Special Report: College Rejection
So, what if your child doesn't make the cut?
17-year-old Sarah Arshad got the holiday present she wanted most...a college acceptance letter to Harvard University.
"It read you are, Congratulations, I was like oh my goodness, ahh, it was the greatest feeling. I had to read the first paragraph a couple of times just to make sure I was accepted."
Sarah Arshad, 17-years old
It's that time of year again. Students who applied to their top choice colleges are getting early decision responses. It's exciting but can also fill kids with anxiety.
"It's terrible, especially when everyone around you is getting into the schools and each day you get progressively more anxious and nervous and your legs start shaking."
Jarret Zafran,17-years old
And keeping it all in perspective can be tough.
"As much as you say alright, if you don't get in early there are plenty of good schools to go to, you still, in your heart, you now that's the place you want to go when you apply early."
Jessica Lilly, 17-years old
Guidance counselor Joanne Hein says adult support is crucial as teens wait for college letters to arrive...
"We just try to do a little hand holding and give them the best advice we can in terms of making sure that the other applications are ready in case they are not getting the news that they hope to get."
Jo-Ann Hein, Guidance Counselor
In recent years, getting into college has become more and more competitive and psychology professor Nancy Busch says for many teens a rejection letter is their first hard lesson in disappointment.
- Plan ahead by having backup schools in mind.
- Talk to your child. Sounds simple, but communicating with your kids can help them cope.
- Explore your options. If your child is really set on that first choice? Consider applying for the second semester or as a transfer student.
And stay positive. Reinforce the good qualities your child has and how they match other schools.
"There are lots of good schools and more than one match. It doesn't make that much difference what school you go to. What makes a difference is what you put into it once you get there."
Dr. Nancy Busch, Fordham University
The College Board says 9-out-of-10 students get into one of their top two college choices.
Their advice: don't take rejection letters personally. Sometimes the decision says more about the school than the student.