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College Acceptance Etiquette


College acceptances are like really cool party invitations.  And getting a bunch of acceptances is like having multiple party invites…. for the same day!
I heard a Pacific Palisades college counselor say there is an etiquette for college acceptances.  I would agree with that statement and encourage you to follow these rules:

1. First and foremost, you must RSVP, as in  “Yes, I’m coming!” – no later than May 1st.   Just like any party host, the college has to know what kinds of numbers to expect so that they can have enough food.

2. Don’t RSVP to more than one college. Just like when you were a kid, you can’t say yes to two birthday parties that are happening at the same time. That’s just bad form.

3. Tell your other invites (ie, other college acceptances), that you respectfully decline their invite. Of course you should be nice about it. Just in case you decide to transfer as a sophomore or junior. And always say thank you!

4. And finally, what to do about those pesky wait list invites? Those can be trickier.  After all, they are only inviting you if a bunch of other kids rsvp no. This is where you need to be honest with yourself. Do you really want to go to that party in the freezing cold of Maine? Or are you just waiting to see if they’ll send you an invite?  My advice: only hold onto the wait list for the colleges at which you would definitely attend. Otherwise, respectfully decline those as well.

Good luck. I hope you enjoy the party!
Juliet Giglio
Educational Consultant in Los Angeles


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