Tedious college applications, thoughtful essays, glowing recommendations, intense interviews, OH MY! The whole college process…
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.
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