Breaking the news to colleges

by Andrea Hendrickson on April 25, 2014

Editor’s note: Our colleague and one-time Portland-based regional admissions guru, Andrea Hendrickson, penned this blog last year. She has since joined the admission staff of another college closer to her home that shall remain nameless (but rhymes with “Read”). 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), filing 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!


“Why Lawrence?” Let our applicants tell you (in 47-ish words)

April 24, 2014

On our application for admission, we ask a fun little question: “Why Lawrence? It’s a short question seeking a short answer. 47 well-chosen words—give or take a few—should work.” We appreciated some of the early questions from students about how to answer the question, along with their adherence to instructions. “Can I go with 48, […]

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The waiting… ugh, the WAITING!

April 15, 2014

You’ve probably caught on by now that there is a LOT of waiting in the college admission process: Colleges (and parents) waiting for students to submit applications. Students (and parents) waiting for schools to respond with offers of admission. And now, colleges (and parents) waiting for students to make a final college selection. As impatiently […]

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Ready to submit your deposit…?

April 11, 2014

…only to be thwarted by internet-dwelling gremlins? (We hear that from time to time.) If you are ready to join the Lawrence community for the coming fall, and wish to pay your $400 tuition deposit online, you might find the following steps helpful. 1. Log onto your admissions status page, and you’ll see a screen […]

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Counter-intuitive thinking about return on college investment

March 26, 2014

This morning, as I was catching up on an old podcast while shaving, an interesting insight came to me. (Warning: exercise extreme caution while simultaneously handling a razor and an interesting insight. Failing that, have a bandage handy.) This particular podcast, NPR’s “Planet Money,” covers a wide range of topics, from how LeBron James is […]

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