If you have made your decision about what college you will be attending in the fall, congratulations! However, there is one more thing you need to do – let the other colleges know you won’t be attending. Unfortunately, many students forget this step in the college admissions process. Here are four reasons why students should let the other colleges know they will not be attending in the fall.
- Open a spot on the waitlist. If you were accepted at a very selective college, there is probably a waitlist full of great students waiting to hear back from the college. The sooner you let the college know you won’t be attending, the sooner they may offer a spot to a deserving student on the waitlist.
- Avoid an awkward email or phone call. Selective colleges might not be contacting you to find out if you are still considering them, but less selective colleges may contact you. The admissions officers may be contacting you to see if you are still considering their college because they may be accepting tuition deposits after May 1. Sometimes these conversations can make students feel awkward or uncomfortable because they feel like they are “breaking up” with the college. If you avoid their phone calls or emails, some colleges might get the point. But, others may continue contacting you until they hear a firm, “No, I won’t be attending your college.”
- Keep a good relationship with the admissions officer. There are great admissions officers out there and many form great professional relationships with their prospective students. These admissions officers spend countless hours working with students throughout the year, including traveling to high schools and college fairs, answering questions, and reading applications. They might have done more work for students than students think, including “going to bat” for the student to admit them. It is a nice gesture to let them know you won’t be attending. Plus, students never know if they will come into contact with the admission officer in the future. For example, if things do not work out at the college they initially chose, being nice and professional with the admission officer at the college they once turned down could help them if they reapply.
- Help colleges understand why you chose another college. If there was a specific reason you chose another institution, let the college know. For example, if the financial aid offer at another college was more competition, it is okay to tell them. By letting the college know what placed another college ahead of them, it could help them make changes in the future to help future students.
Most colleges make it easy for students to let them know they will not be attending in the fall. Some colleges include a form that can be mailed back to the admissions office with postage already paid, while others ask students to log into their admission portal to let them know. Even sending a simple email to your admissions officer would be helpful. No matter how you choose to do it, let the other colleges know you won’t be attending in the fall.