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Is It Selfish to Wait Until the Deadline to Make a College Choice?

CCEdit_SurajCCEdit_Suraj 13 replies135 threads Editor
Wondering whether you should make a college decision faster to help those on the waitlist? The Dean responds. https://insights.collegeconfidential.com/making-college-decision
15 replies
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Replies to: Is It Selfish to Wait Until the Deadline to Make a College Choice?

  • ChrisBry10ChrisBry10 17 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I think the person shouldn't be rushed to make a decision, but also should be mindful that there are people on the waitlist.
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  • airway1airway1 878 replies11 threads Member
    This year is different and the fact that top schools are going to the waitlist should indicate they are having issues
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9741 replies371 threads Senior Member
    I think colleges expect a certain number of students to reject the offer for a given number of acceptances, so I don't believe there's a one to one relationship between rejected offers and students pulled from the waitlist. Do any colleges actually go to their wait-list before May 1st?
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  • NJdad07090NJdad07090 565 replies8 threads Member
    This year some colleges have started using their waitlist already, I think it is a polite if you know that school is off your list to decline, but if you are down to three for example , one week will not make a difference. My son got accepted to 7 out of his 10 and waitlisted for one, when we tossed schools off his list , we let them know but that was bc we knew we were gonna pass on them, we are down to 3 and I think he has decided , but it is a school he did not get to see and I have no idea if he will like campus and if campus will be open in the fall, our state flagship is 40 minutes away vs 9 hours so we have not declined that yet just in case there is a change at the last minute.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7764 replies82 threads Senior Member
    For the sake of it, here's a different question: what is the reason for not deciding?

    Once the last response has been received and processed, then the thinking / talking / researching starts. I have two in the process this year, and both have been sent myriad online options (watch a class! join the webinar! take the virtual tour!). Once all of those have been done: what other decision factors are you working with?

    For one of ours, the admission process did not yield particularly happy results, and she is struggling between the comparative pros and cons of her options. She has affordable options (good!) but there are legit tradeoffs for her at each one. This time of going back and forth is meaningful in her working through those: she is developing her 'adult decision making' skills right before her eyes- slow and painful as it may be. So I have patience with not pushing her any faster than the deadline.

    The other one, blessed with her top 3 choices*, I pushed to at least tell options #4 & #5 no thanks: there was no way she was going to suddenly move to 'yes' for either of them. After that #3 came off pretty quickly. Now she's torn between 2 - and will genuinely regret saying no to one of them. But really, she has decided- she just isn't ready to commit. It reminds of that old song line "and you want to get going and you want to stay still and lost in the middle some longing gets filled". I'm not sure what longing this is filling for her- which makes it harder to be patient with her! - but I guess that's the beauty of an external deadline: it's between her and the schools, not between us :)



    *& let me just say that #lockdown has not added to the joy of navigating this process from opposite ends...
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  • PrdMomto1PrdMomto1 500 replies7 threads Member
    edited April 26
    My D did not decide last year until 4/29. She agonized over her top 2 choices and changed her mind daily. She literally just wasn't ready to choose. But once she made her decision she was done. She got off a wait list the next day but was unwilling to revisit what had already been a difficult decision.

    So no, I don't think it's selfish to wait if you are truly undecided.
    edited April 26
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9741 replies371 threads Senior Member
    I think characterizing not declining before the official response date as "selfish" is wrong. Over the years I've seen posters on CC pressure others to make a decision and give up their spots when that poster had a vested interest in the outcome (by being WL at one of the schools or having a kid who was).

    It doesn't hurt to decline when you're sure your kid will be able to attend a specific school, but I don't believe declining before the deadline helps WL students overly much. Colleges pad acceptance numbers because they expect a certain percentage to decline. If they expect 300 to decline, they have to have over 300 rejections before they even go to the wait-list.

    May 1st is a deadline for a reason. It lets schools begin to figure out on May 2nd what the enrollment numbers are, and they can use that information to go to the wait-list. Declining on April 25th won't move any individual's WL needle at all.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3272 replies75 threads Senior Member
    Taking the time you need up until the deadline to make the right decision for you is your perogative. Of course it is good manners and possibly helpful to others to promptly notify those colleges which you have eliminated from consideration, once you are certain, of course. The only thing that is selfish and wrong is double depositing.
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  • aquaptaquapt 2420 replies49 threads Senior Member
    Also, with schools that offer merit scholarships, it is not unheard of for them to spontaneously offer more money as the deadline approaches.

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  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 1152 replies112 threads Senior Member
    edited April 26
    If it’s a clear decision for you then it’s courteous to make your choice early and earn good karma. Think of yourself in waitlisted’s shoes and what would you want from others with power to decide. If you have doubts or financial settlements aren't final yet then wait as long as you need to.

    It’s better for you yourself to make a decision and clear your mind, instead of hanging in limbo until last minute. Sooner you decide, sooner you can leave this phase of uncertainty and move on to exciting phase of rocking your college gear, connecting with class fellows, browsing course catalog and planning your new adventure.
    edited April 26
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  • tenseMomtenseMom 132 replies3 threads Junior Member
    If you already know where you are going then why not decline and let others have peace of mind for a week !
    Just my two cents :)
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  • doschicosdoschicos 26316 replies265 threads Senior Member
    tenseMom wrote: »
    If you already know where you are going then why not decline and let others have peace of mind for a week !
    Just my two cents :)

    Sure that makes sense IF one knows but for those still deciding, nothing wrong with using the time allotted.
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  • vorpalvorpal 34 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @collegemom3717 living a parallel life here in PA in terms of your undecided daughter. Mine is in agony: she is wrestling with the question of privilege. I have no words to say how tough this has been on her and frankly on me watching her. But it’s her decision and my job is to stand by, offer support, and encourage her to make the best one she can in the moment. And know it’s not a life sentence.
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  • Limelight2721Limelight2721 15 replies0 threads Junior Member
    This year is different because a lot of us had In person admitted student tours that got canceled due to Covid19. Virtual tours are just not the same to determine can you see yourself there. With that I am waitlisted at 2 schools and have narrowed my 2nd choice school and accepted hopefully freeing up waitlist spots at the schools I declined offers from.
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