When You Wake Up At 3AM and Think:
“What if my kid doesn’t get in anywhere?”
by Rebecca Georgenes
Senior College Counselor
Road To College
Former Admission Officer at Princeton University
This past weekend, a friend of mine came up to me and said,
“Two weeks! I’m not sure I’m going to
make it through the next two weeks!” And it took me a moment to realize what she
was talking about. My mind quickly raced through several scenarios. Was she
ill? Was someone recovering from an operation? Was her husband traveling abroad
and leaving her to care for the kids alone? Was she a tax accountant? And then
I remembered: She was waiting to hear
where her son (who was already sitting on two deferrals from highly selective
schools), would get in (or not) to colleges.
Just over a year ago, I remember being in her same position with my own
son (who at this moment is living it up in Florida on Spring Break – I know
this because in a moment of weakness, he confirmed me as his friend on
Snapchat). And it did feel like this bizarre form of purgatory where I was
powerless to impact the outcome. But this too will pass.
Most students get into a number of the colleges that they
apply to. And before you know it, you will be trying to help with your own
child’s decision-making process as they figure out where they want to enroll.
(One mom once told me waiting to hear if her daughter would pick Brown or
Middlebury was the hardest thing she had ever endured. I quickly reminded her of a phone call we had
had a few weeks earlier when she told me she was in the fetal position, waiting
for college decisions to arrive). But if
your child is one of the few kids who does not get in to any schools there are
Gap Year: This is a popular option these days. I’m sure we will cover that in detail in a
later blog. But you can design your own plan or work with an organization, and
then reapply to colleges in the fall.
PG Year: For a student who needs to beef up
his/her academic profile, there is always the option of going to a prep or
boarding school for a year.
Community College or commuter school: While it
might not feel so appealing at first, working really hard taking college
courses and then applying again can be just what it takes to get in to the
college of your dreams. My own nephew
got in to a number of colleges, but wasn’t eager to go to them. He took one
semester of courses as a commuting student at UMass Lowell. Did really
well. And was admitted to Boston University
for a January start! He is now living at BU as a second semester freshman, is
in the school of his dreams, and barely remembers the personal struggle he went
through when all his high school friends were leaving for college and he was
commuting 1-hour each way Lowell.
Guess what! There are still colleges that
students can apply to! And some are
really quite good. So all is not lost. College Simply has put together a
comprehensive list by application deadline.
Your son or daughter could always start college at one of these schools
with the possibility of transferring if he or she isn’t happy.
Good luck! And go back to sleep. It will all work out.