What Happens While You Wait
After all the hustle and bustle it took to get your applications sent off, now it’s a waiting game until you hear back. Do you want to know what happens to the submitted college applications? We can walk you through the stages they go through and help calm your nerves while you wait.
- Once it’s received at the admission office, a file is created or updated with all of the information the college has about you. You should receive a notification within a few weeks that your application has been received – if you do not, make sure to follow up.
- If there are any items missing from your application – for example, a recommendation or test scores – the admission office will let you know so that you can send those right away. Most will contact you again when your file is complete.
- Once the file is complete, your application is sent to an admission counselor who will look through your application to verify your grades and test scores fall within the school's acceptable ranges. Less competitive schools may accept you based on these factors alone but competitive schools flag your application as admittable, denied or wait listed. In the case of schools that have wait lists, your application is sidelined as they request more information from you (such as senior year grades) that can be used to make a decision and/or wait to find out how many other students accept.
- Admittable applications are then divided up and read by a team of admission officers. It is their job to review and vote on each application using the college’s unique criteria. Discussions are held among the admission team in order to narrow down the candidate pool to the best students for each available spot at their institution. The more competitive the school, the harder the decision process of who to accept and it may take several rounds to decide.
- Once the decision is made to accept or reject an application, the college will notify you via mail. It still holds true that a fat envelope in your mailbox brings good news and a skinny one is bad. Even the top students may not be admitted into all the schools to which they apply so be prepared for a couple of rejections. Be realistic about the colleges you apply to and make sure you have applied to at least one safe school.
If you’re lucky enough to have been accepted, you will need to make your decision by a specific date (most often May 1). At that point you will need to send in your acceptance deposit and notify those colleges you won't be attending that you're going elsewhere. And that’s how it works!