Regular Decision Deadlines Fast Approaching

Colleges That Change Lives offered a sage piece of wisdom a few weeks ago. "In a few short months, no one will ask you about where you didn't get in... you will be celebrating all your college acceptances. Keep smiling!"

Hard to argue with that. For those of you who were denied acceptance at your top choice (or chose not to apply early), remember that the work in front of you is all that matters. Wrap up those remaining applications, send them out, and relax. The admission season eventually ends, and you'll be focused on your acceptances above all other things.

You can find the Colleges That Change Lives Facebook page here for continued updates.

Student at Penn Claims That Racism is Rampant

Are you considering diversity when selecting a college?

When making a decision to attend a particular college, students generally weigh factors such as academics, location, and cost. We usually don’t think of racism as a deciding factor. However, that might all change after a student at Penn was published last week in The Daily Pennsylvanian discouraging minority students from attending Penn because of his encounters with racism on campus.

In this article, Christopher Abreu recounts his humiliating experience in which he was taunted by other students based on the color of his skin. While the story is appalling, many disagree with Abreu’s solution. Discouraging other minority students from attending the university can only exacerbate a problem. Further, students have stepped forward to say that they have not felt racism to be as extensive as Abreu has indicated.

According to an article in The Daily Pennsylvanian, not everyone’s decision will be affected by Abreu’s advice. Black student Daniel McCord stated, “I’ve never gotten any negative feelings about [the University] in that way…If racism was a prevalent enough problem at Penn, I think I would’ve heard about it.” While your comfort level on campus is incredibly important in your decision-making process, make sure to get feedback from a variety of students, faculty and alumni before forming your opinion.

There is Help Available to Make Your College Decision the Best One Possible

Are you looking for answers?

Most of the talk these days, is still about how to narrow down the list of acceptances, and possible acceptances (wait lists), and come to the best possible decision. For some, financial aid is the biggest consideration, often forcing a student to choose between a higher ranked school with a lesser aid package and a less competitive school offering a full scholarship.

In other cases, the decision may be between a school that the student has her heart on vs. a higher ranked school that the parents are pushing for. In yet another scenario, a student may be so heartbroken over a rejection that he is utterly unable to focus and consider the positives and negatives of his other choices.

Thankfully, there are places to turn when in need of a sympathetic and knowledgeable ear. One such site is The Choice, the NY Times blog dedicated to the college admissions process. Bruce Poch, an experienced admissions officer who has served at Pomona College, Wesleyan University and Connecticut College, is offering answers to admissions questions this week.

Poch's common sense responses are sure to be insightful and direct, and cut to the heart of the issues at hand.  Questions and answers are posted here, and they are sure to echo many of your own ongoing internal dialogues, so even if you don’t post a question, you can certainly benefit by checking it out.

University of Pennsylvania Sends Out More ‘Likely’ Letters This Year

Colleges wanna know.

As students wait to hear from colleges, many of which notify students in early April, a lucky few will receive ‘likely’ letters. A ‘likely’ letter issued by Ivy League schools toward the end of February/early March lets students know that they have been admitted. A practice that began as a way to curry favor with coveted applicants, it is now becoming increasingly more common.

According to this article in the New York Times, University of Pennsylvania sent out many more ‘likely’ letters than in previous years. Other colleges are also following the trend, creating their own versions of these letters, often with an invitation to a campus event geared toward accepted students.

Whether you receive an early indication of admission or not, don’t be alarmed. It can be a random decision, based on the timing that your application is read, and it in no way indicates that you have not been admitted. Pretty soon all the decisions will be in, and we will all breathe a sigh of relief just to know that it’s over and the next phases of student life have begun.