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A Quick Guide to College Admissions Decisions

What a spring, huh?

With COVID-19 disrupting all of our lives, things can feel a little uncertain right now. But for many lucky high school seniors, the upcoming few weeks will be full of excitement as colleges release their Regular Decision acceptances, waitlists, and denials.

With so many decisions coming in, though -- we recommend students apply to at least ten colleges -- it can be difficult to figure out just what to do. So here's a quick guide to what possible decisions you may receive, what they mean, and what you can do about them.


Congratulations! If you're accepted to a college, there is a spot waiting for you in the fall, if you choose to take it.

If you applied Early Decision, you are now obligated to attend this college.

However, if you just applied Regular Decision, you get to choose among the colleges that admitted you. When you've made your decision, follow the instructions provided you to secure your spot in the class of 2024.


Being waitlisted at a prestigious institution may feel disappointing, but it really is an honor. The most selective schools in the nation receive applications from far more qualified candidates than they can admit, so being waitlisted really is a compliment. If enough candidates turn down their admission offers, you may be offered a spot.

If you want to increase your chances of getting in off the waitlist, it's crucial that you write a letter of continued interest! Update the admissions committee on all of your latest accomplishments, and let them know that you would definitely enroll if admitted.

That said, you should never assume that you will get in off a waitlist. You'll need to accept an offer from another school. Just realize that if you get into your top choice off the waitlist and you decide to enroll, you'll lose your deposit at the original school whose offer you accepted.


If you're denied, then the college has elected not to offer you a spot in this year's class. It's okay to feel down about not getting into a school that you were passionate about, but you should also realize that competition is tough out there!

Not getting into a school doesn't mean that you weren't qualified enough to attend, or that you wouldn't have thrived there. It simply means the college didn't have enough room to offer you admission.

Still, if you think admissions officers may have made a mistake, you can appeal a denial. You can write a letter asking the admissions committee to review your application again. Just know that it's extremely rare for admissions committees to reverse their decisions. But if it's your dream school and you want to do everything possible in order to try to get in, then go for it.

Need help writing a waitlist or appeal letter? We've got you covered! Contact us today to learn about how our College Admissions Services can support you in this final part of the admissions process. And to ease all of your COVID-19 fears, we're holding all services online -- no need to leave your home in order to get help!

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