Helping Your Student Accept Rejection

The Washington Post: “It’s a scene that will play out in countless homes across the country from now through the spring, as high school seniors learn that, despite their best efforts, they did not get into their dream college. Often, it’s equally dumbfounding to their parents … Indeed, the process has become much more fraught than it was when parents of current high school students went through it … Case in point: In 2016, UCLA hit a record number of applications: 102,177 for a freshman class of about 6,500 students, meaning an acceptance rate around 6 percent.”

“Well before applicants hear from colleges, parents can take proactive steps to head off their children’s discouragement should they get rejected. For starters, many experts suggest de-emphasizing the ‘first-choice’ idea and focusing instead on building an application containing multiple schools, all of which a student would be happy to attend. This advice applies even to students with a strong shot at gaining admittance to highly selective colleges … It’s important for families to recognize that there are many factors in the college-admissions process over which they have no say. For instance, you can’t control how many qualified applicants will apply to any particular school, or know what a school is looking for in a given applicant pool.”

“There’s no controlling how a student will respond to a college rejection notice. But parents can, and should, control theirs, advise experts … Most kids recover from the disappointment of rejection fairly quickly … Fortunately, experts say, 17- and 18-year-olds tend to bounce back from rejection quickly.”