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6 Tips While Waiting for College Acceptance Letters

It is that time of year again: college admissions offices have started sending out both their acceptance and rejection letters. Your student’s stressful application process is finally going to come to fruition this month. Will they be admitted, wait-listed or denied? The wait for college acceptance letters is an excruciating process, but there are a few ways to handle it.

It is important for parents and students to remember that they are not the only ones who are worried about college decisions. As a college counselor in the Issaquah/Sammamish area, I will prepare them with these 6 tips:

  1. Today many letters of acceptance are sent through email. This means that students may receive their college acceptance letters or rejection letters at any time of day, even potentially at school. One year a student received 3 of their rejection emails while at school. Students should be aware and supportive of their peers during this time of year. Parents should prepare their students to receive this information at school.  If accepted, students need to know that other students may be receiving rejection notices at the same time. If a student receives a rejection email, they should have a plan for how they will handle it when surrounded by their peers.
  2. Not all colleges send their letters at the same time. One year, the University of Washington in Seattle sent out a large number of acceptance letters, then a week later they sent out a second group of letters. For those students that did not receive their letters until the second bundle, that previous week was incredibly stressful. Students falsely assumed that they did not get into the UW because their letters were in the second batch. Families need to be sensitive to those students who may have to wait a little longer for an answer.
  3. Parents, think about what you post on Facebook. As you are posting your child’s acceptance letter, other students could be getting their rejection letter. This is an exciting and sometimes difficult time in student’s lives. When it comes to posting, be thoughtful about what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.
  4. Parents, let your students open their own letters and emails. I know it can be tempting to just take a peek at the letters but this is your student’s experience.
  5. Parents, let your student have a few minutes to process. Make sure that your reaction is one of support, not judgement. If you get upset over a rejection, it will not help your child. It will just make them worry that they let you down.  Stay neutral and supportive.
  6. Be Positive! At the end of the day, there is not just one college that can make your student happy. If they did not get into their favorite college, they may find that their second or third choice is actually a better fit for them.

Ultimately, the best advice is to just be supportive no matter what happens with your student’s college acceptance letters. You and your child are not the first nor will you be the last to go through this process. I am always happy to help advise you and your child on how to proceed with their college career. For a better understanding of how the process works, give me a call today at (425) 941-7398 or email me at

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