Dear Estelle. In spite of all the good planning that went into selecting a well-rounded group of schools, we’re starting to receive a few rejections. I use the word “we’re” because I‘m feeling it as poignantly as my daughter. Despite the fact that “they’ve received 20,000 applications this year, up from 18,000 in 2006 and could only accept 5,000,” the pain of rejection still hurts. Any suggestions? EB, Littleton, CO
Getting a rejection letter is never a positive experience unless a student is rejected from a school his parents wanted him to attend and the student detests. A few lucky people get in everywhere. For most, there are always a few rejections, even with good planning, which keeps rejection to a minimum. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind after opening the letters in the skinny envelopes:
*The school isn’t rejecting you. Based on your application and the numbers of students who applied, it just wasn’t your year even though you had all the qualifications. Last year or next year might have been different.
The admissions people from Stanford repeatedly mention they could accept two completely different, well-qualified classes from their applicants and this applies to most selective schools.
*Although a degree from a name brand, prestigious school can make a difference in obtaining your first job after college, ultimately it’s your performance in college that counts.
*Complaining does no good. Go on with your life. You can get a good education at most schools if the school fits your needs. Many famous people attended relatively obscure schools.
*You can always transfer after a year if the school doesn’t fit your needs. Many students who attend their second or third choice school usually find they have made a good selection and when visiting their first choice college at a later date find it wasn’t as wonderful as they thought it might be.