It’s April Fools–And College Decision Day


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It’s an odd combination–a day for jokes and the day when many colleges notify their high school senior applicants if they’ve been granted a spot in the incoming freshman class.

This year a record number of applicants makes it probably the toughest ever for college admissions: Due to the peaking of the “Baby Boom-boom” bubble, next fall’s college freshman class will number close to 2.9 million students, a record high. The still-weak economy is making admissions even more complicated, increasing the competition for spots in top state colleges and other so-called best buy institutions. Kids aiming for private colleges may be affected by the economy too, especially if they’re put on the wait-list. That’s because private schools are putting more students in wait-list limbo to protect themselves in case financial pressures lead more students to decline in favor of less-expensive options. The corollary is that fewer students at best-buy colleges are likely to get off the wait list and into the “admit” pool.

Though April 1 is  the outside deadline for getting news, most VHS students have already gotten their envelopes by now–fat (yay!) or thin (bummer), or logged in to college websites to see “Congratulations!” or “Denied” on the screen.  Students who applied for early decision or early action were notified in November or January, and letters have been rolling in over the last couple of months and weeks. Which is helpful, since hefty deposits are due for most schools by May 1.

Despite the tough odds, Verona’s class of 2010, a class of 140 students, seems to have done very well. Two seniors have been accepted at Georgetown University, two at Johns Hopkins, two at Ivy League schools (The University of Pennsylvania and  Cornell),and  one at Barnard. Other acceptances  we’ve heard of include Villanova, Colgate, McGill, Macalester, New York University, University of Scranton, Boston College, Rutgers, Syracuse, SUNY Binghampton, SUNY New PaltzSUNY Geneseo, Lehigh, Hamilton and Lafayette.

We’ll let you know more as we hear it and, by June, who’s going where. And for those who didn’t get the news you’d hoped for, this article from the Wall Street Journal, “Before They Were Titans, Moguls and Newsmakers, These People Were …Rejected” points out that not getting into your dream school is common and, in the face of a perseverance, can be a minor footnote to a very successful career.

Congratulations to the seniors as you set out on your life’s journeys, and parents too–you’ve survived the college admissions process!

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Julia Martin Langan
Julia Martin Langan
Julia Martin Langan moved to Verona in 1989. A long-time journalist, she has been on the staff of Money, Sports Illustrated, Bride’s and Redbook magazines. Her articles on health and parenting appear in a variety of national publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Parents, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, Self and Family Circle. She and her husband Greg have three school-aged children, and are members of Our Lady of the Lake Church. You can reach Julia at [email protected].


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