You have visited each of the college campuses that you were interested in applying to. You were diligent to do all that was necessary to apply to each of the homeschool friendly campuses. You got accepted into some of your favorites. And, now, the time has come to let each of the colleges that you gained admission into whether you will be joining them in the fall. Sounds like a tall order! It is easier than it sounds to accept or reject their invitation to join their family, but there are a few tips I'd like for you to know as you go about doing so.
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Sharon, a homeschool mom, told me that her daughter was accepted to every college where she applied. Time to celebrate! But then our conversation became more serious. How do you tell colleges, "Thanks, but no thank you"? How can you tell them your child has decided not to attend?
When a college sends a written acceptance letter, they include how to notify them about your decision. This may involve written directions or a reply card to mail back. Some colleges even include a postcard in their admissions packet to make this task easy for you and your student. You might have to use a special email address or website to enter your decision online. In the joy and excitement of learning about college admission and scholarships, sometimes these little bits of information can get lost in the hoopla! Look through all the papers again to see if you can find instructions on how to say "No, thank you."
Some colleges don't have a formal method for replying. In this case, simply contact the college the same way they contacted you. If you have an admission advisor who has talked to you on the phone, then call back on the phone. If an admission representative emails you, email them back. If they have only mailed information, then send snail-mail to notify them.
Keep in mind that acceptance or rejection responses should come directly from the student. As young adults, who will soon be interacting on their own in college, they should easily be able to handle it. It is important for your student to tell colleges that they have decided not to attend so that the college doesn't hold their place. There may be student's waiting to take the place of a 'no thank you'.
Colleges may also want to know why your child decided not to attend their school and where they have decided to go. This is normal, but can cause stress on the part of your student if they aren't prepared for the line of questioning. Colleges like to gather this kind of information so they can better understand their competition. They will use it to try to understand what other colleges may offer that they don't, and change the attraction of their college going forward. Simply put, it helps them figure out how to improve.
The deadline for acceptance or rejection is May 1st, National Decision Day or National Candidate Reply Date. It is the deadline for students to notify colleges of their decision for fall. But don't wait! Notify colleges as soon as you are sure where your child will attend. Then their scholarship awards can be given to another deserving student, and their slot in the admission pool can be given to someone on the waiting list.
Your early response can give someone else the opportunity to celebrate!
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