It's Ivy League Day!

Today is Thursday March 30. Sometime during the next eight hours or so, the many tens of thousands of high school seniors throughout the world who have applied for admission to the Ivy League (one or more of those eight schools) will find out whether or not they got in. Some may be consigned to the purgatory of the waitlist, left hanging, not knowing if a spot will somehow miraculously open up for them in the coming weeks.

Of course, the overwhelming major of Ivy applicants will be disappointed (at least). Many will be crushed because of all the imagery they have conjured about their so-called “dream" school. For some of the denied, the dream will become a nightmare, unfortunately, especially those who did not take care to spread their applications across a reasonable group of colleges in order to offer themselves an almost certain group of acceptances. Such is the price of rose-colored blindness and assumption.

Here at College Confidential, Ivy Day can become a kind of spectator sport for those of us who have seen it come and go over the more than decade-and-a-half that CC has been around. I recall years when our servers would almost melt under the crush of our forum members' assault on the various Ivies' “results" threads. Outages (which rarely happen anymore) were maddening for applicants who couldn't immediately post, “I GOT IN!!!!!!!!!"

The crush is about to happen again later this afternoon, right around 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Here's to our servers: serve us well … please!

For those of you who are currently holding your breath, waiting for your Ivy decision, you may want to take a moment to read a few words from my advice about dealing with rejection. For example:

… there comes a moment when idealism meets reality, when (to coin a weird metaphor) the rubber of college dreams engages the many times rough road of bad news: being denied acceptance to the college of your dreams. The disappointment of these moments is not lost on those of us who become involved in your hopes and dreams. It's a serious moment at the end of a long and sometimes grueling process.

… I'd like to bring out a few words that I've written in the past about dealing with rejection. Day after tomorrow will bring admission decisions to all those who have applied to the Ivy League. Some of you non-Ivy applicants may have already received your decisions and some of you may be getting them after this week.

For all of you, though, please keep my words in mind as you go on to make your enrollment decisions. Of course, financial considerations may play a dominant role in where you end up. However, beyond money issues lie those of self-esteem and personal pride … and that leads me to say this:

  • Getting a rejection letter from a college or university doesn't make you a bad person. Unfortunately, some high school seniors see themselves in a less-than-positive light when they read the bad news from a highly desired institution.
  • Dealing with rejection is difficult. Most high schoolers tend to take being turned down by a college or university on a personal level. They seem to think that the letter from the admissions office is really saying something like, “You are deficient and we don't want to have anything to do with you." Nothing could be further from the truth. …

… and so on. Thus, the bottom line about Ivy Day appears to be: be prepared for any outcome.

If you would like to peruse the action that will stress our CC servers, here's a guide to where the pressure will come from: the results threads from the various Ivy forums (posted here in alphabetical order):

Get ready, then. The excitement — and the frustration, unfortunately — will commence shortly.

And, as always, to all Ivy applicants go my very best wishes for success!


Be sure to check out all my college-related articles on College Confidential.