Question. I’ve enjoyed reading your columns for several years, always thinking “this doesn’t apply to our family” or “our children are too young to have this experience.” Well, guess what? Our oldest child is not too young anymore to experience the disappointment that comes with rejection. After extensive planning and research, he applied to eight terrific colleges. These past few weeks the letters have been slowly trickling in from the colleges. Big envelopes. Small envelopes! It’s been like a roller coaster. Result? Four acceptances, two rejections and two wait listed. Naturally, he received the rejects from the two schools he wanted most and the wait listed are his next favorites. We know he doesn’t stand a chance at the two rejects but is it worthwhile trying to get off the wait-list? – JK, Littleton
Answer. We can guarantee this question is resonating in many households at this moment. (See my reply below to the explosion of applications.) I’m happy about one thing you wrote. Your child has four good choices. Has he visited these schools and can he select one where he would be happy? Realistically, chances are minimal for getting off the wait list. Remember most colleges accept far more students than actually enroll. However, if he would like to try, here are several suggestions: Make a deposit, first, to his favorite alternative to ensure a spot in the fall. Next, have him update the wait-listed schools on recent accomplishments and grades, send additional recommendation letters and indicate a strong desire to attend with a good letter of affirmation. Call me for assistance with this process, if you need help.