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Can We Appeal A College Rejection?

Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert Posts: 3,977 Senior Member
Question: My daughter just found out she was rejected from her top-choice school (a large Midwestern state school) and she is devastated. Is there a way to appeal the decision, and if so, should I do it or should she? I am thinking of calling the admissions department and asking whether there’s anything we can do to get them to reconsider.


See https://www.collegeconfidential.com/articles/can-we-appeal-a-college-rejection

Replies to: Can We Appeal A College Rejection?

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,726 Senior Member
    My question would be why would a student want to go to a school that rejected them? IMO, if the school doesn't think it's the right fit, maybe it's really not. I would encourage my child to focus her energy on the rest of her applications.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,180 Forum Champion
    Barring a flat out mistake a college generally will not change an admissions decision. Unless your D's academics were well above the school's average, it is likely a waste of time an energy. And if anyone follows up it should be your D, not you.

    Her best bet would be to take a deep breath, sulk for a day if she needs to and then regroup and find other colleges she can love.

  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert Posts: 3,977 Senior Member
    @momofsenior1 -Think of it this way: When a student is denied admission, the college is rejecting an application ... not a person. There is SO much about this child that the admission folks don't know, and decisions may even be affected by factors such as geography and race that have little to do with what this one individual will bring to campus. A Harvard admission dean once said that he could set aside the entire admitted-student roster and choose an equally qualified class from the Reject Pile!

    So just because a student is denied, it doesn't necessarily mean that the school is a bad fit. I don't fault the student for wanting to attend anyway, but it does bother me that many teenagers focus on a first-choice or "dream" college when there are so many great options out there.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,726 Senior Member
    Cornell says the same thing about the quality of their applicants.

    That said, it just feels like wasted energy to me when chances are so slim that a school will reconsider. My daughter would add "why go to a school that wasn't super excited to have you in the first place'.

    I also hate the "dream college" focus unless it's a true match or safety school. Having a dream school that is a reach is a recipe for heartbreak.
  • coolguy40coolguy40 Registered User Posts: 1,856 Senior Member
    edited October 2018
    I'm a lot more concerned about a kid getting accepted into a dream school than rejected. Shopping around is the critical step that a lot of kids miss. When kids do it, most often, they find out that their "dream school" isn't a fit at all. If I have a "dream" of getting a Ford SUV, I'm going to buy a Ford SUV. That doesn't mean that a Ford or even an SUV is the right car for me. Perhaps a midsize car works better for me. How would I know unless I took shopping around seriously? Rejection is one of those things in life that bring us all back to reality. This is a good time to look at the other schools on her list and see if they're a good fit for her.
  • 4n2yrs4n2yrs Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    I am truly sorry that you and your daughter have to go through this. I know it is REALLY hard. Hugs.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 12,197 Forum Champion
    Also imagine if everyone college had to take an appeal for every denied applicant.

    I would only do this if there was a significant mistake (GC didn't send any recommendations, SAT Scores were wrong) or like the Dean said, significant issues were not disclosed.
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