Surviving College Rejection Letters: It Can Be Done

I was invited to write this post by my colleagues, Christine Vandevelde and Robin Mamlet, authors of the essential guide to the college process: College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step

When it comes to applying to college, we’d all (students and parents alike) love to fast-forward to the glorious ending.  That “start spreading the news” moment, when we buy the t-shirts and bumper stickers of our child’s newfound alma mater, tell our friends, our enemies, our neighbors, and any stranger in the supermarket line who, willing or not, is going to hear all about it. But that is getting ahead of the story. Handling the good parts, kids and parents need no help with. It’s natural. You celebrate, you revel, you do massive recycling of all the other college catalogs and paraphernalia. Your decision is made; you are done.

In contrast, the inevitable moments of rejection feel wholly unnatural, and at times even unbearable. Students and parents alike can feel unprepared for what, statistically speaking, is a given. Due to the jump in the number of applications submitted to colleges, especially to elite highly competitive colleges, and the fact that class size hasn’t budged, thousands and thousands of highly qualified students will be receiving thin envelopes in the mail or finding the “We are sorry to inform you” emails when they log on to college acceptance pages.

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tamar chansky phd

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