Study in the USA

For International Students, a College Admissions Checklist for April

New York Times

Congratulations! You probably have at least one option you’re happy about and potentially more options among which to decide. An admission decision — whether admit or deny — means many things, but it is not a judgment on your worth as a person. A denial doesn’t feel good, and it’s often hard to avoid self-pity. But you’ll feel better the sooner you let the bad news go and focus on the colleges to which you were admitted.

By this week, most students who have applied to United States institutions, particularly the more selective colleges, have received the news of whether they were accepted. Over the past few years, top schools have become increasingly harder places to obtain admissions. Early data shows that trend bearing out again this year, with top schools admitting typically under 10 percent of their applicant pool.

If you were not accepted to your first-choice school, don’t be discouraged. Carefully examine other offers you may have received before you make your final decision.

Avoid fixating on wait lists or anything else you can’t control.

The wait list can feel like purgatory, and in many ways, it is. It’s not a denial, it’s not an admission, and if you were also deferred during an early decision/action round, it feels especially cruel to be asked to hold on even longer.

The operative word here is “wait,” because colleges use wait lists to hedge their bets that they admitted enough students who will want to enroll. But just as you have until May 1 to decide on your offers of admission, so does everyone else. If you want to keep in mind a college where you were offered a place on the wait list, follow its instructions for next steps in case it ultimately needs to admit a few or a hundred more students. In the meantime, focus on what you can control — making a decision about where to attend....


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