What to Do if You Don't Get In

You can find ways to alter course in midstream if your initial choice doesn't work out.

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"Having made close friends and figured out that I could go out for the lacrosse team the next semester, honestly, I could picture myself staying and being happy," she said. Instead, though, she applied and was accepted at Temple University in Philadelphia (another big city, another strong business program)—and made the lacrosse team. "I'm very glad I transferred," she says.

Transferring is often more straightforward than it sounds: In general, colleges look for the same qualities in transfers as in incoming freshmen, and application guidelines are similar. NACAC's yearly space availability survey contains information about spaces for transfer students, too.

TIP

If you do opt to stay on a wait list, write or call with any new info you think will help—a stellar final transcript, a special award or achievement. And let your college know you're not just toying with it.