High Stakes: Episode 5

Chronicle Staff

Waiting, Accepted, Denied: all college applicants belong to one category by this point in their college search, along with the three seniors being tracked for High Stakes.

Raquel was accepted to Parsons School of Design, one of only two schools on her college list.
After some confusion over when she would receive notification, the school mailed her decision to her in late December in a misleadingly thin envelope.

“I thought I didn’t get in,” she said. “I was thinking, ‘I’m screwed.’”

Raquel was not only accepted, but also received a merit scholarship based on her academic standing. She will take some accelerated classes next year in academically-based subjects like critical reading that are part of the curriculum.

Since Parsons was her first choice out of the two schools, Raquel will attend the school next fall.
She looks forward most to living in New York and “starting life.”

“I’m ecstatic,” she said.

Lindsey received some less gratifying news: she was denied admission to Yale University. She now wonders whether that school had been the right one for her and attributes part of her decision to apply to the fact that “it seemed like the thing to do.”

“I really liked the school, but I didn’t love it,” she admits.

Lindsey had previously mentioned that if accepted, she would still apply to other schools since Yale has single-choice early-action, which is non-binding.

In some ways, she is relieved she was not deferred and instead got her decision up front so she could “move on.”

She does not have a new first choice, as she does not want to be disappointed, but her initial list did not change. Among her choices are Brown, Washington University in St. Louis, NYU Gallatin, Sarah Lawrence and Kenyon.

“The initial shock was kind of hard,” she said. “But it’s nice when the worst-case scenario happens: you say, ‘Oh, okay. That’s it.’”

Neal, an aspiring businessman, is still playing the waiting game. He did not apply early because USC, his first choice, does not have an early applicant pool. He sent in his USC application in mid-December for the Jan. 10 deadline. However, his initial college list has changed significantly since the beginning of the year. While his top choices are still USC, BC and NYU, he is no longer applying to University of Michigan, citing the weather and the Midwest as problems.

“I understand there are good job opportunities [through the school], but I just couldn’t see myself in the Midwest,” he said.

He is also no longer applying to Brown or to the University of Pennsylvania. After more research, he realized Brown did not have the kind of business program he wanted, and he believes Penn is “too cutthroat.”

His safeties are still Boston University and Lehigh, but he has also added Fordham University, which is in New York City, at the recommendation of his dean.

 “My dean went on a trip to the East Coast and talked to students there who had great opportunities in economics and business,” he said.

USC does not waitlist, but rather accepts students for second semester in lieu of fall admission. If Neal receives this decision, he will still choose USC.

“If it did come down to waiting a semester, I’d be more than willing,” he said.