Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Choose Your Safety Schools Wisely

While I'm happy to market myself as an admissions essay editor*, I would apparently be a horrible private college counselor (or whatever you call the people you can hire to help you choose where to apply). TOIAW and I researched the best programs for his field of study and decided on 3 reach/ideal schools (all Ivy League so, you know, he's not a failure in his dad's opinion), 1 very good school, and 2 safety schools. So far he has heard from three schools: two of the reach/ideal schools have accepted him and one of his safety schools wait-listed him. Awesome. Every time I read the wait-listed email I laugh out loud. When I get to the part where TOIAW is encouraged to "contact us with any questions or comments" I have to restrain myself from penning the snarkiest of snarky replies.

But, again, I am thrilled for TOIAW and so proud of him! I'm even viewing NYC apartments on Craig's List just so I can be prepared if he tells me he can't not go there (Lord have mercy if I have to live that close to my in-laws...). He's currently traveling with several people who are in the same program as he is and he was very surprised to hear that very few applied to the top programs. I asked him why and he said most didn't think they would be accepted and/or they didn't want to work that hard in grad school. I was so shocked that they wouldn't even try (and TOIAW was disgusted because he has zero tolerance for people who don't want to work hard). I mean here is an opportunity to get a free mater's degree--I saw someone on the Today show today who has $85,000 in student loans--from a top institution while earning a very respectable salary...and they didn't even try. TOIAW, on the other hand, had horrible grades as an undergrad and average-ish GRE scores but he wrote great essays, he high-lighted his professional accomplishments, and he had superb recommendations. His admission was by no means a sure thing but he tried and it paid off.

Cheesy cliche of the day: You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

Moral of the day: Reach for the stars and even if you miss maybe you will move up the wait-list and get into your safety school anyway...or something like that.

*Trust me, I'm just kidding...after going through the process with TOIAW I am positive no one could afford me. He barely did.


Rachel said...

Actually, it's probably a sign of your truly superior editing skills if your husband doesn't get into his back-up schools. At least for PhD programs the really top programs are careful not too admit people who are either 'too good' or 'too good a fit elsewhere' because they don't want to admit people who won't come.

But come to New York!

AKD said...

Wow, that's just amazing - I am so happy for you both!! That's amazing - not a single rejection in the bunch, and to very selective schools! I'm so happy for you!!