The time you have been waiting for has come. Decision season is about to crescendo. In the next ten days, the last round of decisions from “regular decision” applications will be released. What do you do now?
Warning: The advice that follows is not of the “warm fuzzy variety” that you might expect. Instead it is ruthlessly practical and action oriented. Why? Because you have plenty of people who know you and can help you manage the “feeling” aspects of decision season, but those same people are not equally well equipped to help you with the “action” aspects of decision season. But I am; so I will be giving you that adivce.
Now that you have been duly warned, let’s review what you should do.
1) Shift gears.
You’ve been in a waiting mode. Now you have to shift into a decision-making and action mode. And you have to shift gears quickly because you have to make your choice about where to enroll by May 1.
2) Take a breath and take inventory.
Where do you find yourself with the colleges on your list? Here are the possibilities:
- Haven’t heard.
You should prioritize (sequence) your “to do” list as follows.
- Follow up with those colleges you haven’t heard from immediately. Here’s a guide for how to do that.
- If you have been denied, consider your options. Unless you have been denied everywhere you have applied, you should move quickly on to the next set of tasks.
- If you have been admitted, decide where you will enroll. Try our recommended decision making strategy – it is a great way to go about making this important decision. Whatever strategy you employ, you need to buckle down and make this decision and get your deposit to the chosen school by May 1!
- If you have been waitlisted, you’ll have to decide whether you want to remain on the waitlist or not. If you do, then you’ll have to do some follow-up. You can read more about our recommendations for when to hold a spot and what to do to maximize your chances for getting in here.
Alison Cooper Chisolm works one-on-one with college applicants and families from the US and abroad. She came to private consulting after working in admissions for more than 10 years at three selective universities (most recently Dartmouth College). Follow Alison on Twitter (@IveyCollege).