Plan Accepted Candidate Visits
Whew. Your potential schools have your application, recommendations, & transcripts. You may have interviewed or be about to visit campus and interview. It’s all over until you get a letter. Not quite. As you can tell, we’re big on process and the process continues. Applicants and families need to stay informed and communicate with admission officers even during this quiet period. In this edition of the process, we look at what will happen to your application and what the results might be.

Ongoing Correspondence & Communication - Know the Admission Office
After you have submitted your application, an admissions officer will evaluate your candidacy. Find out who is this person is in case you have any follow up questions.

Tip #1
Don't bother this person with unnecessary phone calls, birthday cards, chocolates, or other expressions of your desire to be accepted. It doesn't pay to be a pest.

Unless you have applied for rolling or early admission, most schools will notify candidates on or around April 15. Students who have been offered admission are generally given 30 days before a decision and a deposit is required. Once again be sure to consult each school for variation in the notification process.

In general, admissions committees will render one of four decisions on your application:

Yeah, you are accepted!

Defer: They are still interested in you, but they probably have some concerns about your grades. They may want to see another set of marks before they make their final decision. Call the school to clarify your status.

Wait list: They really like you, but don't have a room just yet. Most schools create a wait list of qualified candidates in case a student who was enrolled decides not to attend at the last minute. In this event the student or students at the top of the wait list are offered admission. Call the school to clarify your status.

Denied: It's the not decision that you had hoped for, but you know what, if you don't get admitted to a school it generally works out for the best in the long run.

Planning Accepted Student Visits
Many schools offer special visitation periods or weekends for accepted students during the spring. You are no longer an applicant; you can become a student should you and your family choose. These accepted candidate programs are less scripted and more informal than your interview, tour, and earlier admission experiences.

Plan to attend as many of these events as you can. These visits give you the inside, daily view of the school. Discussions, presentations, and question and answer sessions for parents and students often accompany these visitation periods.

Accepted student visits allow you to experience and feel the daily life of a school. Most schools will assign you with a current student. He or she will take you through the school’s daily life- showing you the ropes. On these visits, you often spend a night in the dormitory, move through the school day, observe athletics and extra-curriculars and, most importantly, get to sample the food.

While visiting during these periods enjoy the experience but keep an evaluative perspective. We recommend writing notes about your visit. Don’t walk around with a pad and pen. Relax. Have fun. When you get home, write your thoughts- what you saw, what you did, how you felt, and why? When you sit down as a family to make the big decision, you will be amazed at how differently you think and feel about each school.

These experiences and thoughts will serve as the foundation for evaluation and making your final decision. In our next edition we will cover some specific questions to ask and topics to keep in mind during the decision period.