Rejection – no matter what your age – is tough. But for a senior who had his or her hopes pinned on a dream college, rejection can really sting. ACT offers these thoughts to share if your student was not accepted by his or her dream school:
• Don't take the decision personally. College admissions officials must bring together a diverse group of entering freshmen. Diversity includes, among other things, geographical area, extracurricular activities and academic interests.
• The college may not have been a good match for you.
• Remember all your strengths. The right college will recognize and reward you with an acceptance.
• You aren't alone. Most students receive at least one rejection letter.
• Recognize that attending big-name College X doesn’t guarantee success. There are many paths to a great college experience and future career.
While it's heartbreaking to see your teenager disappointed, college rejections happen. But they don't have to define the rest of your student’s life. Discuss options with your teenager for the upcoming year. A few ideas might include:
• Accepting a second- or third-choice college.
•Attending a community college for a year or two and then reapplying to a four-year college. Doing this is a great way to save money and complete transferable classes, and in the end, that final diploma comes from the 4-year college.
• Taking a “gap” year and working, volunteering and/or completing an internship.
• Using the year to beef up credentials. Your student could retake the ACT, learn a language or add new skills that set him or her apart to reapply next year.
• Appealing to the college if new information is available (for example, maybe your student’s grades went up dramatically or he or she won a major competition since applying to the college). Note: A student shouldn’t appeal a college’s decision simply because he or she was disappointed. There must be compelling new information that was not available at the time of application.