According to the “NY Daily News” article by Nina Mandell on UCLA admissions, “UCLA officials are apologizing after the university mistakenly told nearly 900 high school seniors they were going to be Bruins next year. The students are actually still on the waiting list — despite receiving congratulations letters from the highly selective university, The Associated Press reported.” 900 students received misinformation!
It’s regrettable that UCLA officials made this mistake. It’s regrettable that so many high school students got so excited that they got into UCLA only to discover that they didn’t in fact get in. But mistakes do happen. Hopefully not often. However, UCLA needs to own their mistake! When UCLA campus spokesman Ricardo Vazquez stated, “We sincerely apologize for this mistake that may have led some of them to think they were admitted when they remain on the waiting lists,” what did he mean by “may have led? When a student receives an offer of admission, they don’t “maybe” think they were admitted. They don’t question it. They accept it as fact and get all excited about it.
These kinds of mistakes need to stop. Vassar also made such an error this year. We assure you that other colleges will make similar mistakes next year. You wonder why they can’t be more careful. You wonder why they can’t admit their mistakes rather than claim that their letters may have led some students to believe they were admitted. Come on! Don’t put words like “may” in your public statements. Own your university’s error in judgment!Categories: College Decisions Tags: Admission to UCLA, Applying to UCLA, Getting Into UCLA, UCLA Admission, UCLA Admissions
We’ve got some advice for waitlisted students. If you’re a student who has been waitlisted and you’re hoping to earn a spot at the college that put you in limbo, you must not do nothing. If you do nothing, there is little chance that you’ll earn your way off the waitlist and into the incoming class. You’ve got to be proactive. Indeed the first thing that you should be doing is mailing that card back, informing the university that you wish to still be considered for admission.
What you should then do is ask your high school guidance counselor who you’ve ideally established a great relationship with over the years to reach out to the regional admissions officer at the university that put you on the waitlist. That personal contact can go a long way! Your guidance counselor can express your continued enthusiasm for the school and find out what you can do to earn a place in the class.
Maybe your guidance counselor can inform the admissions officer of a significant accomplishment of yours since you applied. Maybe you’ve since won a major science competition or bettered your 800 meter time to the point where the track coach now actually wants you for his team. All of this could change your admissions outlook immensely!
But one of the most significant things you can do to help get off the waitlist is to write what we call a “letter of enthusiasm.” In this letter to the admissions office at the university that waitlisted you, let them know directly from you how much you still want to go to this school. Let them know why you love them so much. Let them know why you’d be such a great addition to the incoming class. This is your opportunity to express your thoughts in your own words. So make the most of it! Don’t just send any old letter. Each and every word matters. We help students perfect these letters all the time!
Check out our newsletter on advice for the waitlisted.Categories: College Decisions Tags: Advice for Waitlisted Students, Advice on the College Waitlist, Advice to Waitlisted Students, College Waiting List Advice, Waitlisted Student Advice
Don’t be surprised if you learn about your college admission decisions via phone. Imagine being an admissions officer. For months, you’ve gone around the country urging students to apply. You’ve gone into high schools and given your sales pitch. You’ve gone to China to let students know why they should consider studying in the United States. You’ve spent countless hours reading college applications. College essays about winning soccer goals and deceased grandparents, about trips to Europe and yearbook club. Get the picture? So now is the exciting time…the time when admissions officers have the chance to relay great news to selected applicants.
It’s only human that admissions officers would want to relay this news to anxious students who are anxiously awaiting word of their fates. Harvard called some applicants who were going to be receiving Likely Letters that they would be receiving Likely Letters! How funny is that? They called to tip off students that they’d be receiving a tip off that they’d likely be admitted. How silly! But it’s great! It relieves stress, it’s fun for students to hear from real humans (rather than through a website or mailing), and it’s fun for admissions officers to relay terrific, life-changing news!
So, college applicants, keep your phones on. Not in class. Not at the library. Not while you’re sleeping. But keep them somewhat nearby so you won’t miss a call from an excited admissions officer at a university that you applied to. But if it doesn’t ring, don’t worry. Admissions officers don’t have the time to call every applicant! It’s one of those things that’s fun a few times but then gets a bit repetitive.Categories: College Decisions, Selecting Colleges Tags: College Admission Decisions, College Admissions Decisions, College Decisions, Harvard Admissions Decisions, University Admissions Decisions
College admissions likely letters come in all different shapes and sizes. The University of Pennsylvania had a very creative way of informing students this year that they would likely be admitted to their Class of 2016. They sent out a video, starring Dean of Admissions Eric Furda. If you’ll recall, Eric Furda sent out a video last year, too, to convey to a select set of applicants that they will likely be admitted. This year’s is just as much fun. Penn really goes all out on its likely letters!
In the video, Dean Furda unlocks an office that contains the list of students likely to be admitted. He then brings over the list (in a very stealthy way) to a group, presumably, of admissions officers who celebrate its release. In the video, Furda states to students that if they keep up their hard work and their grades, they will be admitted to the Class of 2016. College admissions likely letters are a way of trying to get applicants to make a commitment to a school. It’s often reserved for the best applicants in the pool.
Maybe it’s a recruited basketball player. Or maybe it’s a science researcher who was a top finisher in the Intel Science Talent Search. The college wants to extend an early offer to these students, to let them know that they love them, that they want them. They want the applicant to start wrapping the idea of attending Penn around their mind. They want the student to choose Penn over, say, Harvard. It’s a show of good faith. The university could have waited longer to render its admissions decision but they want to let these applicants know now that they want them. They want to relieve their stress in the hope the applicant will then return the favor.
This year’s likely letter video also features a host of current Penn students who recount what it was like to receive their likely letters (and by letters, we now mean videos). The video then goes on to share with applicants the benefits of attending the University of Pennsylvania. It’s indeed a sales pitch and we salute the University of Pennsylvania for its typical creativity in college admissions.
Check out this year’s Penn college admissions likely video.Categories: College Decisions, Ivy League Tags: College Admissions Likely Letters, College Admissions Likely Videos, Likely Admission Notifications, Likely To Be Admitted, Penn Likely Letters