Wording of Admissions Decisions

UChicago released decisions today (photo credit: Jevnin).

And so it begins. Decisions have begun rolling out at some of our nation’s highly selective universities. Just today, the California Institute of Technology released decisions for its Regular Decision round. So too did the University of Chicago. Thus, today, we thought we’d walk our readers through the language these schools use in their messaging when notifying applicants of their decisions. So how exactly do these institutions reveal the news? Well, allow us to share messaging from the University of Chicago as a case example.

For students admitted to the University of Chicago Class of 2025, the language goes like this: “Congratulations! It is my great pleasure to inform you that you have been admitted to the University of Chicago’s Class of 2025. With your exceptional academic record, strong voice, and impressive accomplishments, you have distinguished yourself in one of the largest and most competitive UChicago applicant pools. For over a century, the College’s academic tradition has thrived because of students like you who crave ideas that captivate, provoke, and transform. We imagine you in our laboratories and on our performance stages, in our libraries and on our athletic fields, immersed in your passions and engaged in your pursuit of knowledge.”

Waitlisted applicants are encouraged to take the following steps: “Accept your spot on the waitlist by logging into your UChicago Account. If you’re still interested in attending UChicago, this is the way to let us know. Accept a place at another school by May 3 to make sure you have a college home for next year. If we are able to offer you a spot in the class and you choose to accept it, please let the other school know as soon as possible that you will not be attending. Write a brief note to your regional admissions counselor explaining why UChicago remains your top choice.”

UChicago wisely also offers advice for what waitlisted students should not do: “Don’t worry about meeting us. We do not make decisions based on whether or not a student has visited (our office is actually not open to visitors at this time) or engaged with our virtual programming…Don’t submit all-new application materials. The application you sent us originally is complete, and we have determined that it is a strong one. We have all the information we need from you, and, as time goes on, we’ll know more about whether there is space left in the class to take students from the waitlist. Don’t panic. An admissions decision is not an evaluation of you as a person.”

And, frankly, who cares about the wording of a denial because we don’t know any student who reads beyond the sentence declaring they didn’t get in!

 
 

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