Sara Harberson

Facebook LIVE Recap and Bonus Questions: College Admissions Decisions Are Coming, Now What?

In Case You Missed It, Here’s A Recap Of My Recent Facebook LIVE Q&A: College Admissions Decisions Are Coming, Now What?—Plus Bonus Questions I Didn’t Get To Answer Live!

This time we mixed things up a bit!  During the first half of this Facebook Live Q&A, I answered some of the big questions you all submitted ahead of time. During the second half of the session, I took questions as they came in, live, from your comments! As always, there were so many great questions. Watch the video to see me answer these important college admissions decision questions (plus a BONUS section below):

HERE ARE SOME OF THE QUESTIONS YOU’LL SEE ME ANSWER:
    • Can a scholarship or need based financial aid award be increased? How does a family proceed?
    • Can an admissions decision be overturned?
    • How do students narrow down their choices once they hear all of their admissions decisions?
    • Are admitted student programs helpful in making a final decision?
    • How do you notify colleges whether or not you will be enrolling? What do you have to do to secure your spot in the freshman class?
    • What does it mean to get waitlisted and what are my child’s chances of getting admitted off the waitlist?
    • What are the three things you view as soon as you see a student’s college application?
    • How do you begin negotiating a bigger merit scholarship?
    • If a student applies for scholarships in the 9th grade and receives the award, is it held until they go to college in 3 years?
    • Is there a reason why acceptances are sent at such different times? Is it correct that the schools that notify earlier tend to have higher admit rates or is it random?
    • Due to military moves, my son has attended 3 different high schools and therefore, does not have the extra curricular depth and leadership that others may have who attended the same high school for 4 years. His test scores, academic rigor, and GPA are all extremely high. How can he highlight his resilient attitude and be competitive for an Ivy school?
    • Is there any financial aid consideration for families with twins applying at the same time?

 


BONUS Q&A- BIG QUESTIONS THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE VIDEO

1. What are the pros and cons of joining an honors program at a college?

One of the pros of an honors program is that it allows a student to be a part of a smaller, more academically-focused group of students. There is usually more interaction with faculty members, and there are intellectual and social events associated with the program. There could be a special honors seminar that all the students take part in (and possibly an honors course each semester). Depending on the college, sometimes the honors program ends up living in the same dorm or living on the same floor. The students can get stipends for research in the summer, connect with key alumni or leaders in the field of their choice, and are sometimes eligible to graduate with special honors. At a large university, the honors program creates a smaller environment for high-achieving students. The cons would be that the student usually has to maintain a certain GPA to stay in the program. And, not every student is aiming to do research or be in a more advanced level program in college.

2. What are a student’s chances of getting admitted in Regular Decision after being deferred?

If a student is deferred from Early Decision or Early Action to the Regular Decision pool, their chances of admission depend on a number of factors (student’s first semester grades, whether or not the student followed up and expressed their continued interest, etc.). But generally speaking, the admit rate is either equal to or slightly less than the overall admit rate in Regular Decision. By the way, the deferred students who ultimately get admitted and decide to enroll end up being the most loyal students/alumni. Most of the students I still keep in contact with from my days at Penn were students who were deferred and then admitted. They are my favorite students because they never take for granted the opportunity they were given.

3. Is a student bound to attend their Early Decision school if the financial aid package doesn’t work out?

A student would never be bound to attend their Early Decision school if the financial aid offer didn’t work out. But it’s a college’s loss if it comes to this. Most colleges will want to do whatever they can to ensure an Early Decision students ends up enrolling.


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