Where Does The College Admissions Process Begin?
The college admissions process begins with YOU.
- You do what you can to prepare and plan for college.
- You take the most challenging classes available.
- You work hard to get good grades.
- You actively make a difference in your school and community.
- You study hard for your PSAT, ACT and SAT tests.
All those things are things you can do before you actually apply to college. These are the things that YOU CAN control.
What you CAN’T control is the final admissions decision.
The college selection process is sometimes a very subjective and non-transparent process. It can be baffling, confusing, frustrating and downright painful. The key here is to apply to multiple colleges. In addition to applying to your first-choice college, you should have a Plan B AND a Plan C. Most people agree that 6-8 colleges is a good number of colleges to apply to. If you have your heart set on attending one particular college, shoot for your dreams BUT understand that you may not get into that school. It’s better to have a backup plan…or two so that you create options for yourself.
General Undergraduate Admissions Process
1. Choose the school or schools you are interested in applying.
2. Request information and application packets from those schools.
3. Apply for financial aid with FAFSA if you haven’t done so already.
4. Gather necessary documents and requirements to be included with your application.
5. Choose the type of college admission you want to apply for.
6. Review your application and materials carefully before submitting.
7. Send application(s) by required deadline(s).
8. Your application is received by the school and entered into a database for tracking purposes.
9. Your application is then reviewed by the school’s admission committee/s.
10. Your application is either accepted, denied or placed on a waiting list.
11. You are notified in writing about the final decision.
12. If denied, you may appeal the decision.
How Long Will I Have To Wait For An Answer?
The time it takes to receive an answer about your admission or rejection depends on the type of admission you have applied for.
- For early action and early decision admissions, you will usually receive a decision sometime during mid-December to early-January of your senior year.
- For rolling admissions, you will most likely receive a response within a few weeks after submitting your application.
- For regular admissions, you will receive your decision sometime in March to early-April of your senior year.
- If you receive an acceptance letter and are planning to accept the offer, you will need to notify the school in writing of your acceptance.
- You may be required to include a deposit for tuition with your acceptance letter. Check with your school for more details.
- If you have applied to more than one college and have received multiple acceptance letters, make sure to contact the other schools and let them know you will not be attending.
- After you submit your acceptance letter, you will need to submit housing applications and final transcripts.
- This is a good time to prepare for college life and learn what to expect during your freshman year in college.
Noone wants to be rejected. It is simply not fun. If you have received a denial letter about your admission into a particular school, understand that you have options.
- If you have applied to multiple schools, you can see which colleges accept you and make your decision after that point.
- You can appeal your denial provided there are new circumstances to substantiate your appeal.
- You can attend another school for the first year or two and then re-apply to your first-choice school as a transfer student.
More than anything, know that quality education and opportunities are not limited to just a handful of schools. There are hundreds of colleges and universities that offer outstanding quality education.