Acceptances and Rejections

Students are usually notified of a college's decision in April, sometimes in the last two weeks of March, unless they had applied using an early approach, and are usually notified by email, although some colleges still send "fat" envelopes (usually an acceptance) or "thin" envelopes (usually a rejection). A trend appears to be declining percentages of acceptances to leading schools. There are indications that the percentage of students who say "yes" to an offer of admission (the yield) has been declining, from 49 percent in 2001 to 43 percent in 2009. Admitted students may also be awarded financial aid. There are two kinds of financial aid: need-based aid, awarded entirely on the financial specifics of the student's family, and merit-based aid, given to students judged to show exceptional academic promise. Several reports confirm that accepted students who are dissatisfied with an aid offer should contact the college to see if the offer can be improved. International students who have been accepted should complete an I-20 form. A disappointing aid package may be appealed with a polite call to the school's financial aid office, while being thankful for any funds that have already been offered. In some cases, it is possible to bargain with a school for a more generous aid package, particularly if there is a more generous offer from a second school that the first school sees as a competitor. One report suggested that even by May 2012, 375 colleges still had space for freshmen or transfer applicants for fall of 2012. Seniors accepted to college are expected to maintain good grades during the spring; for example, one hundred high school applicants accepted to Texas Christian University, whose grades plummeted in the spring of their senior year as a symptom of senioritis, received so-called "fear of God" letters from an admissions dean asking them to explain themselves, and threatening to rescind offers of admission.