March 10th is here and with it, the excitement and sometimes anxiety as families hear about private school admission decisions.
Before March 10th:
Check each website so you know what to look for and when. Some schools will let you know exactly what time decisions are posted and some give a range of times. In most cases, if you’ve applied for Financial Aid you or your parents will receive a Financial Aid Notification. In some cases, your parents will receive the notification separately. Some schools may send the Financial Aid award a day or two after the admission decision is sent.
What does your admissions decision mean and what should you do next? Here are the five different admission decisions you could receive, and how to respond to each.
Congratulations! We hope you are accepted to one of your three top-choice schools. If you receive an acceptance or even more than one, carefully read through the materials the school(s) sent you. Make sure you understand items such as Five-day vs Seven-day boarding and when deposits are due.
Check the admission packet for Revisit dates. Be sure to attend the Revisit days for any schools where you are accepted. If you were accepted to more than one school, revisiting the campus will give you a better understanding of what each school offers and which might be the best fit for you.
What should you do? Attend Revisit day and sign your enrollment contract and pay your deposit by the due date.
You may find that you are accepted to your first-choice school, but you are waitlisted for Financial Aid. Schools receive more requests for aid than they can accommodate. Where to allocate Financial Aid resources is determined by an in-depth process. Your family may have applied for Financial Aid, but learned they are not eligible, and therefore no award is given. Another possibility is your family is eligible for aid, but the family has been placed on the Financial Aid waitlist. Being placed on the Financial Aid waitlist means you need to wait to see if other accepted students decline their offer and the offer is made to you. The last possibility is you are accepted, and your family is eligible for financial aid, but the school does not have the resources to grant you the aid you need and grants none.
If you are granted Financial Aid, you will need to reapply each and every year you are at school.
What should you do? If this is the school you want to attend, reach out to the school and ask them to keep you on the Financial Aid waitlist. If you feel your family may need more aid than you were granted, you may ask to appeal the decision.
A small group of highly qualified applicants are waitlisted. Being placed on the waitlist means the school thinks you are qualified for admittance although you are not granted a spot at this time. As schools see how many accepted students accept their offer of admission, you may be removed from the waitlist and be offered a spot in the school.
What should you do? If you know this is the school you want to attend, reply to the waitlist decision by telling the school you are interested and want to stay on the waitlist. We do not suggest passing up an offer of acceptance from another school in order to stay on the waitlist.
Remember, it’s all about ‘fit’. While you were looking to apply to schools with the right fit for you, schools were also looking for students meeting their mission and academic standards. Receiving a denial can be frustrating. You need to be proud that you completed the process, a process that not everyone begins, let alone completes!
What should you do? Find interests to explore and develop. Work at improving your GPA and interviewing skills. Consider working with an educational consultant to help you define which schools are a good fit for you. Look at schools offering Rolling Admissions after April 10th.
What happens if March 10th comes and goes without receiving an admissions decision? You should immediately contact the school to be sure a.) your application was complete and b.) your mailing and email addresses are correct.
What should you do? If your application was not complete, including your Financial Aid file, ask if the school will accept late applications. If not, look for a school with a Rolling Admissions policy.
We’re sure you’re counting down the days to March 10th! Good luck to you as you hear back from schools!