How to Accept an Acceptance Letter from a College

Congratulations! If you are reading this, chances are that you have already been accepted to the college that you want to attend. Your hard work has paid off. But, now what? How do you accept the school’s offer of admission? Just like each school notifies students of their acceptance differently, so too does each school have their own acceptance of admission process. Below we highlight the different ways you may be required to accept your offer of admission.

How Schools Notify Students of Acceptance

Often how you reply to an admissions offer is tied to how you were notified. So, let’s break down the varying ways colleges let students know they have been accepted.

• By Text

Ok, by this we don’t mean that you have received a text that says, “Congratulations! You have been accepted to our school.” Rather, you may have received a text to check your applicant portal. Upon receiving an application, most schools have students set up an applicant portal. This portal is used to monitor that all of your documents have arrived (your transcript, letters of recommendation, and any other additional information that the college may have asked for, such as your test scores). Sometimes schools may also ask for additional items, which you would submit through the portal. We always advise our students to check the portals every day so that they can keep a running checklist of which schools have received which documents and what’s outstanding. If you have set up a student portal, a school may send you a text to check it when they have made an update that you have been admitted. You then log into the portal and whoosh you see you have been accepted. Some schools even have electronic fireworks and confetti. Very exciting to see!

• By Email

Similar to the text notification, you may have received an email telling you to check your portal, with the same type of notification process as that of the text. Or the email itself may advise you of your acceptance. Some schools even email you a video that announces your acceptance with fanfare, which is kind of fun.

• By Snail Mail

Yes, even in today’s electronic world, some schools send out their acceptance letters via snail mail. You may get a notification from the school by email or through your portal that advises they will be sending out admissions decisions in the mail. And, they may even provide the dates that they plan on doing so. Most schools that advise you of admissions decisions electronically may also send you their responses in the mail.

How to Accept Your Offer of Admission

Regardless of how you have been notified of your offer of admission, each college to which you have been accepted will specifically state how you should accept their offer. It is very important that you carefully read and follow the school’s specific acceptance process. Sometimes they will mail you a form via snail mail that you have to complete. Many times you can accept the offer right on your applicant portal, which is for sure the easiest way. If you received notification via a video, you should check the applicant portal which should have information on the school’s acceptance process. Practically any time you accept an admissions offer, you will also have to put down a housing deposit to hold your spot in the upcoming class, which is usually between $200 and $500. Note that this deposit is non-refundable if you eventually decide not to attend that school.

VERY IMPORTANT! You can only accept ONE offer of admission. You sign a contract when you submit your application that you will do so. Accepting more than 1 offer of admissions is not only unethical, since you can clearly only attend 1 school, but if a college finds out you have done so they can rescind their offer of admission to you. In addition, remember that there are plenty of other students who may have been placed on a waitlist for a school and if you accept 2 offers of admission (which is unethical and contractually wrong) you are taking up a spot for students who may want to attend.

Advising a College that You Will Not be Attending

If you decide not to attend a school to which you have been accepted, we strongly recommend that you let them know that you are declining their offer. There are potentially other students on that school’s waitlist who are patiently waiting for students to not accept their acceptance. Letting the school know you won’t be attending allows them to move students from the waitlist to the acceptance pool.

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