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Acceptance, Deferment and Rejection: How to React

There are three answers your child can receive from the admissions committee: accepted, rejected or deferred. Accepted and rejected are pretty self explanatory but the third means your child has been neither accepted nor rejected but remains under consideration until all applications have come in. Your child may shriek with joy, kick the furniture or simply shrug when they get the news but as a parent, how should you react to admissions decisions?

Acceptance

This is quite possibly the best news a potential college student can receive and they are going to be extremely pleased. As a parent, you have every right to join in on their celebration (after all, you helped your child get to where they are on this day!) but your actions should not mimic your child’s exactly. A hug, kiss and heartfelt “I’m so proud of you” are perfect but jumping on the couch and disturbing the neighbors with your victory squeals is a bit much. You’re an adult…this is the time to act like one (but feel free to do a little dance when your child isn’t looking).

Deferment

If your child is deferred, they may not know how to react. Some may not be familiar with the term as it relates to admissions while others may feel insulted that while they are clearly a good candidate, they are being made to wait. Either way, assure your child that this is good news because their application is still under consideration and they are in no way rejected at this time. Since the admissions committee is still making up its mind, deferred students should try submitting new grades and test scores or calling to express their sincere interest in the school, actions which could propel them closer to admission.

Rejection

A flat-out “no” is the last answer your child wanted – especially if it’s from his or her first-choice school – and they are going to be noticeably disappointed. Reactions can range from tears to rage but your response should be one of support and love. Don’t bash the school your child once dreamed of attending but instead offer your genuine regrets and a reminder that this is just one of the many schools your child applied to. Rejection hurts but if you assure your child you’re still in their corner and have nothing but confidence in them, the blow will be lessened considerably.

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