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May 19, 2020

When Will I Hear from My Colleges?

Question: I applied to five colleges, Salem State, Bridgewater State, Rivier, Lesley U, and Arizona State. I sent all my applications out just before Thanksgiving and so far I have only heard from Arizona State. When should I hear from the other four schools?

You should contact the admission offices at those colleges directly. First ask if all your application materials arrived safely (unless you have already been notified that they have). If the answer is yes, then you can also ask when you should expect a decision. Questions like these are important and won't hurt you admission chances (unless you're a pest and keep calling ... a lot :( )


When colleges have "rolling admissions" policies, as your colleges do, admission decisions can arrive rather randomly. Friends who applied after you may receive acceptances before you get yours. Only rarely does this suggest that the college in question was more interested in your friends than in you. So don't get nervous if your classmates have already heard from any of your own target colleges, but do be sure that each school does have all your materials.

(posted 2/26/2011)

Written by

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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