Happy New Year! For some, who applied early to schools, Santa may have arrived. For some, the little elves only brought deferrals and for others, the stockings were filled with coal as letters of denial came. But have no fear; there is more to come in the next few months.
One issue with admissions is that often there is no rhyme or reason to decisions. I had one student accepted to Fordham and received a healthy scholarship but was deferred from Northeastern. No doubt this decision confused both of us. While the universe plays tricks on all of us, one thing is certain. Stay the course!
There is still much to do in the coming months for students applying to either university or boarding schools. First and foremost, keep working hard at school. Whether or not you were accepted, every school will be looking to see how you do between now and the end of the year. Universities will be expecting Mid-Year results i.e. your first term grades and boarding schools will be looking for the same information.
It is entirely plausible that students who were not accepted during the first round are feeling a bit out of sorts. Get it together and get back to work. First of all your “dream school” did not make their decision because they didn’t like you. Most likely they loved you, but just not enough. But, I have already covered this in my last post.
What can you do for the remaining schools? First, make sure you get those applications done. Second, just take a quick read through of your essay. You shouldn’t have to make any significant changes. Rewriting makes absolutely no sense. Instead, just have a look to make sure your personal statement makes a complete presentation and that all the information creates a closed circle. Third, make sure they are updated with anything new you have done since your application was submitted – awards, projects, and other achievements which will add to your current application. Finally, make sure you are doing everything a school recommends i.e. interviews, essays, submitting scores etc… Always read “recommended” or “optional” as REQUIRED. If you really are interested in the school, you will do everything necessary to increase your chances of being admitted. Certainly, your competitors are going that extra mile.
If you are applying to boarding school, now is the time to make sure all the materials are in place and sent. Deadlines are approaching next week. Interviews – both Skype and Vericant and or InitialView need to be sent. Make sure test scores are sent even if you are taking a last test this January. It is important that schools have some scores to work with at the beginning. Updating your scores as soon as you receive new scores (hopefully higher!) only add to your profile.
On that note there seems to be an irrational fear that a student should only send their highest score to schools – whether university or boarding school. I always advocate for students to send all of their scores (though TOEFL may be an exception) but certainly for SAT/ACT and SSAT/ISEE. Why? When a student sends scores that are on the upswing, it shows that a student is both teachable and has the potential to improve. Obviously, one does not want to send scores that are lower than earlier, higher scores. But typically a student will increase in different sections on different test dates. As part of this idea, the more information a school has as related to test scores, the better they are to make a decision. BUT, please remember this is not advice to endlessly take tests. A maximum of three (3) times in the most a student should ever take one test (SAT, ACT, SSAT or ISEE). One does not want to appear to be a perfectionist nor as having something to prove. Finally, on that piece of advice, students typically max their scores by the second or third time.
So as we roll in the final stages of the admission process for universities and boarding schools, make sure you have everything in place. For your essays, make sure they tell a good story. Make sure there are no errors in spelling, or superfluous information that detracts rather than adds to your story. As a final reminder, if you have done your best, then let go of the results. You will definitely be well rewarded.