Some dreams don’t come true. And that’s ok according to a recent article by TIME.com—The Upside of College Rejection: Your Safety School Might Be the Smarter Choice.
Do you have a kid that didn’t get accepted to their dream school? Unfortunately, that’s a pretty common scenario with the dramatic decline in acceptance rates this year—and not just at Ivy League schools1. A huge graduating class caused a significant rise in the number of applicants, but most colleges were unable to offer more spots (due to budgetary restrictions).
“It’s not that most students won’t get into college at all—there are more than enough spots nationwide for every qualified student to find a place to study—
but for many, the school they end up enrolling in may not have been their first,
or even third, choice.”1
College Rejection Letter Blues
If your child got the dreaded paper-thin, college rejection letter envelope from their top school, here are a couple things you can expect to hear the next few days:
- How did she get in—and I didn’t? I got a higher score than her on the ACT!
- Woe is me; I’m never going to amount to anything now. I’m a failure.
- What did I do wrong? Are there things I could have done differently?
Truth is, there’s probably nothing more your kid could have done to sway the admissions officer’s decision. At the end of the day, it really is just a cold, calculated—and sometimes cruel—numbers game. And the admissions officers really don’t know your son or daughter; they can only guess as to what type of student they’ll be from their application.
How parents can help their kids deal with college rejection
So as much as it hurts your heart to see, let your child mope around a bit. A little self-pity is only natural. But make sure they pull themselves up off the ground in a few days. And don’t forget to remind them that their dream school is missing out on someone great. If you have younger kids, however, you may want them to read the 6 secret tips to getting into their dream school. They’re not guaranteed or anything, but they may help their chances of getting accepting to their dream school.
While your kid may be heartbroken now, here’s something positive to look forward to down the line: Students who are rejected by highly selective schools go on to make the same average earnings as Ivy League graduates1. Your kid’s success really depends on the choices they make, the networks they build and the grades they get—not what college they got their degree from.
1Webley, K. The Upside of College Rejection: Your Safety School Might Be the Smarter Choice. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2063935,00.html