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The March Madness of College Admissions: Waiting for Decisions

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You have undoubtedly worked hard to complete your applications and finally they are submitted! Now what? For the next few weeks, you may feel the anxiousness of the notorious college waiting game as nerves build and decision time gets closer.

Tips for keeping track of your submitted college applications:

Have the colleges received my application?
An email is generally sent by the colleges confirming that they have received your application. If you do not hear back, contact the admissions office to confirm that they have received your materials. Every university has their unique admission requirements. So, do check and make sure you have followed all directions. If your application is incomplete, this could delay their review and your decision.

How can I check the status of my application?
How often should I check it? There are applications status links on most every college website. Use the same log in information you used for your application and you should be able to access the university websites. Receipts of transcripts, letters of recommendation, and test scores are sometimes on these status pages, so feel free to check back as often as you like.

What should I do while I wait?
This is a good time to make universities aware of changes or additions to your files. Have you moved? Changed schools? Improved grades? Won any additional awards not posted on your application? Participated in additional and/or relevant activities? Also, you could do additional research on the colleges on your list so you can make an informed decision when the time comes.

How are admissions decisions made?
It's hard to be certain about why a particular applicant gains acceptance as there are so many variables that enter into the decision making process. Some universities divide up applications based on geographical region and regional representatives review those applications. Other colleges may have several admission committees who make the final choices. In addition to your transcripts, essays, recommendations, completed applications, test scores (where required) and anything else you have toiled over, your high school will send a high school profile. This is information about the curriculum offerings at your high school and perhaps its college acceptance history

When will I find out?
If you applied to colleges where there is rolling admission, it generally can take six to eight weeks to receive a decision. Regular admission deadlines are around the 1st of the year and those decisions are revealed in March and April. You can obtain more specific information by visiting the colleges' websites.

When should I be concerned if I have not heard from a college?
Don't wait more than three weeks to contact colleges if you have not received a confirmation. If you haven't received a response, call or email the admissions office to check your status. You can also check the application status link on their websites.

Can I find my admission decision online?
Most colleges send decisions electronically through the application status link and follow up with a letter. What if I am accepted to one of the more likely schools on my list before I hear from one of my top choices? You generally have weeks before you need to respond to a college with your decision whether to attend or not. Don't respond right away. This is a huge decision! Give yourself and your family time to receive all your acceptances so you can make the best choice. Have faith that you have completed the best applications possible and now it is out of your hands. Best of luck!

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