Skip to content

Can You Appeal A College Rejection?

Can You Appeal A College Rejection?

Right in time for Valentine’s day, hearts are being won and broken by college acceptance and rejection letters. Students faced with an unwanted decision may have the question: can you appeal or reverse a college rejection? Experts say yes, you can, but with caution. Only 2% of appeals on average are successful and some colleges do not even allow appeals. 

So what’s the process for an admissions decision appeal? First, take a cooling-off period for a few days to allow the sting of rejection to settle a bit. This will give families time to evaluate options and decide whether an appeal is right for them. Next, consider these steps to appeal a decision.

How To Appeal A College Rejection

1. RESEARCH the school’s appeal policy and process.

As previously mentioned, some colleges, especially those with high selectivity/high rejection rates, won’t even consider an appeal so it’s best to move on. For example, New York University will not consider an appeal and suggests you apply for the next admissions cycle.

Since each college is unique, review the college’s website for appeals information and then contact the admissions office for more clarity if you can’t find the details you’re looking for.

Some schools require you to use a portal for appeals, like the University of California Irvine or Texas A&M. Others may only consider appeals if incorrect information was submitted by a counselor, for example.

Since you have a slim chance of moving forward, it’s important to be a stickler on details.

2. EVALUATE any new information you can provide to build a case. 

This case could include a raised GPA at semester 1, higher test scores, new honors or awards, or an explanation of circumstances that weren’t shared in the application. Provide the proof along with your appeal.

3. DETERMINE the timeline for the appeal and decide if there are any allies you may have on your dream campus.

Did you build a relationship with a particular admissions officer or department chair that would help push through your appeal?

4. OPEN yourself up to other possibilities.

Are you flexible on how you arrive at your dream campus? One of my students successfully appealed a decision by requesting a major change from engineering, an ultra-competitive major, to a less competitive major at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Another student chose to attend the perimeter community college campus of Georgia State where she could live in Georgia State’s residential living and then transfer to the main campus after gaining her associate’s.

Still, another pursued the army reserves and then reapplied after her boot camp for the next admissions cycle and got in.

Taking the longer route, whether a gap year, a different major, or a community college, can still lead you to an excellent college experience.

Don’t Lose Hope If You Receive A College Rejection

Even if you choose to forgo an appeal or your appeal isn’t successful, don’t lose hope. With over 5,000 colleges in the United States, the right one is out there waiting to embrace all the big and beautiful features that make you unique.

Need help crafting your appeal letter or choosing a new best-fit college? Schedule a free conference with My College Planning Team HERE to gain access to our expert counselors who can help you think through all your options.

Provide Your Honest Review Of MCPT On Google

Has My College Planning Team helped you or your student with financial aid planning or academic services? If so, we would greatly appreciate your honest review on Google!

Kate Kaushal has been a professional high school counselor in the Chicago Public School system since 2011 and has played many roles including: senior academic and social emotional counselor, post secondary counselor, head of counseling, ACT test coordinator, CPS selective enrollment test proctor and master counselor for the district.

She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Saint Xavier University and a Master’s in School Counseling from Roosevelt University. Prior to 2011, she worked in various positions in social service, including a partner organization to DCFS, a group home for young men, and an experiential outdoor education camp for at-risk youth in North Carolina.

At Phillips Academy in Bronzeville, she started as the Junior counselor and then moved into the post-secondary arena where she found her passion. She believes in holistically working with students and prides herself in her ability to match students with resources, especially scholarship opportunities and enrichment programs. In her years as a postsecondary counselor, she drastically increased the amount of scholarships (from 500,000 in 2015 to over 15 million in 2019) earned by the graduating classes and received a Data Impact award from Chicago Public Schools. She was also a final nominee for College and Career Counselor of the year in 2018 and has presented at multiple CPS School Counselor professional development events.

Kate is a lifelong learner and is excited to join the My College Planning Team to help families find the best holistic college fit for their child and the most scholarship money possible to offset their educational costs. Kate also has a knack for matching families to the resources they need, including alternate options like trade or gap year programs. Outside of work, she enjoys running, yoga, event planning and spending time with her 2 young children.

Back To Top