College Enrollment Declines … Again

Waiting for Admissions Decisions? Do This.

For schools on rolling admissions, the average turnaround time for an admissions decision is about four to six weeks. If you applied to a school with regular decisions, you’ll likely have to wait eight to 12 weeks.

US News recently spoke to experts on what applicants can do with their time, including how to how stay productive and why it’s important to finish your senior year strong.

“It’s important to just stay busy,” Rod Lembvem, a principal admissions counselor at IvyWise, an admissions consulting firm, says. “I think the busier you are during that process, the easier you’ll find that you’re able to deal with that waiting period.”


While your college application focuses on your first three years of high school, college admissions experts stress the importance of finishing your senior year on a high note. This is especially true if you’ve applied to highly selective colleges, where admissions will often request senior year grades even after sending acceptance letters. University of California—Davis, for example, tells applicants:

“Our decision to admit you is based upon the assumption that you will complete the planned courses listed on your application and earn satisfactory grades.”

Sacha Thieme, assistant vice provost and executive director of admissions at Indiana University—Bloomington, recommends that seniors join a new club or even a sports team to make the most of their final year.

“All of this is preparation for the next stage,” Thieme says. “When you look at the college process, your senior year is that last opportunity to prepare for what, more often than not, is a higher level of learning environment.”


Admissions decisions require patience. Generally, experts recommend applicants to trust the admissions process. However, it’s okay to follow up with the admissions office once or twice.

“It doesn’t hurt to double check,” Lembvem, of IvyWise, says. “But you also don’t want to be that student that is obsessively reaching out to schools to check the status of their application. That could truly, ultimately, harm your application if you’re being remembered by an admissions person as that person that, at this point, is just annoying.”

Sources: US News, UC Davis

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