Did I just tank my chances at every college I applied to?

<p>My guidance office requires a notification of the schools that we're applying to two months before the application is due. I said to myself I would apply to no more than 12 schools but I wasn't sure about the last 2; I had to pick among Brown, Williams, and Amherst. The deadline was on Wednesday, but I still hadn't decided, so I just submitted the notifications of the other 10 schools that I was set on. The next day (Thursday- 1 day after the deadline) I decided that I would apply to Brown and Williams but not Amherst and notified my guidance department. My counselor BLEW UP at me when I told him, declaring that I can't follow deadlines and he may not be able to submit my applications on time now (any of them). I apologized and explained that because financial aid is a big issue for me I wanted to make sure I composed a list that I really felt good with--the guidance department didn't care about my "roundabout excuse".
I'm really depressed now because I think he'll write me a really bad recommendation. =( I know it's my fault, but I didn't think it would be that big of a deal because I submitted the Common App school forms on time so I essentially only gave them two new schools to send my transcript/recommendation to--nothing new to fill out. He never really liked me and he hasn't been the best of help (he plays up the fact that I'm an African-American student with high standardized test scores like I can just walk into Harvard) and now I'm worried that I won't get into ANY colleges.</p>


<p>In the moment you must have overwhelmed him as 12 schools does seem a tad excessive. Give him a break and go back in a little while and apologize sincerely. Also the schools you are applying to are top schools so you must be a top student (why bother if you're not). However, just because you're smart doesn't make you entitled (i.e., think deadlines don't apply to you). Admit that it might have been better if you put in the extra school and taken it OFF the list post deadline, and you do apologize but are hopeful he might see that you were actually trying to be thoughtful to his work load but now realize you should have done something different and hope he wont hold your youth against you.</p>

<p>I agree and poke your head into the office and apologize. You probably caught the GC on a bad day. Two things that will irritate many people in every situation (work, school, life) are people that can't make a deadline and people that can't make a decision. You may have been the third or fourth kid that "changed their mind" that day. While your reasons are sound in your opinion for changing your mind after the deadline, it might help to poke your head in and just say you are sorry.</p>

<p>One important lesson here: Spend more time taking care of the people you need to take care of you. Your GC should have known what you were thinking way in advance of the deadline, and should have had the opportunity to tell you things like "the deadline is absolute" or "give me 13 schools and you can withdraw one later" or "I'm not processing more than 10 applications for you", etc. You COULD be harmed by this, and it IS your fault, because you didn't devote any actual effort to diplomacy. Don't make that mistake again.</p>

<p>Also -- your "excuse" had nothing to do with your offense. You don't actually have an excuse, except that you screwed up.</p>

<p>The other important lesson: Adults blow up and do stupid, thoughtless things, too. The GC shouldn't have said what he did. It's really unlikely that he will follow through on the threat, or do anything to sabotage your applications. Most schools are really proud of their good students and do everything they can to help them, even when the students are being self-involved, insensitive jerks. In recommendations, that becomes "self-motivated" and "marches to his own drummer".</p>

<p>I agree it would have been better to have given him too long a list and then removed a school - but that's water under the bridge. This is a stressful time of year for GCs, and they can be snappish. My son got confused about when he needed to get paperwork to his GC for EA deadlines and she blew up at him and told him she didn't know if she would get his paperwork in on time. The next time he saw her she was sweetness and light and told him not to worry. High schools want their good applicants to get into good schools - it makes them look good - but they also need to make sure they have time to do a good job. I doubt that ultimately your GC will ruin your chances, but you should continue to be apologetic when you have the opportunity. </p>

<p>JHS is right diplomacy is the way to go. No one likes excuses. It's often better to just say I screwed up.</p>

<p>Bringing in some home-baked cookies or a box of chocolates when you apologize could help, too.</p>

<p>I agree that fence-mending would be a good idea. Don't make excuses: just apologize. Unless your GC is a very unreasonable person, or unless you have made a habit of being a pain in the you know what :D , that should take care of it. In the future, think about exercising more diplomacy and extending more consideration to those with whom you must work, whether you like them or not. (And you may find that you WILL grow to like them if you cultivate a better relationship.)</p>

<p>That said, I do not think that 12 schools is excessive for a candidate applying to super-selectives who needs significant FA. In fact, I think it is just about the correct number.</p>

<p>I also think that the lead time they are asking for is somewhat excessive, since all they are doing is forwarding transcripts and copies of recs. (Presumable the GC has already written yours.) If they find the demands too burdensome, they need to address their own process, not scream at students who are one day late. What about students who are applying somewhere EA or ED, and who will not know whether they need to send additional apps until they receive a decision in December? Such a lead time cannot apply to them! At our HS, students submit a form listing schools and addresses and application deadlines, accompanied by stamped, addressed envelopes for each school listed on the form. If they decide to apply to more schools, they submit another form and more stamped addressed envelopes. If memory serves, the stated lead time is something like 3 weeks, but in reality it is usually less. (And this is a situation with one college admissions GC--and one guidance dept secretary who does everything for all of the GCs--for about 180 kids.)</p>

<p>We have 400+ seniors at school and the each GC are dealing with at least 50 college bound kids...the most demanding are the best students who are a joy for 3 years and then become entitled monsters from hell in the early fall of senior year. They really only need to put together one package for each of you, but your changes now (in gc's mind) portend a student who is going to walk in 1 week before a deadline and ask for an exception...he's seen it every year I am sure. So, give him space, apologise briefly but sincerely and do NOT make the mistake of asking for an exception to a deadline again. You used your "get out of jail free card" this time...he will not act against you no matter what he said...but he is going to be very rigid on exceptions to deadlines in the future.</p>

One important lesson here: Spend more time taking care of the people you need to take care of you.


<p>That is a very important lesson that will come in handy many times in your life!</p>

<p>Also, as others have said, do not make any more excuses. Just apologize. Ask what you can do to make his task easier. You need to build up a bank of good behavior now, of being cooperative, helpful and prompt.</p>

The next day (Thursday- 1 day after the deadline) I decided that I would apply to Brown and Williams but not Amherst and notified my guidance department. My counselor BLEW UP at me when I told him, declaring that I can't follow deadlines and he may not be able to submit my applications on time now (any of them).


<p>think about it from his perspective. They institute these deadlines because they are dealing with the logistics of umpteen people applying to umpteen schools apiece. If everyone said, "I'm the exception the day after," he wouldn't be able to get his job done. I concur that it would be nice to apologize, even better to do so with homemade cookies or whatever, and make no excuses. Also butter him up a bit. Can't hurt. Good luck!</p>

<p>Another thing: he doesn't send in your applications... You do.</p>

<p>I work with a bunch of people. Part of my job is to set deadlines that I need certain information from these people. The deadline that I have to finish my job might be weeks after the deadline that I give those people, but I have tons to do after I get the information. There are always people that miss the deadline or send me updated information after the deadline because they figure it's no big deal because they know I don't need to do "my thing" for several more weeks. It is horribly presumptuous and annoying of those people. If you are given a deadline it matters not anything else, how much time there is before what the deadline giver needs to do, it matters not how many or how few people the deadline giver needs to service. Those are not your concerns nor your position to presume. And you know what, I rarely bend over backward for the people that just can't seem to hit the deadlines...that is just human nature and yes passive-agressive, but whatever. I'm sure it will turn out well and you have certainly learned a life lesson that hopefully will stick with you and help you down the line.</p>

<p>I agree with you, momofthreeboys, and I always advise my kids to set "fake deadlines" for themselves that are x days before, to be on the safe side.</p>

<p>OP, if you are in a situation where you think there might be a legitimate issue causing you to have to reevaluate or resubmit info after the deadline, then it's a good idea to ask if that's possible or feasible upfront versus announcing after the fact that you've changed X.</p>

<p>Thank you all for your advice.
I will stop by Monday morning and apologize again. I've learned my lesson--I just hope that I'm not penalized because of my err in judgment.</p>

<p>ETA930..focus on what you can effect now. Tell the GC that you got too short sighted to properly recognize his logistical issues and apologize. Everyone gets a bit self absorbed at this crossroads and hyper anxious, but the GC likely doesn't dislike you. You will be admitted to colleges. There is almost no reason to apply to 12 colleges anyway, even with a good reason to shop financial aid offers. Make a big effort to turn all documents/essays in early in the coming weeks to him. Make sure you have a couple of match colleges where you know you will be admitted and reasonably happy. Move on..to managing good exchanges with your academic references and move on..to managing your personal essays and to setting up your alum interviews etc. Your application has many components and the GC recommendation is only one of them. Cheer up..get some perspective..you have high test scores and are a sought after student...if you have the character to match and present yourself well in references and essays, somewhere you will be happy will open a door wide...</p>

<p>and of note...my two sons managed to get into great schools from a high school with a 50% drop out rate. Our GCs don't have much time for college counseling but they do copy and mail transcripts...my son met his counselor (his fourth) October of his senior year..the guy had never been in a high school before and you could sit in the hall in a row with kids in there for discipline issues, missing classes and hoping to meet your GC..if you were lucky. They had about 200 students each...</p>

We have 400+ seniors at school and the GC are each dealing with at least 50 college bound kids


<p>Off topic from the OP, but wow, many schools would consider that luxurious leisure. Our school sends 98% of the nearly 600 seniors to 4 year colleges. 4 counselors.</p>

<p>I'm chuckling, also, my son has never talked to the GC who did his req. 2.5 GCs for 200 college bound seniors plus they also split the fresh, sophs and juniors and two of them coach a sport, the .5 teaches classes in addition so 400 kids in and day out, not quite as bad as dragonmom if her GCs also have frosh, sophs and juniors but certainly not warm fuzy handholding for the Bright Kids who aren't any trouble....</p>

<p>Reading this is quite the reality check for me. Every time we emailed the guidance counselor with a question, he emailed back with and hour or two. My son spontaneously decided to apply for a school at the last minute, and called the counselor at home (who faxed the recommendation to the college that same day). I'm going to email him now and thank him one more time, we knew he was great but took that consideration for granted. I didn't actually realize what other kids were enduring. I can't even imagine the gc blowing up at my kid for anything. I agree with the rest, just apologize and try to never ask for anything else!</p>

<p>Definitely email him, busdriver! Your experience was the exception, not the rule. We were never able to get an appointment with the GC, who wrote a garbled, inaccurate recommendation for S for a junior year book award, and then didn't bother to update it to include his junior year honors, which were significant. She blew off his supposedly routine second appt, saying that she "knew him well enough already." Apparently not! He did well in admissions, although perhaps not as well as he might have done if he had support from the GC. I felt that he got in despite the GC, rather than being helped.</p>

<p>Gosh, consolation, what a bad experience. Applying to these schools is tough enough without the gc working against you! I always assumed they were there to help the kids with anything they needed, I think I was naive not realizing how overloaded some are.</p>

<p>I did email the gc another letter of thanks, and got a nice response within 10 minutes. My son got into a school that was definitely a reach for him, and he is going to go visit the gc when he gets back for the holidays. So many of these people that help our kids throughout their lives get the immediate thanks, but never hear from the kids again. That would seem rather unsatisfying to me.</p>