You have been very patient up to this point. You completed your application and submitted your completed packet to several universities of your choice. You should have selected several options; at least 3-5 schools, to provide yourself with options. Waiting can be the hardest part, as each school has its own timeline and selection process. With most things the decision that you are most anticipating will most likely be the last one to respond. You should not feel discouraged and consider no news as good news.
As your decision letters begin to come in you should continue to reference the list or chart you made when determining which schools to submit your application. You will want to add to your decision list any information included in your admission letters. You should take special note of your admission status, noting if you have full or conditional acceptance. You will also want to note if any scholarship funding as been awarded.
Once you have heard back from all your options, compare your list. You will want to consider all the items on your list (location, major, acceptance status, scholarship funding) and attempt to decide by May 1 or the deadline listed in the acceptance letter. You will need confirm your attendance with the school of your choice, so they can prepare for your arrival, which includes orientation, housing, and classes. If you fail to respond by the requested deadline, you run a major risk of losing your space to another deserving student.
Unfortunately, you will also need to prepare for some potential bad news. You may have to cope with not receiving admission to your school of choice. As you can imagine, schools receive thousands of applications each year. They have a difficult decision to make from students of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences from all over the world. Yes; the world! Therefore, allowing admission to every applicant is simply not feasible. As a precaution, you must prepare yourself for unfavorable news, should you not be admitted or if you receive a conditional acceptance.
A conditional acceptance means you will be granted admission to the university, if you complete a set of requirements. You may have to complete additional classes, provide proof of class completion, or successfully complete classes at a satellite campus before transferring to the main campus. A conditional acceptance is not a denial and should not be viewed as one. If that is your school of choice completing the conditions should be done as soon as possible to confirm your admission.
If you are not accepted at a university, take it as an opportunity to explore other options. With many things in life, you will not always receive your first choice and instead you will continue the journey you were meant to travel. There are variety of reason why you may not have been accepted like not meeting the criteria, there not being enough room, an incomplete application, etc. You should not concern yourself with why you were not accepted, just know you will be on the path and start the next chapter of your life journey.
With any potential bad news, you may receive, you should have an alternative plan. So, consider your other school options, look at the benefits of trying a semester or year at a community college, volunteer, take classes over where your grades were not as favorable. Look at what the other schools offer, because more scholarship funding from your second or third choice, leaving you to reconfigure your top school of choice.
Deciding on your school is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Weigh your options, talk it over with your support system, and make the best decision for your situation. Take comfort in knowing that your decision may change several times throughout the process and your top choice may change several times and where you end may not be where you started. Enjoy the process and may you have a happy and joyous acceptance process.