Preparing for Decision Release

Posted on by Dean Furda

Admissions decisions at many colleges have recently been released, and on Thursday, March 30 at 5:00 p.m. EDT, the University of Pennsylvania, along with the other Ivy League schools, will release decisions for the class of 2021. When I speak with and write about ‘the process’ my advice is anchored around creating ‘the list’. I inform families that each student will receive a full range of decisions across their college list: admit, waitlist, and deny. This is an inevitable outcome from a well-constructed college list and the limited number of spaces in any one institution’s incoming class.

As a parent myself, I hope the day we release admissions decisions can be put into proper perspective. It is a day when all of the strengths and accomplishments you reflected on during your application process are still very much in place. It’s a day when the difference you made in your school and your community continues to be apparent to everyone around you. The teachers who told us that you were one of the best students of their career, will still (always!) brag about you. Regardless of the outcome of any college application, the memories you have of early morning practices with your teammates, or late night rehearsals with people who have become your best friends, are the memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.

As college admissions officers read your application, they spent a lot of time thinking about “fit.” At Penn, we discuss an applicant’s fit with the broader Penn community, as well as with the specific school and program to which they applied. Now, as you receive your college decisions, it is your turn to consider fit. It is a great time to return to your 5I’s (identity, intellect, ideas, interests, and inspiration), and remind yourself of the things that were important to you as you began this process so that you can truly focus on what will inspire you going forward. The framework of the 4C’s (culture, curriculum, community and conclusions) can also help you navigate your college choices. You are in the driver’s seat to make the next decision in this process. Embrace your options, and the possibilities for your future.


*PAGE 217
refers to the always legendary and occasionally dreaded essay which was once a mainstay of the University of Pennsylvania application. The question read as follows: “You have just finished your three hundred page autobiography. Please submit page 217.”

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