“I Didn’t Get Into College – Now What?”
By: Belinda Gonzalez-Leon, Ed. D., MBA
Ph: (305) 494-9389
If you were not accepted into any of the colleges you applied, or somehow forgot to apply to college, don’t panic. You will survive, but you need to put a plan together. Make a decision if you are going to delay college (the preferable choice) or if you should start job training. Figure out what to do in the immediate future and start executing that plan.
There is always the option of taking some classes at local schools such as Miami Dade College (MDC) or Florida International University (FIU). All students can attend MDC and FIU has different ways of being admitted. Get into one of them and register for some courses. Take some English, Math, or Humanities courses so you don’t lose the routine of being in the classroom and studying. Classes at both MDC and FIU are transferrable to other Florida state public colleges and universities. Find a way to stay in a classroom while you figure out life.
If you are determined to attend one of the colleges that denied you, perhaps you can apply for a later semester? Contact your admissions representative and express your disappointment. Ask them to tell you exactly the weaknesses of your application. GPA too low? Courses not rigorous enough? Need higher SAT scores? Work on those deficiencies while prepare to apply for a future session. If you start taking college courses locally and excel, that proves to your future school how serious you are about college and that you have the ability to complete college level courses.
Perhaps you have decided that you are not ready for college. My advice is the same: try to stay in at least one class or do something education related. Many students take a gap year. A gap year a year in which a student delays college to travel and learn about the world, life, or just volunteer. Colleges applaud students who take a gap year if you can show that spent the year doing something that taught you a lesson. Students will travel and visit museums, historical areas, or key cities. Others join a volunteer organization and spend a year teaching inner city children or building homes in third world countries.
Other students take a year off to work and save money. If you must do this, consider the decision carefully. Taking a year to experience a particular career before committing to it, either through employment or internship is a mature decision that saves you money and time in college. However, remember that money that YOU the student earn will count as “money available” to pay for college. Money that a student earns counts MORE in the financial aid formula than money that your parents earn. The financial aid formula understands that your parents have household expenses they need to cover with their earnings, but an 18 year old student does not get that same consideration.
During the time that you are holding off on college and begin to apply again, I recommend that you not stop learning. Learn in a classroom, on a job, in an internship, or at a different city or country. Maintain the structure of a school environment so that you don’t lose that discipline. Continue to work hard in building the person that you want to mature into and the student that the colleges would like to welcome on campus. Focus on your goal of attending a particular college and work on the exact criteria that you need to get in- it’s never too late.