dcsimg
You are here:

Acceptance and Rejection in the Digital Age

Whether you're a teenager applying for the first time, or a seasoned veteran taking a stab at a continuing degree, waiting to hear back from the colleges of your choice can be incredibly nerve-wracking. That said, it has always been a more private matter -- until today, when social networks like Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and even the speed of e-mail alone have the power to make private matters public within mere minutes. As many are discovering, the delicate matter of college acceptance and rejection letters has become even more delicate just by the simple progress of technology.

For a generation of students who share every detail of their personal lives in text messages, MySpace pages and other online postings, the college admissions chase is offering a lesson that some things are best kept private.

Last December, when Brown University's early admission decisions were released online, students in one classroom at North Hollywood High's highly gifted magnet program could be heard applauding. In another, there was silence, followed by the sound of someone crying.

So today when many Ivy League colleges are expected to render their decisions, magnet students will be rushing home to absorb the news, seniors Kelsey Collins and Joseph Wang said.

"That's D-day for everybody," said Joseph, 17. "No one wants to check in public."

Some of us learned the hard way in high school, back in the earlier days, checking college websites at a teacher's computer with disastrous results. The ubiquitous presence of internet-enabled cell phones and PDA devices can only serve to boost and speed the inevitable mix of emotions. Not that the colleges themselves help much:

Although some colleges still use regular mail to send acceptances and rejections -- the proverbial fat and thin envelopes -- many now conduct the process online.

Some UC applicants get e-mails saying "Your status has changed," then visit online accounts and learn they've been rejected. It's a cold way to have dreams destroyed.

"It was a huge surprise; I'm pretty smart," said Naira Goukisian, 18, a Bravo student who was turned down by some UC campuses. "You make an account . . . they didn't even send letters or e-mail. It was really bad this year, really hard."

It can be painful and awkward waters to navigate, but the dialogue between students and their schools of choice appear to be nothing compared to awaiting dialogue between students and their peers. As what once was a private conversation has been distilled to a social network status change, it seems that dealing with differences in college letters has become even more of a passive-aggressive art than ever before.

In December, Amaru Tejeda made a pact with his friend, Yureli Lopez, to post Pomona College's response to their applications on Facebook. That way, the seniors at Bravo Medical Magnet east of downtown Los Angeles wouldn't have to deal with each other face to face if one lost out.

Amaru, 18, of Lincoln Heights got home and found a large envelope from Pomona but waited until Yureli, 17, of Boyle Heights posted "Future Sagehen" (Pomona College's mascot) in her "status update" window before he sent an instant message that he had gotten in too.

Because they had applied for an early decision, Yureli and Amaru were committed to attending Pomona. But on Friday, Yureli learned she had also been accepted to Occidental College, the dream school of another friend. As of Sunday, she hadn't heard how her friend had fared and was nervous about being perceived as getting her slot.

"That's the worst-case scenario: When one of your best friends got accepted to the school you really wanted to get into and you didn't," said Yureli.

Reconciling similarities or differences with friends may be the hardest part of any college decision -- as it was years ago, is now, and probably will be for as long as there are choices of colleges to attend. Of course, according to the article, online communities offer tons of reassurance and support for students facing these hard times. Does it make things any easier? Under the stress of impending college, any small relief -- digital or otherwise -- will do.

Search Schools

      
Matching School Ads
  • Accounting Academy

    The Accounting Academy was founded in 2005 and has been continuously approved to operate by the California Bureau for Private-Pstsecondary Education. 

     

    Programs

    • Basic Computer and Microsoft Office Skills
    • Accounting and Bookkeeping
    Location:
    San Diego: 7283 Engineer Rd, San Diego CA 92111
    Accounting Academy Request Info »
  • Abilene Christian University - Online

    Abilene Christian University (ACU), founded in 1906 and affiliated with the Church of Christ, has a long and proud heritage dedicated to educating students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. Instructors teach students how to think critically and globally in each of their respective programs, while still maintaining a focus on their particular program of study. ACU is an academically notable institution top ranked by U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges", as well as The Princeton Review and Forbes.

    Programs

    • Master of Education in Higher Education
    Location:
    Abilene: 1600 Campus Ct,, Abilene TX 79601
    Abilene Christian University - Online Request Info »
  • Portland State University

    Complete Your Bachelor's Degree 100% Online

    Programs

    • BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice
    Location:
    Portland: 1825 SW Broadway,, Portland OR 97201
    Portland State University Request Info »
  • Our Lady of the Lake University

    Our Lady of the Lake University is a private, Catholic university with a deep connection to the history and community of San Antonio.

    Programs

    • Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree

    Location: Online

    Our Lady of the Lake University Request Info »
  • Rutgers University

    Founded in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher learning.

    Programs

    • Online Master of Social Work
    • Online Master of Business Administration
    • Online Master of Information
    • More...
    Location:
    New Brunswick: 57 U.S. 1,, New Brunswick NJ 08901
    Rutgers University Request Info »
  • Widener University

    Why Choose Widener University?

    At Widener University, we proudly cultivate challenging and culturally diverse learning environments where academics, leadership, and service come first. Our curricula are connected to societal issues and challenge students to take social responsibility for their role in today's global society.

    Programs

    • Masters of Social Work

    Location: Online

    Widener University Request Info »
  • University of Nevada - Reno

    At the University of Nevada, Reno, we teach public health practitioners how to look beyond physical conditions and consider environmental, economic and sociological factors that impact individual and community health, happiness and well-being.

    The online Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice is designed to prepare you for employment in nearly any area of the public health field.

    Programs

    • Online Master of Public Health (MPH)

    Location: Online

    University of Nevada - Reno Request Info »
  • Purdue University

    Purdue University offers a strong foundation of tradition and history.

    Programs

    • Master of Science in Communication
    • Master of Science in Education in Special Education
    • Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Purdue University Request Info »
  • University of the Rockies

    Join the community of thought leaders at University of the Rockies. Pursue your graduate degree from the University’s School of Professional Psychology or School of Organizational Leadership.

    Programs

    • MA in Public Sociology
    • Doctor of Psychology, Mediation & Conflict Resolution
    • Doctor of Philosophy, Organizational Development and Leadership
    • More...

    Location: Online

    University of the Rockies Request Info »
  • Stratford Career Institute

    Earn Your Diploma from Home!

    Programs

    • Drug & Alcohol Treatment Specialist
    • Funeral Service Education
    • French as a Second Language
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Stratford Career Institute Request Info »
  • Matching School Ads

    Quick School Search

    College & Career Search Tools

    • Careers: Unsure about your career path? Study profiles of hundreds of professions.

    • Interviews: Professors and deans sit down with our team to give you unique insights on college life.

    • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

    • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.