Early action and early decision responses have started, and it’s important to remember that what you hear may not be fair and may not make sense. It feels personal, but it’s not about you -- it’s business, the business of enrollment management.
Enrollment management is used by colleges to shape their incoming classes. It is the great unknown and it changes yearly. It is based on so much that you cannot control, including: an institution’s needs and finances, programs chosen, faculty retention and acquisition and so much more. This is all part of the holistic review that you will never know. It’s not just test scores, GPA or whether you were president of mock trial or captain of a varsity sport; instead, it’s based on college priorities.
And this is why you applied to more than one school, why you had a balanced list, and why when you made your list, all of them had elements of things you liked or wanted. In time you will find that many students are not at their first-choice school, but they are happy and thriving and can’t picture themselves anywhere else. Just like you will feel on the campus where you land.
Keep in mind, how you handle this disappointment IS about you. Right now, you’re hearing back early, so you have time to let the result settle and then move on. Use this time to revise, regroup, reflect and remind yourself that there are other colleges that will appreciate your time and talents.
This blog was written in conjunction with my colleagues from the College Crew.