By Aimee Nemeth

Sometimes, no matter our best intentions, things simply do not go as planned.

Whether your students final email from their dream school was an acceptance or a denial, the process was long, and sacrifices likely had to be made along the way.

We’ve heard of students, here at Parros College Planning, who didn’t hear of a final decision from their school until the August before their fall semester. It’s likely that those dedicated to their dream schools won’t mind the delay, however, it can prove difficult in accepting other college offers and coordinating finances.

Unfortunately, for students who are going to have to rely heavily on financial aid offers and student housing, waiting until August is simply an impossibility. This is where the second-choice school is so important. Hopefully, you adhered to our advice in Part 2, and seriously considered your student’s options for college in the fall. If waiting for the first choice school is impossible at this point, place the deposit at the second school and formally accept their offer of admission, to ensure that your student has a college for the upcoming school year.

You can wait, and possible accept the first choice school at this point (the professionals at NACAC advise this as the only ethical way to do what’s called a “double-deposit”), however all parties will need to be informed once a school is finally selected for the student to attend in the fall.

Your student may be disappointed, as there is still a chance they’ll be accepted into their “dream” school, but once April/May rolls around, and schools are waiting for acceptance of their offers, tough decisions have to be made, and the overall well being of your student’s education and future finances must be the first priority.

Accepting a school other than your students dream school isn’t as big of a deal as it may seem.

Like we mentioned in Part 2, the higher ranked schools will like that the student took time to try challenging classes, and your student can prove that they can handle the workload of college (a lack of experience that may have been used to their detriment in the initial decision the year before).

Or, your student may find that they love the community of their second choice school, and decide that they wish to finish their degree at that institution.

We stress over and over, no matter how tempting it is do not allow your student to take a year off in order to apply to the dream school again. For most schools (Ivy Leagues, however, will tend not to fall under this umbrella), it is far, far, easier to apply a year later as a transfer student than it is to start fresh as a new applicant. Granted, if your student decides to take a gap year regardless, they should be encouraged to engage in productive activities; such as getting a job, taking a year abroad, or volunteering. The student usually comes back more mature and ready to work the following fall if they kept their focus throughout that year.

As always, Parros College Planning can help guide you and your student in the right direction as timelines meet deadlines and accepting a college becomes more complicated. Let us help you to weigh your options, and point your family in the best direction for success.

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