So you just graduated high school, but you don’t have an acceptance letter.

First of all: Congratulations! This is the culmination of 12 years of hard work (I don’t count kindergarten) even if you didn’t realize you were working hard. Honestly, you were probably only working really hard for the past four years. Regardless, you earned these moments. You know the ones: moving your tassel from right to left, walking across that stage, throwing your cap into the air….

college-graduatePerhaps these moments happened just yesterday, a week ago, or even a month ago. I don’t mean to rush you but do you have any idea what comes next? If you’ve submitted your intent-to-enroll forms, then you’re probably well on your way to finding a roommate, shopping for your dorm, and registering for classes. What if you didn’t get accepted to any of the schools you applied for? Uh-oh….

Really, it’s not the end of the world. I promise. If you want to pursue a bachelor’s degree but you are uncertain of your options, here are some to consider:

Take the year off. Okay, maybe this doesn’t appear to be the most proactive thing to do. However, if you’re on the fence about what you want to study, need some extra time to get your finances in order, or have no idea where you would even want to go to school, this is certainly a feasible option. Make sure you’re not just sitting around for a year though! Find a part-time job, do some volunteer work, pick up some extra hobbies, and keep yourself busy. You’ll be surprised by the experiences you have that might even come in handy in a personal statement next year.

Sign up for online classes. There are many self-education materials all over the internet, especially in technical areas like computer programming. This is a great way to get a head start on some college-level courses without having to leave home. Although not all classes transfer over to college credit, many of them might get you through a placement exam. The worst case scenario is that you have to retake a similar class when you decide on your college, but think of how much easier that class will be now that you’ve aced it once!

Register at the community college. Most community colleges have open enrollment, meaning that you can register as long as there is space available in the classes that you’re interested in. This is a good option, especially if you know which four-year school and program you’d like to apply for next year. Get the details of what your program or major covers in the first year, find the community college equivalents, and sign up! This is a great way to get ahead at a fraction of the price. Also, many community colleges offer online courses.

Any combination of the above. Maybe you only want to take a couple community college classes and do some volunteer work. Or maybe you’ll be working and taking online classes. The key is to be proactive and keep learning. It demonstrates that you’re determined to learn and your actions may just speak for themselves on your next college application.

Don’t know which four-year school would be right for you? Let us help you find your dream school.

Worried about how you are going to pay for a four-year degree? Have no fear! You now have a whole extra year to apply for many scholarships at

Are you graduating without an acceptance letter? Tell us about your plans in the comments!

Photo credit:

Leave a Reply