So I am a graduating high school senior who applied early decision to Wash U, Northwestern, U of Chicago, Stanford, Notre Dame, and UCLA. I have a 4.3 GPA, top 10% of my class, enrolled in college prep courses at my community college, do cheerleading and chess for extracurricular activities, and am a white female. This month the "acceptance" letters came. Every single letter from my top choices was a heartbreaking denial with obscure reasoning and a wish for success. My next door neighbor, who is in my graduating class, is 18, pregnant, and from what I understand, not doing very well at school. She got a letter from Northwestern congratulating her acceptance. I hear from my parents that she is also getting a full ride. The part I forgot to mention? She's mexican, a first-generation citizen, non-native English speaker, with four older brothers who have been arrested one by one over the last few years. I'm in shock, how do I deal with this blatant juxtaposition?
First, let me begin by congratulating you on an excellent academic record. It is impressive and you are to be commended. Please do not lose sight of that.
In reference to your question and concern, I want you to know that you are not alone in what you may be feeling. There are others who are experiencing similar emotions as you are. Unfortunately in life, we sometimes have to deal with disappointments and setbacks... some without explanation. But, oftentimes, these are circumstances that we not only learn the most from but can rise up from and be very successful. While you may be saddened now to learn that you were not accepted to one of your first choice schools, there are many, many other excellent schools in the country that will be very lucky to have you as part of their student body. One thing we have in the U.S. is great institutions of higher learning… some of the finest in the world. One factor that I noticed in your posting is that you applied to mostly private institutions. I would encourage you to look into some of the public institutions as well. There are several highly ranked public colleges & universities to choose from. Check out some of the large and small, research institutions—you may be impressed by what they have to offer. While many of our country’s private institutions may be some of the most prestigious in the world, they are typically very selective, highly competitive schools and they also reserve the right to enhance the diversity of their student populations as they deem necessary. Although this may not seem fair, it is a reality. Another thing to keep in mind is that Ivy League institutions (and many other private schools) do not offer academic-based scholarships—they are awarded based on financial-need only.
Based on what you have shared, you have a lot to be proud of. Continue to hold your head high and follow your dreams. There are schools out there just waiting to receive your application. Please check out (www.ucan-network.org) and (www.collegeboard.org). Best of luck to you in your educational aspirations… you have a very bright future ahead.