The Ivy Coach Daily

May 9, 2023

What To Do After You Get Accepted to College

College students walking away from campus building on pathway beneath green trees
Find out what to do after receiving college acceptances (photo credit: Bryan Y.W. Shin).

You’ve waited for colleges to render verdicts on your candidacy for months. But, alas, they’ve released decisions, and now the ball is no longer in their court — it’s in yours.

If you earned admission through an Early Decision policy, there’s nothing more to do as you made a binding commitment to attend if admitted. If, however, you earned admission through Early Action or Regular Decision, you might have some decisions to make in the following days.

So what’s the game plan? Let’s dig in!

10 Steps to Take After College Acceptances Roll In

  1. Celebrate! Go with your family to eat pizza. Or hot dogs. Whatever you want. Earning admission to a highly selective university is a monumental life accomplishment — so enjoy it because there are only so many such moments in life!
  2. Make sure you maintain your grades and behavior. All offers of admission are conditional. Should your grades slip dramatically or should you violate school rules — or the law — that’s grounds for the revocation of your admission. It happens regularly!
  3. Consider your options. Were you accepted to a dream school? Were you accepted to more than one dream school? Did you only earn admission to safety schools? Or did you strike out in the college admissions process, earning admission to none of the schools to which you applied?
  4. Visit or re-visit the schools under consideration. How can you decide on a school if you haven’t set foot on its campus? Many schools will have admitted students weekends. Make sure you attend if the college is a possibility for you. It’s a great way to get a feel for what life would be like as a student at that college.
  5. Talk to students at the schools under consideration. You can have these conversations during your visits. But you can also pick up the phone and call past graduates of your high school who attended the college. The admissions office will also be more than happy to put you in touch with fellow students. After all, they want their admitted students to enroll!
  6. Talk to professors at the schools under consideration. While not all will take the time to chat, many will respond to an email. After all, they’re ambassadors for their institutions.
  7. Decline the offers of schools you won’t be attending as soon as you know it’s not a possibility that you’ll be enrolling. If you know you’re not going to a particular school, let them know so they understand their yield better and can potentially turn to their waitlist. This way, other deserving students can fill their seats.
  8. Accept the offer of admission from the school you’ll be attending by May 1st, National College Decision DayYou must let them know of your plans by this deadline. Since many schools release decisions around the end of March or early April, students have about a month to render their verdict. If you need the time, use it!
  9. Read all communications from the school you’ll attend to meet any upcoming deadlines. You’re going to receive many emails. But you must sign up by specific deadlines for first-year orientation events, roommate assignments, placement exams, and more.
  10. Pack for college and get excited! You only begin your college experience once!

What to Do If You’re Unhappy with Your College Acceptances

But let’s say you didn’t receive the results you had hoped for. Maybe you only got into a safety school or a few schools you considered safeties. If that’s the case, your game plan should not change from the above.

If accepted to only one school, accept the offer as the schools with open application deadlines after April 1st are not considered selective. You can subsequently plan to transfer to a more selective university. And, no, taking a gap year and re-applying is never a good idea since admissions officers often get scared when students are a year outside of a high school curriculum (though doing a PG year at a respected high school is ok).

If accepted to multiple schools you’re not so enthused about, attend the best school you got into and then plan to transfer. The better the school you attend, the easier it will be to transfer to an even better school.

Ivy Coach’s Assistance If Unhappy with College Results

If you didn’t receive the offers of admission you had hoped for, fill out Ivy Coach’s free consultation form, and we’ll be in touch to schedule a call to outline our services.

Our services for potential transfer students begin with a PostMortem application review in which we go through every section of your Common Application and up to three supplements. This way, you’ll understand what went wrong and what needs to change to optimize your case for transfer admission.

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