Opinion: It’s not where you start, but where you finish

All is not lost for those denied acceptance into ‘dream’ school


Annika Pepper

Students need to realize that even if they did not get accepted into UGA or other dream schools of theirs their senior year, it in no way limits their possibility of going there in the near future. It is not where you begin college that matters, but where you finish it.

It is now mid-March, and seniors who have been anxiously waiting for responses from schools like the University of Georgia are now finally receiving their answers. Some got accepted, while others deferred or denied, leaving students with emotions ranging from joy to disappointment. 

[S]ee it as a ‘not now, but later’.

— Op-ed Editor Victoria Sponar

For those who got denied or deferred, do not see this as a bad thing. In fact, do not even see this as a definite “no” to getting into your dream school. Instead, see it as a “not now, but later.” 

It seems that people forget that there is not just one way to do things. Not every student that attends their dream school was accepted their senior year of high school — some had to transfer or take a year off and reapply — sometimes more than once. 

According to CollegeTransfer.Net, “60% of 4-year graduates every year have transferred at least once before completing their degree,” making this a popular action made by many college students. 

Transferring into your dream school can lead to many benefits — if you choose to go to community college for the first two years, you can then apply to the other university and save thousands of dollars by not paying things such as housing, meal plans, parking tickets, and expensive tuition. 

With many schools, a transfer student has a higher chance of getting accepted into their school of choice than a senior student does. For example, Georgia Tech’s transfer acceptance rate is 29.3%, while their regular acceptance rate is 18.8%. Emory’s regular acceptance rate is 22%, but their transfer acceptance rate is 24.62%. UGA’s acceptance rate is 54%, but their transfer rate is 75.63%. 

[T]here are countless other students who have managed to graduate from their dream school despite not starting there.

— Op-ed Editor Victoria Sponar

Another choice that deferred or denied students can make is apply another year. With taking a gap year, they can fill up their time either working and saving up money for tuition, building their résumé by doing more community service, or getting an internship that aligns with their major. 

There is no single path to college. Yes, some students began their educational journey at their dream college. However, there are countless other students who have managed to graduate from their dream school despite not starting there. 

No matter the type of college acceptance letter a student receives this spring, students should not give up on their goals for college. 

With hard work and determination, deferred or denied students can come to find that not being accepted at the time they wanted to be could mean more saving, more experiences, and a better chance of getting accepted the next time.  

It is not where you start, but where you finish that matters.

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