Thursday, April 2, 2009

College Decisions Are Out

The last few weeks have been nerve wracking for some seniors who have been waiting with bated breath for the results of the college applications. Those poor kids who applied at UC San Diego had a nightmarish experience that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Imagine being informed that you have been accepted and then being told 2 hours later that it was a mistake. A cause for strong reproof if you ask me.

Some kids had applied early and were lucky enough to find out that they had been accepted at their first choice early in the year and so didn't have to undergo the suffering experienced by those who applied regular decision. But from the results of the early applications one had an inkling that March would be testing. Strong feelings abounded: endurance, indifference, stoicism, nervousness and downright fear were among the emotions on display. It was and in some cases still is a roller coaster ride.

March 31, 2009 arrived and the countdown began in earnest. Now it was a matter of hours. For although February and early March saw early writes, likely letters and final decisions from dream schools, top and lower tier liberal arts colleges giving appeasement to many. Some kids weren't getting any responses and still others were being faced with the distressing waitlist or rejection after rejection. High GPA's and perfect SAT scores just were enough for MIT who titillated and softened the blow with their announcement on March 14 at 1:59pm. Get it? It's all about PI. Solid schools some considered shoe-ins just weren't coming through or even if they did weren't dreamy or prestigious enough for some who thought Harvard was "the IT school". So now it was left to the 8 Ivies and Stanford.

The results arrived at or after 5pm. Yes all 8 agreed to issue their results at the same time, they were sent via email or a special decisions page with access to the URL granted with the appropriate username/password. Of course in 2.0 world where students were applying from as far away around the globe as you could imagine, snail mail just wouldn't cut it. Students cluttered forums, presenting stats and results in bold letters, RED and GREEN were the order of the day. ACCEPTED, REJECTED and WAITLISTED screamed across various threads, shouts of joy mingled with tears of sorrow. Disbelief accompanied both acceptance and rejection. "I got in, I don't believe it" shared space with "Rejected, how could this happen?"

After last year's slaughter, demonstrated by discouragingly low acceptance rates however, most applicants seemed to recognize that space is limited and so it is risky to apply to a few top schools. They have cast their nets wide and so most people have indicated that they have been accepted somewhere even if it isn't to their dream school, so the emotions have or will change to favourable reception and a willingness to embrace their next new school.

Some like my son are lucky enough to have been accepted by several top schools and incredibly are now in the position of having to choose. Stanford or Princeton? Go figure.

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