Just When You Didn’t Think It Could Get Any Lower…Another Year of Record Low College Acceptance Rates: What’s An Applicant to Do?

Available for Interview: A Kaplan Test Prep College Admissions Expert to Explain the State of College Admissions and What Accepted, Rejected and Waitlisted Students Can Do Next

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO)

Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Carina Wong, carina.wong@kaplan.com, 212.453.7571

New York, NY (April 5, 2012) – “Thank you for applying, but unfortunately…”  While many of the millions of high school seniors who applied to college succeeded in getting into their top picks in a year when the nation’s top colleges accepted record low percentages of applicants (Harvard at 5.9%, Yale at 6.8%, Princeton at 7.9%, Dartmouth at 9.4%, Duke at 11.9%), those who were outright rejected or waitlisted into admissions limbo are wondering what to do next.  And what of those who were accepted to their top choices, but can’t decide where to enroll?  Here are some pieces of advice for each scenario that a student may find themselves in:

  • My top choice school rejected me!  Where do I go now?  Yes, it’s a major disappointment, but with many of the nation’s most competitive schools announcing record high rejection rates this cycle, you are in good company.  A college rejection is not a stigma.  Life’s fate will not be determined by having earned more “yes’s” than “no’s.”  Now you must seriously consider one of your “ safety schools,” which may be more appealing than you originally thought.  Focus on the options that are available, citing the positive aspects of the colleges that said “We want you.”
  • I’ve been waitlisted.  Do I wait?  The last thing you should do if you are put on a wait list is wait. Take action!  Submit new relevant information to the college admissions office: midterm grades, awards, new leadership roles, etc.  Show them why you are a “must-have student.”  Chances aren’t great getting off the wait list, but taking some concrete steps may increase the odds.
  • I got in to several of my top schools, but how do I decide which one to attend?  This is not exactly a bad situation to be in, but that doesn’t mean the decision will be easy.  Refer to the list of factors you considered when you first applied.  See how well the colleges that have offered you admission meet those requirements.  If how to pay for college is also an important factor, evaluate their financial aid packages.  The best way to make the final decision is to visit (or revisit) the campuses that are still in the running.  Then discuss it with those who know you best and make an informed decision on a school that you are excited about.

For a 3-minute video that offers advice to students on next steps in the college admissions process, click here – this video and other related videos, like preparing for the SAT and ACT, are available at www.youtube.com/KaplanSATACT.

To arrange an interview with a Kaplan Test Prep expert who can expand on this advice for students, please contact Russell Schaffer at 212.453.7538 or russell.schaffer@kaplan.com.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses.  Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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