April is the Cruelest Month for College-Bound High School Seniors and Their Parents: This might make it easier
Once a college sends out their decisions, admissions officers and other so-called “enrollment managers” do not rest. Every day, they ask: How many students have deposited? In other words, how many of the admitted have committed to joining us in the fall? How many beds have we filled? How much tuition revenue can we count on?
As the numbers increase, everyone starts to breathe more easily. If the numbers fall short, wait lists become crucial so that the college can make their numbers. If the numbers fall very short, admissions managers start worrying about their jobs, finance folks have to go back to the drawing board, departments are required to slash their budgets, adjuncts are not rehired, and everybody gets grumpy and worried. It’s a cruel process for sure.
But it’s even crueler for the families who are making one of the biggest decisions of their lives. They are rushing around from one campus to another, if they can afford it, assessing the potential future homes for the “rising freshmen,” as we call them, appealing to financial aid offices for more funding, and scouring the websites for information that will make their decision clearer.
But there are a number of things that parents and kids can pay attention to that will make their plight a bit easier. And even if you have already decided, these are crucial things to keep in mind.
For many years, as a dean at three Ivy League colleges and now as an AVP at a university with an extraordinary mission, I have had a front row seat to the obstacles to success that college students and their parents confront every year. Even at so-called elite, highly selective colleges such as Princeton, Harvard, and Columbia, where I spent some of my career, students struggle on a daily basis to remain healthy, happy, grounded, and to stay in school. I am dedicated to helping them.