Facebook Live Recap and Bonus Questions: Admissions Decisions

It can be a big relief when you receive all of your admissions decisions, but it also raises a whole new batch of questions that need answers! During my recent Facebook Live Q&A, I talked all about admissions decisions—from getting off the waitlist to negotiating financial aid and more.

In case you missed it, here’s a recap with a list of the questions I answered, the full video of my session, and some bonus questions that I didn't get to answer live!

  • What does it mean if I am denied by an Early Decision or Early Action program?
  • Why does it take so long to receive admissions decisions?
  • Are applications looked at multiple times?
  • What happens after you get accepted? Can you go back to campus after you're admitted?
  • How common is it for an admitted student to get a travel stipend to visit?
  • Is it worth it to visit a campus after you've been admitted?
  • Why do colleges use waitlists? And how do they decide who gets waitlisted?
  • What should I do if I get waitlisted?
  • Do colleges rank the students on their waitlist?
  • Can a student send in an enrollment deposit to one school, but still hope to get off the waitlist at another school?
  • What happens if a student can't afford the enrollment deposit?
  • What if a college's financial aid package is not enough or your financial situation has changed since you submitted the FAFSA?
  • What is the process for appealing financial aid offers?
  • Can students negotiate their financial aid package or merit scholarships?
  • Are merit awards truly based on GPA and SAT/ACT scores or do other factors such as major, demographics, or your HS resume play into the decision?
  • Can an admissions decision be reversed?
  • What are alternative start dates?
  • If a students grades/SAT scores are more in line with a summer acceptance at a university, should the student apply for fall and hope to be offered a summer admission or just apply directly for a summer admission, if offered?
  • What is the May 1st deadline?
  • What should a student do if a university wants a decision on a departmental scholarship before May 1st? How long can a student wait to reply to the scholarship award and what should they say?


1. Should a student email each school that they are not accepting admission to?

I would highly recommend that students respond back to each college they've been admitted to. Sometimes that's an email and other times the student goes onto the admissions portal to indicate "yes" or "no." There will be clear instructions on accepting or declining the offer of admission in the admissions decision letter. Responding to every offer, even the ones that the student doesn't plan to accept, gives the colleges clarity and allows them to safely use the waitlist if there's room.

2. How should a student handle a 5/1 decision if waitlisted on their top choice?
Deposit at one college to secure a spot somewhere. Say yes to the waitlist offer at top choice and follow-up with a passionate email/letter to top choice. Most colleges won't know if they can use the waitlist until it gets much closer to May 1 (or days afterwards).

3. My daughter was accepted at all of her out-of-state choices, but now I'm finding out that those schools do not offer scholarships/grants in their financial aid packages. What to do?

First, I would try to appeal the financial aid packages. Sometimes, the college re-evaluates the situation and finds money for the family when they realize the student will enroll elsewhere without it. At the same time, I would reach out to your daughter's counselor of record at school to determine any local/regional/state scholarships that she can apply to. She can also check out the U.S. Department of Labor for a full and free list of scholarships.