To the Rejected or Deferred College Applicant: Yes! There is a Santa Claus!

Ho ho ho! Yes, there is still hope to get accepted to a top college my dear high school student.

I know you are laying on the couch in despair. You are scanning social media to either share in the same agony of defeat as your friends or become outraged as to who received a golden ticket to a top college. My advice is to get your ass off the couch and snap out of it!

The Deans of all undergraduate admissions want qualified, engaged and compelling applicants!

Despite hardships experienced by all that resulted from this pandemic, college admissions have never been more understanding of applicants. Indeed, this is the one and only year where the Deans relaxed some of the admissions requirements.

All living and breathing high school seniors should know by now, that submission of standardized test scores is optional this year. In fact, even if a student took the test and the score was less than perfect or even sucked, you do not have to submit the score. The Dean will not toss your application if a test score is not submitted.

And, on top of that gift, many colleges have extended the date for regular decision submissions.

My dear, desperate, anxiety filled high school seniors, there is a Santa Claus.

As a parent, I know two boys who were in your shoes several years ago. One boy was reeling from an early decision rejection from Penn, while the other boy was deferred to regular decision to MIT. These two boys were furious, sad, disappointed — a plethora of emotions to cope with this rejection. The MIT deferred kid was still walking around like a zombie in his MIT sweatshirt, while the other kid tossed all of the Penn clothing. He wanted to burn the clothing, but that was a bit too drastic.

Therefore, couch sitting student, the rejections and deferments should have set in and you ought to be looking toward next application steps. Today is December 25, and there is still plenty of time to choose colleges that complement who you are academically, intellectually and socially.

A few Christmas gifts for the high school senior who aspires to get accepted to a top college.

1. Apply to colleges that offer academics and activities that complement your abilities.

2. The Deans want students who are intelligent and engage in an activity that amplifies their uniqueness.

3. The Deans want to know how the student will contribute to their college campus community. (hint — the Deans want ‘doers’ — students who participate in and create activities that will enhance campus life.

4. The Deans want to know why a student would be a great fit to their campus community.

5. Lastly, the Deans want to know how the pandemic affected your life? What have you done to help your family or community through these difficult times to make a difference?

As you prepare your regular decision applications, please do not throw in the towel. Colleges that participated in early decision and early action have only filled 40–50% of the class of 2025, which should include class of 2024 gap year students. Plenty of seats remain for the qualified, engaged and compelling applicant.

Wishing you a very happy holiday and inspiration to apply to college!

Go for it!

For additional insight on the college admissions process, please check out my book on Amazon!

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