I am afraid of not getting accepted into college

Typically, college adcoms don’t go “oops, we made a mistake last year”. Re-applying where one was waitlisted: possibly, if the essays can be greatly reworked (the other unknown here: recommendations. For all we know the GC wrote “OP is an arrogant little punk who doesn’t listen to adults and insulted his math teacher” or “OP is a nice girl who raises her hand a lot and has many interesting things to say”, both of which would be bad, and this will remain unknown.)
But typically it’d be recommended OP apply to a whole new set of schools, including 3-5 with 25-40% acceptance rates and 2 with 45+ acceptance rates in addition to totally new universities with sub 25% acceptance rates.


For those with an interest in the topic, this hypothetical example demonstrates how event dependence arises. In theory and practice, early denials at some schools lead to lowered predicted chances of acceptance at the remaining schools.

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The prior rejection will be a hint to the applicant that chances at the same colleges will be worse than what would otherwise be estimated. I.e. the colleges have already said that the applicant was not competitive enough (either borderline but just below, or clear reject; the clear admit possibility is no longer a possibility). So the time and money spent on next year’s applications after a gap year would be better spent on different college applications. Obviously, the new set of colleges should include at least one true safety (assured admission, assured affordability, has the desired academic programs).

Many shut out students just go to the nearby community college and transfer to a university later. However, it looks like the OP has already taken two years’ worth of community college courses, so that option does not look like a good one for the OP.

All is not lost! You have fantastic stats, and unless you have a letter of recommendation that says something nasty about you, I think it is possible that you will get into Georgia Tech off the waitlist, or Carnegie Mellon, Vanderbilt, Duke. But you are definitely running the risk of not getting in anywhere.

I’m assuming that you are not in search of merit aid. I don’t know if you are expecting financial aid.

I doubt that you had much communication with the guidance counselor at your school, because they would absolutely have advised you to apply to a SUNY school as a safety, and some match schools. All your schools are reaches. I do think that you will eventually be admitted to one of them, if not on April 1st, then off a wait list over the summer, but it’s gonna be a real nail biter.

Assuming that you want to continue with Comp Sci, I think that you should contact SUNY BInghamton and Buffalo (I think that these are the two SUNYs with big comp sci departments) and RPI, RIT, WPI, other second tier schools with the degree you want, and ask if they would let you put in a late application. Or you could see about which schools have an articulated transfer agreement with the community college (looks like Stony Brook and Buffalo DO!) - you could transfer directly into that school with junior status, zoom through the curriculum, and apply for a master’s at someplace prestigious in Comp Sci, and that would give you the prestigious credential by age 21 or so. You’d be entering the work world at the same time as you would have otherwise, but with a master’s degree from a prestigious institution.

Meanwhile, it is time to learn something from this experience. Make an appointment to see the guidance counselor at your school. Ask them to review your ENTIRE application before the appointment. Sit down with them, and ask them to give you feedback on your application - the essays, and the letters. They cannot show you the letters, but they can tell you whether there is something that you could have done differently. After you have heard them out, you could ask flat out, whether there is something on the application that would have put off an admissions committee. You might get some very valuable advice.

If you work the articulated transfer angle from Suffolk Community College, you could be starting in the summer or fall as a junior at Stony Brook or Buffalo, and it won’t matter that you didn’t apply by the freshman admission on time. Since Stony Brook is close, I would apply for this, and start in the summer or fall. With your track record of achievement, I suspect that you could be done there in four semesters, but if the courses you need are offered in the summer, that could be in less than two years. Then straight into a prestigious masters degree program for a year, and you’re in a great place for jobs.


Thank you for all your help everyone. My GC said that if she made some calls that I could probably get into a SUNY institution, which would not be horrible. My biggest fear is that I won’t fit in if I don’t get into one of these schools, that’s all.

To address some people’s questions:

As far as what my GC has told me, my essays and letters were what they needed to be. I’ve had the essays proof-read multiple times so I really don’t think the essays are the issue. Especially on the Harvard and Princeton essays (which of course haven’t came out yet) I feel as though I have ripped my heart out and smeared it on the paper lol. In all honesty, I believe my worst essays were for the ones to which I already I applied, which gives me a bit of hope :).

I really wouldn’t want to take a gap year just because I really want to get working on something important. I wouldn’t feel fulfilled if I were to lay back for a year.

Also, my family and I have agreed that the debt should not be a concern. They are extremely supportive and have said that they would help pay for whatever I want to do. I am blessed with them.

Lastly, the JHU credits were paid but I had to apply. It really baffled me when I got rejected for the sheer fact that I have multiple credits from them already.

Truthfully, I am so afraid that my application is diluted in the huge spike of applications this year because of the waiving of the SAT requirement. Again, thank you all so much for your advice and encouragement.

And yes I put my school on here :P. I didn’t realize it was there lol. I’m okay with it being there. It actually kind of helped since you all figured out I was from New York.

You could do a SUNY for a year and try for a transfer if all else fails, good luck on 4/6!!!

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Why wouldn’t you fit in at a SUNY or other college that is not a reach for admission?


Issues with transferring: far fewer places at schools OP finds desirable; no merit aid, lower odds of financial aid (if OP isn’t full pay).

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You are going to find other strong students at a SUNY. This might not be every student. You might need to look for them (if only because they will be quietly studying or practicing their music somewhere). However, there will be many students like you.

Given how many activities you have done, it probably will not even be all that hard to find other students who you have a lot in common with.

My guess is that it is probably better for her to make the calls sooner rather than later.


@jdemat What @dadtwogirls is saying here is correct. You will find your people everywhere and you don’t need what some view as an “elite” school to find those people. There are people that could have attended any of those schools at SUNY’s too but for financial or other reasons choose not to.

As others have said, you may have over-reached and should definitely have applied to safeties and likely schools. It’s ok to have many reaches, but not when you have no safety or likely schools in there as well, especially this crazy year.

Just because a school is test optional, if you have a great SAT you should submit it. The subject tests are not really relevant since most schools won’t consider those anyway, but as far as SAT score, if you have a great score, that’s just one more bit of information that can help you if it was a great score.

As I’ve always told my kids, I don’t care if they apply to 10 reaches, but they need to have 1 safety they know they will be admitted to and are ok getting in if they don’t get in anywhere else. Which they’ve all always done. It’s worked out that they’ve been fortunate enough to either get into their ED schools or schools higher up on their list, but they had the fallback of the safety as well.

Lastly, there are plenty of schools that are still accepting applications, and some are decent schools with good Engineering/CS programs. (Btw, CS is one of the most competitive majors right now. You can have a lot of honors and activities, but if you’re applying for CS and don’t have a lot of CS awards and background then that can unfortunately be a negative, so with the ultra reach schools that could hurt your chances no matter how strong everything else is if you applied for CS). But back to the point of there being many schools still open for applicants. My son is solicited constantly. You may have to just suck it up and go somewhere else for freshman year then if you don’t like it you can apply to transfer.

Good luck

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That’s good news. Hopefully, your GC will start calling right away. If not, you can call too. Just don’t delay in actually submitting your applications, school reports, recommendations, etc. so you can be considered for any remaining spots.

Again, this is the back-up plan so you can go to college in the Fall. I do hope that one of your dream schools works out for you.



Direct transfer admission to Stony Brook in Comp Sci. Double major in math, too. Done in two to three years, save your family a bundle of money, go straight on to your master’s if you feel too young to go straight to work.


If you want CS, then why the strong desire for Harvard and Princeton? Did you apply to any tech schools?


It’s good your essays were proof-read and your letters of rec are well-written. Note that I asked whether you school is used to sending students to top schools because while some letters may be nasty (they wouldn’t say things outright in the way I did, but any adcom can decipher some words, especially ig the GC has checked “school policy prevents me from discussing this further”) there are far more that are unhelpful and do not reflect well upon both the writer and the student (the “nice, raises hand” letters), which is more common from schools not used to writing such letters and not knowing what is expected in this type of letters.

Would you be interested in CS at SUNY Buffalo, SB, or Bing?
Would you like that better than a gap year?
While it’s too early to be sure you won’t get into any of the colleges left on your list, thinking about what you’d do during a gap year would be a productive way for you to use the next 2 weeks: is there a place where you could have an internship? do research? Would you be interested in spending a year abroad, perhaps in a school that focuses on the subjects you are interested in? What about finding and holding a job?

What can your parents afford, without debt?
The fact they agree on taking on debt… is meaningless, since they need to qualify for ParentPlus every year, and even if they do, do you really want to do that?
You’re better off knowing exactly how much they can afford from their current income and their savings, and if anyone else can pitch in.
Did you apply for financial aid? For merit aid?
(Or did you apply as a “full pay” applicant?)

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Associate’s Degree in computer science engineering from Suffolk County Community College.
Lastly, the JHU credits were paid but I had to apply. It really baffled me when I got rejected for the sheer fact that I have multiple credits from them already.

^This may be an issue with why you weren’t accepted at a number of the schools. It’s a guess on my part.
You have good EC’s but it looked to me as if you were trying to appease the universities to fit and impress them, and not to appease or show your passions and needs.

They may have assumed that you would only to be there for 2 years and it may not have been the “fit” that they needed or wanted for the current class. Those types of universities have the 4-year clubs; some carried over from prestigious prep schools. No one knows why you weren’t admitted but you have to fit the school’s needs.
The ivies are building the current classes for “fit”. The seats are finite. Most of the spots are already “taken” by athletic recruits, URM’s, traditional large donors’ heirs, and international celebrity students-(think: Olympians, daughters/sons of Presidents, Malala/Greta types, artists, poet laureates), etc.
Your EC’s are not supposed to be a “grocery” list of everything under the sun. They are supposed to show who your are and how you will fit. You have music clubs, a few math/engineering clubs, too many “honor” society references (considered “fillers” if too many), camps, but no tutoring for CS. I had to look back to derive what your major could be because I couldn’t tell what was supposed to be your “passion”.
This is all conjecture on my part, but the fact that you didn’t even consider adding a safety school, shows that you didn’t even think about the “what if?”

No. I thought 8 very good schools was enough to be accepted by at least one.

(No safeties in the 8 applications, and with hundreds of thousands of applicants, from around the world, competing for a seat, at these prestigious colleges and universities, you were very misguided with your chances.)

My eldest daughter was accepted at JHU. She found out from her counselor that they liked the biotech diabetes lab work that she was completing, as a HS senior student at UCSD, with a neighbor who was a researcher.
Some of the best CS schools weren’t even in your list of 8. The ivies know where they rank in the areas of CS expertise.


I do recommend you follow the advice here and apply to a rolling admissions school ASAP. It’s not impossible you would get merit still. You didn’t mention your state? In any case, I had a similar story “back in the day”-- applied to only Duke and Johns Hopkins. Accepted to both but ZERO financial aid (this was way before online NetPrice calculators ad other guides.) They might as well have rejected me. I ended up applying in May to a mid-tier LAC with 50% merit. Not what I wanted initially, but worked out ok.


You make some very good points here. Vandy is not at all known for CS. CMU, GT, and MIT are but none of those are Ivies. If you want an Ivy for CS that’s Cornell which is Top 5 in the country and in NY so it’s a little odd the OP didn’t apply there.

I have 3 kids in CS and there was a lot the OP listed and I didn’t even catch that she/he was interested in CS until someone commented on it later. A college reader may have gotten the same impression. There’s nothing about coding experience, just some small robotics and one other thing I believe. Lots of music stuff which is great, but not going help a ton unfortunately. The OP it sounds like needs someone to help with their application and highlight what their passion really is so that it shines out and so it is not so busy because I can see why someone reading it might find it a little all over the place.

Hopefully in the GT LOCI @jdemat you can focus on what you really want so they can decipher what that is and get a spot off that waitlist.



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although they’re not alone…

If you want to know what happened to Andison…


aunt-bea makes very good and valid points. When I looked at your list of accomplishments, which are very impressive, I wondered how many hours in the day you must devote to all of your activities and academics. It doesn’t seem humanly possible- or you are stretched so thin that you don’t allow much time for yourself, friendships, etc. Admissions offices have an uncanny way of sniffing out the true essence of a candidate, not just academically, but how they view them as fitting into the community of students attending their schools.

Best of luck to you and your college journey!

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idk dude. theres no point in stressing tho ur app is already in. tbh i kinda skimmed because this a stupid amount of stuff and is literally just trying to find validation on the internet since you obvi didnt put all this on ur common app. stop stressing, go hang w ur friends, what happens happens at this point.