If you, or your child, got “rejected” from the college you were hoping for, you’re not alone. This has been a really competitive year for everyone. Now that most of the Ivies and other selective colleges have announced admissions decisions, many students are reeling from the pains of being overlooked or waitlisted.
Colleges have seen an uptick in applications from minority and first-generation students. Other colleges have given coveted spaces to gap-year students who differed from last year. And of course, those legacy students got in because mommy or daddy donated big bucks (that’s still legal). This trickle-down yield affects all colleges. Admit rates have decreased this year (meaning they’ve become more selective). Emory fell from 19% to 13%, Swarthmore 9% to 8%, and Colby 13% to 10%.
Remember that there are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States. Most are desperately seeking students to fill their 2021-2022 classes. There are many excellent colleges that are still accepting applications – so if you aren’t happy with your college options, you can still apply to other colleges.
I believe that students make their own college experiences. By creating a comprehensive 4-year plan at their future college (before starting), you can work with professors doing exciting research, carve out your personal academic program, do research and internships, and meet new people in clubs and programs that your college offers. Forget about name-brand colleges and the rankings – there’s a lot of hype and hysteria that many students and families fall prey to.
You can make plans that will give you an excellent education, prepare you for grad school or your dream career, and ultimately keep you happy and sane.