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Rejected? You still have a chance to get into college

Lee Bierer
Lee Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte.

Whoops! If your mailbox was filled with rejection notices, today might be your lucky day. For the student who didn’t receive any “Congratulations!” letters, there is still hope.

Why did this happen?

It was a tough year for everyone, but unfortunately, many students were overconfident. They overestimated their chances and chose not to add any super-safety schools to their list. While it’s a worthwhile life lesson, it’s tough on the ego of a 17- or 18-year-old, especially those who are surrounded by their friends making plans to attend college next fall.

What can be done?

May 1 was the National Response Deadline for high school seniors to notify colleges of their intentions. Since most students received multiple acceptances, there may be more wiggle room for colleges to accept students off a wait list. Some colleges have already sent out a first wave of wait-list acceptances.

But if your student wasn’t wait-listed there is still hope.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) compiles the annual Space Availability Survey (, which provides a list of institutions that still have openings.

As of May 2, 210 colleges, in 39 states plus Washington, D.C., as well as five countries, have either freshman or transfer space availabilities. All 210 have institutional financial aid available and 208 can offer housing. Seventy-two percent are private colleges, with 28 percent public colleges and universities. The survey will be continually updated as spaces are filled.

As of May 2, the following institutions in North Carolina had availabilities: Chowan University, Greensboro College, High Point University, Lenoir Rhyne University, Meredith College, Mount Olive College, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Wesleyan College, Queens University of Charlotte and Warren Wilson College.

In South Carolina, Coastal Carolina University and Charleston Southern University have availabilities.

According to NACAC, this year’s figure of 210 institutions with space availability is the lowest of any year on their graph, which begins in 2000.

However, it is important to note that many colleges wait to complete the survey after it has been made available to the public.

How to apply?

Students need to apply directly to the institutions of interest. Being listed in the survey is not a guarantee of acceptance, because colleges still need to review application information. NACAC asks colleges to update their space availability, but students should contact colleges directly. The survey will remain available until June 28.

Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte.
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