Preparing for College

Can one college acceptance be used to expedite another?

Question: My daughter has been accepted to a college that is a "competitor" of the college that she really wants to get into. Is it appropriate for us to contact the admissions office of the college that she most wants and let them know that she has an offer from somewhere else? We're hoping that maybe it would prompt them to respond more quickly and make her an offer.

It sounds as if you're still waiting for a verdict from your daughter's top-choice college, right? In that case, it would NOT be appropriate for you to use the kind of leverage you propose. College admission officials won't respond well to such strong-arm tactics, and this could work against your child.

However, if, eventually, your daughter is accepted at both schools and receives a better financial aid package from the #2 college, then it's okay to use that figure to try to cajole more money from the #1 school, especially if you feel that their offer makes it difficult--or impossible--for your daughter to enroll. Similarly, if she is wait-listed at the #1 school, then it's go-for-broke time. She can write a heart-felt (and possibly humorous) letter to the admission folks there explaining that she will be doomed to choose the competitor college, if she doesn't get bumped off their waiting list.

But, for now, you will not help your daughter's chances--and you may even hurt them--if you take the approach you've suggested.

Good luck to your daughter--and to you---as she awaits her news.