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No, Thank You

March 25, 2013

Sharon was sharing with me that her homeschooled daughter was accepted to every college where she had applied.

Time to celebrate! But then our conversation became more serious. How to you tell colleges “Thanks, but no thanks”? How can you tell them you have decided not to attend?

When a college sends you the written acceptance letter, they will provide information on how to notify them of your decision. They may include written directions, or provide a reply card to mail. They might give you a special email address or website where you enter your decision online. In the joy and excitement of learning about college admission and scholarships, sometimes those little bits of information can get lost in the big hoopla! Look through those papers again, and see if you can find their instructions on how to say “No, thank you.”

Some colleges don’t have a formal method for replying. In that instance, contact the college in the same way they generally contact you. If you have an admission advisor who sometimes will call you, then call back on the phone. If a specific admission representative emails you, email them back. If they have only mailed information, then send them snail-mail to notify them. Do what they do, when they contact you.

Acceptance or rejection should come from the student. As young adults, who will soon be interacting on their own with college, should be easily be able to handle this detail.

The deadline for acceptance or rejection is May 1st. That day is called National Decision Day, or National Candidate Reply Date. That is the deadline, when accepted students are required to notify colleges of their plans decision for fall. But don’t wait! I encourage you to not wait until May 1st, if possible. Notify colleges as soon as you are sure where your child will attend college. That way their scholarship awards can be given to another deserving student, and their slot in the admission pool can be given to someone who was wait-listed.

Your early response can give someone else the opportunity to celebrate!

As you wrap up your homeschooling years, let me help you to finish strong.

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