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Dear Seniors,

Many of you are hearing back from the colleges that you applied to right now. While we celebrate those of you who have been admitted to your top-choice schools, and rightfully so, there are also many students who are experiencing heartbreak, disappointment, and uncertainty. It is to these students that we want to offer some additional support.

ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL: It is okay to feel sad, disappointed, or even angry. It can seem like you did everything right and it wasn’t enough. But don’t sit in those feelings too long. We usually learn the most about ourselves in times of difficulty. How you handle your disappointment can teach you a lot about yourself. You can find the strength you didn’t know you had. You can develop empathy for others going through a similar situation. These can be very important lessons throughout your life. As much as we hate to hear our parents say “life isn’t always fair”, unfortunately, sometimes it can be true, and holding on to that hurt will not let you move forward.

At Briley College Consulting, this is what we will be doing:

COME UP WITH A PLAN: Once you’ve allowed yourself to feel all of those emotions, come up with a plan on how you can move forward. If you have been:

DEFERRED: Understand that this decision is not a “NO”. The college would like to move you to their Regular Decision round for further consideration. Sometimes a college would like to see additional grades, any new awards/honors, and possibly a Letter of Continued Interest. Every school is different and it is very important that you follow their instructions on what you can submit. Submitting additional materials that they do not ask for is typically not an advantage.

WAITLISTED: This decision can be particularly difficult to understand. What does the waitlist even mean? Colleges are indicating that although you were not admitted, they did like what they saw in your application. Now they are waiting to see which students accept their offer of admission and if any students decline admission that opens up additional spaces. One way to understand your chances of actually getting off the waitlist is to research a couple of years of a college’s Common Data set. Colleges report the number of students each year that have been

admitted off of the waitlist. However, putting all of your eggs into the waitlist basket can be very stressful and very uncertain. Instead, take a look at the schools that you have been accepted to

and remember why they were on your apply list. Reminding yourself of what you really liked about that particular school can be helpful.

Maybe it is time to cast a little wider net. There are so many great colleges out there! At Briley College Consulting, we will take another look at your criteria and see if there are other schools that match your specific criteria and find those good match schools.

Finally, acceptance to a particular school or university does not define who you are. Think of it this way, “It’s not me, it is them”. We don’t always know what a specific college or university is looking for. Maybe they need more Computer Science students, more women in STEM, a tuba player in the band……… You have done all that you can do and should be proud of your hard work and accomplishments. In my experience, students end up where they should be.


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