Breaking the News to Colleges

by Russell Bold on March 18, 2015

Editor’s note: Our colleague and one-time Portland-based regional admissions guru, Andrea Hendrickson, penned this blog a couple years ago. She has since decided to become a counselor at a school closer to her home. However, because she loves her alma mater so much (yep, she’s a Lawrentian), she has enthusiastically endorsed our reposting this year. (IHRTLUHC)

As if the college decision process isn’t hard enough already…

You’ve spent at least a year compiling and editing a list of colleges, visiting, filling out applications, writing essays, waiting (ugh, the WAITING), filling out the FAFSA, waiting again, and now you have all (or mostly all) of your admit letters and financial aid awards in front of you. You’re weighing the pros and cons, or just out-right submitting a deposit to the one you know you’ve been waiting to enroll at since you visited.

All that’s left is to tell the other colleges who accepted you what you’ve decided. And it’s harder than you thought it would be.

Why? Not because colleges make it difficult to respond. You are getting a near-constant stream of emails, letters, calls, and postcards asking about your plans: check this box, respond to this email, unsubscribe (and we’ll get the picture)…

It’s hard because while we—the colleges, and the admissions counselors—were getting to know you, you got to know us. You found out that admissions counselors are people—exceedingly cool people. Maybe we’ve met half-a-dozen times over the last year. Maybe we have things in common (like obsessions with The Walking Dead or Macklemore). When someone spends time with you, connects with you, advocates for you in the admissions committee, it’s hard not to feel bad saying, “thanks, but no thanks.”

Don’t feel bad. Not even a little.

Whether or not you choose our institution, you are going to end up where you are meant to be. That’s all we want for you. That’s all any admissions counselor at any institution really wants for you. So don’t be afraid to tell us your plans. Fill out that card, respond to that email, reach out.

Our huge and heartfelt congratulations (plus a happy dance) on your college decision!

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