The scoop on Admitted Student Days
By Deb Coco
The February doldrums are for real in the lives of high school seniors. The applications were submitted long ago and the waiting is now all but agonizing. It does feel like a helpless few months, but the window is closing on the letters you’ve been waiting for and over the next 2-4 weeks, things will begin to solidify.
College acceptance letters are exciting; you’ve worked hard for them! I still remember the days my daughters opened theirs, and I now love receiving “I GOT IN!” emails from my current students. All our work comes full circle. But that “fat” envelope contains more than just your letter of acceptance. It possibly has merit scholarship or financial aid information, but there also may be something else inside: a postcard about something called “Accepted Student Day.”
This often gets tossed aside with the envelope in all the excitement. You KNOW college “X” is the school of your dreams so why would you visit AGAIN? Enter a letter from college “Y” with not only an acceptance, but a fairly substantial scholarship. As Dean always says, “it’s nice to be wanted” especially with a merit award that will defray the cost of your overall tuition. Dream school “X” provides nothing, (but it is your #1 choice) and school “Y” offers both but it was lower down on your list. What they both offer is a chance to level the playing field by opting IN to their Accepted Student Days.
Most every college holds these visit opportunities in March or April and they are not to be missed; we cannot stress that enough. These are the days when schools welcome back their admitted pool of high school seniors so you are able to take another look with a fresh set of eyes. And believe me, the college will look different in the spring . . . there will be Frisbee on the quad, the campus will be buzzing with activity, and you will know you are just a few months from possibly being one of those students – it is intoxicating. From personal experience, Admitted Student Days played a crucial role in 2 of our 3 daughters’ school choices; they had great options and were just “betwixt and between.” Some colleges just knock this day out of the park. They roll out the red carpet, open the athletic buildings, dining halls, auditoriums, dorms AND will let you attend lectures. This was ultimately what swayed my children: hearing from some top faculty in their fields of study. They left knowing “if I might be in that professor’s class, this is where I want to be!” What a WONDERFUL feeling.
So, yes, it is one more college visit and it can be time consuming. However, you are looking at 4 very expensive years and you’ve worked hard to get this far; it is worth taking the time to truly seal the deal with confidence. I’ve heard more than a few stories from students who have met their freshman roommates during these days . . . they are well attended and worth it. And, on the flip side, you might find out that a school you thought looked incredible in November, has lost its bloom – this happens too, so it is never time wasted!
We are closing in on the final agonizing weeks. Hang tight, think positive, and do not toss out that Admitted Student Day postcard!