How can students make the most of their second choice?

Admissions Decisions

Our counselors answered:

How can students make the most of their second choice?

Eric Beers, Ph.D.
College and Career Counselor Air Academy High School

How can students make the most of their second choice?

I believe that things work out for a reason. So if things didn't work out at your first choice school, I would take that as a sign that you weren't supposed to be there. If it was too hard and you failed your classes (or got D's), that wouldn't do your future any good anyway. There is a reason why you were supposed to go to your second place school! You might not know for 10 years after what that is....maybe a spouse, business partner, best friend, or contact you made with a professor....but there is a reason why you are supposed to got to the school you got into!

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

How can students make the most of their second choice?

You'll have no choice, so you better just consider it your 1st choice!

Zahir Robb
College Counselor The Right Fit College

How can students make the most of their second choice?

Why was it your second choice in the first place? Don't forget that you liked this school enough to rank it this high and therefore, you should not be dismayed about the situation at hand. Colleges can be quite selective and remember that there are many more in the same boat as you. Be happy about your situation and make the most out of the school you will attend.

Lora Lewis
Educational Consultant Lora Lewis Consulting

How can students make the most of their second choice?

If your initial college list was compiled appropriately, there shouldn't be a "second choice" school (or third or fourth choice). Every school on your list should be one where you'll be happy and receive an excellent education. If you did your homework before applying, be confident in your choices and know that you're headed off to a school that is an excellent fit for you. Let it become Your College right away. Buy a sweatshirt. Start networking with other incoming freshman. Go to the accepted students' day with an open heart and mind. It's up to you to decide what kind of college experience you'll have; commit to making it an amazing one.

Rebecca Joseph
Executive Director & Founder getmetocollege.org

How can students make the most of their second choice?

Second choices are often best choices. I have worked with so many kids who don't get into their top, top choice college, BUT they NEVER look back. They realize their second choice has everything they want. They find great academic resources, amazing activities, and truly remarkable and fun friends. In fact, most second choice colleges are truly the top colleges for these students.

Megan Dorsey
SAT Prep & College Advisor College Prep LLC

How can students make the most of their second choice?

The best way is to remain somewhat detached until you receive notification of admission. But that rarely happens. I know it is difficult to let go of a dream school, but when students fall head-over-heals from their top choice, they will suffer heartbreak when rejected. It’s disappointing. How would you advise a friend to move on and get over a boyfriend or girlfriend who dumped them? Looking at your second choice school isn’t all that different. You need to let go of the rejection and begin looking for the positive factors in this new opportunity.

Jessica Brondo
Founder and CEO The Edge in College Prep

How can students make the most of their second choice?

- Start a spreadsheet! Keeping track of your expenses by keeping receipts and entering them into a spreadsheet will give you an idea of how much you are spending. You can divide it into what type of expenses too, so if you need to cut back you can see where you are spending the most money. - Get a mobile banking app. Nowadays, almost all banks have smartphone apps. If you have your own bank account and a smartphone, download your bank's app. It will give you quick access to your balance. Make sure you check it regularly, and you will see how you are doing moneywise. - Sometimes using cash is better. Instead of using your debit card for expenses, try only using it to withdraw cash and pay for everything that way. It will mean that you are dealing with a smaller amount of money at a time so you can see how quickly you spend it. It also makes money more real to you- by spending cash you can see exactly what you spend and it's not as emotionless as swiping a piece of plastic and getting whatever you want. Make sure you keep your receipts, though if you still want to maintain a spreadsheet!

Tira Harpaz
Founder CollegeBound Advice

How can students make the most of their second choice?

Many many colleges are just wonderful places and even if a school isn't your top choice, I can assure you that you can be happy at your second, third or even last choice school. Seize opportunities at the school you chose to attend, whether academic or extracurricular. Join groups that are inclusive, including faith-based groups or outing clubs, so that you gain friends with similar interests. Visit your professors during office hours so that you can take advantage of their knowledge and expertise. And don't look back and spend your time bemoaning the fact that you didn't get accepted to your first choice school.