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Articles / Applying to College / Does an Invitation to an On-Campus Program Mean I Got In?

Feb. 27, 2017

Does an Invitation to an On-Campus Program Mean I Got In?

Question: I just received an invitation from my first-choice college to attend a program on campus in March. The program is very clearly described as FOR ADMITTED STUDENTS ONLY but I haven't been officially accepted yet. So should I assume I got in?

“The Dean" hears about situations like yours somewhat regularly and they make me a bit nuts. The college admissions process is stressful enough without confusing students by sending out such cart-before-the-horse invitations.


But, yes (and yay!) … if the invitation states that the program is only for admitted students, then you are among them.

I have even heard of seniors receiving invitations to springtime on-campus programs that DON'T say that they're only for accepted students but will include some vaguer language like, “Only 5 percent of our applicant pool is invited to the Fred Flintstone symposium, and we hope you will attend." So, duh, this sure sounds like an acceptance to me but how about a little more transparency?.

There are plenty of on-campus programs aimed at seniors that do NOT mean that the applicant has been accepted. But these are usually much earlier in the school year and never right on the eve of the notification date.

So my advice for you is to call your college (or ask your counselor to do it for you) to confirm your acceptance before you mark the campus-program date on your calendar (or book hotels and flights). Any time a senior is invited to campus just before the verdicts are handed down, you can bet the mortgage money that the student is on the “In" list, but you're wise to double check anyway before you make your travel plans.

Congrats on your good news … confounding as it may be!

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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