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Reapplying after widespread rejection

NOTanonymousNOTanonymous 4 replies4 postsRegistered User New Member
I am currently a high school senior that is about to graduate and while my friends are all off to colleges they are excited about, I’m stuck going to my backup school. The backup school I’m going to is still a solid program but I’m so beyond not excited to be going there.
I was planning on taking a gap year anyway prior to getting rejected from 5 Ivies and being waitlisted at UChicago (just informed I was rejected there as well) but now, I’m in the interesting position of having the ability to reapply.
My question is essentially: what level of success do people who get rejected see in reapplying? Is it even worth reapplying to the same schools that rejected me this time around?
I’m not sure exactly where to post this so I posted this in multiple forums. Apologies if you have seen this elsewhere.
18 replies
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Replies to: Reapplying after widespread rejection

  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Extremely limited chances. It is difficult to improve your app enough during a gap year to get into the very top schools. If you are going to take a gap year, realistically you need a new list of somewhat less selective schools, unless you want to waste a year and end up with more of the same rejections. Apparently you skipped finding match schools and didn’t pick a safety you’d be happy to attend. Unless you are going to do that next year, I’d say there isn’t any point in a gap year.
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  • NOTanonymousNOTanonymous 4 replies4 postsRegistered User New Member
    I was planning on taking a gap year anyway and deferring admission if I had gotten in to somewhere I liked.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33097 replies358 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Planning a gap or not, you seem not to have matched at the Ivies or Chicago. That could be something beyond your control- eg, if you come from an area that's highly competitive. But it could also be that you somehow missed putting your best foot forward, in terms of what these colleges do want to see. You were warned about chances for Harvard. I don't see what you would do between now and reappying that would so move you forward in a 2nd go 'round. Not in 6 months. It would take a total retooling. And that requires a better understanding, in the first place, of what matters.

    What are you thinking would change? It's not another financial internship.

    Otoh, if you take intparent's advice and find the right matches (and learn what they want,) plus use the gap year wisely, that could make sense. Depends on your ideas and willingness to put in a refreshed effort.
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  • merc81merc81 10163 replies151 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 19
    If the gap year is organic to your original plans, then I think your chances might be somewhat better everywhere next year than if you were constructing a plan simply for purposes of admission. Based on your stated interest in economics mentioned on your other thread, you can expect to do quite well if you select your schools with sufficient research. I'd definitely recommend you diversify your choices beyond those to which you previously applied, however.

    https://ideas.repec.org/top/top.uslacecon.html

    https://ideas.repec.org/top/top.usecondept.html

    http://blogs.wgbh.org/on-campus/2015/5/5/harvard-business-school-expands-online-initiative-liberal-arts-colleges/
    edited May 19
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 278 replies19 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited May 19
    I'm confused as to why you're planning to reapply when you're already going to a backup school. What were the circumstances of your denial? Why do you think you were rejected? Is a year worth giving up just to give it another go at reapplying to some of the most prestigious universities in the world?

    I think if your backup is solid and you are attending, I don't see why you wouldn't start your undergraduate. Why do you want to reapply? That question matters the most. Why do you not want to go to your "backup"?
    edited May 19
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28772 replies56 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Sometimes I do tell kids to redo the app process. Sometimes they simply applied to the wrong schools and ended up at an unaffordable school or one that is all wrong when there are scads of schools that they likely could have gotten in that are a much better fit.

    I don’t get the feeling this is the case for you. I think you want to give the Ivy’s, HPY another go around because you think you didn’t put together the applications perfectly.

    In cases like that, it doesn’t work out most of the time. What are you doing during your Gap Year that will seriously change your resume?

    I agree with the above posters. It’s time to move on.
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  • 4gsmom4gsmom 690 replies24 postsRegistered User Member
    Go to your "backup", excel and if you still don't want to be there, try to transfer. But unless you're going to use your gap year very, very wisely, I don't really see the point in waiting another year.
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  • parentologistparentologist 157 replies10 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    One girl I know (missed being first in one of the best districts in the state by a hundredth of a point), had wonderful extracurriculars, but her math SAT score wasn't over 700 (her English was virtually perfect) decided to prepare a bit for the math SAT. She hadn't reviewed for it at all. So she did a little review, and her math score came up to a 790. She had already gotten into a just below top 20 school with a half tuition scholarship, but was taking a very useful gap year, and was hoping to get a full tuition scholarship for the next year at the same school (dream on). Anyway, what she DID get was admission into that school's prestigious program that offered all sorts of perks.

    My point is, if there was some glaring deficiency in your record, such as bad SAT scores because you didn't prep for it at all, you could prep like crazy for it and get a very high score, take a gap year during which time you do something amazing, and apply again - but NOT to the schools you've already been rejected from - to a few reach that you'd be very happy at, and some appropriate match schools that you'd also be very happy at.

    But if there's nothing very significant that you can and WOULD do to make a significant change to your application credentials, get over it, go the safe school, and set the world on fire from there.
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  • MWolfMWolf 1287 replies8 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'll join others in saying that, if you wish to take a year off and reapply to all the same schools, you are wasting your time and money. If you think that you will apply more strategically, by focusing on schools to which you have a realistic chance of acceptance, AND you will occupy yourself in the meantime with something meaningful or lucrative, then perhaps.
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  • dadof2ddadof2d 185 replies9 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Take a look at the following thread:

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-search-selection/2141851-2019-nacac-list-p1.html

    There are hundreds of colleges that are still accepting applications, and you might find that some on the list are preferable to your current option. There are some great colleges on the list!
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3685 replies16 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    In Europe, lots of students take a gap year and travel then go to college. What are your gap year plans? If my kid I would suggest starting your new college experience. Once there you will become acclimated to your school, people and culture. Most will just start to enjoy their time and continue might not seem that way right now but you will move on and succeed. Good luck.
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  • lucky99lucky99 2 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    edited July 18
    I actually did take a gap year and reapply this year. I'm not exactly an expert on college admissions or anything, but I can tell you my experience! I was supposed to go to a backup school as well (an out of state public school, upwards of $50k/year, 6hr plane ride from home) and was feeling miserable about it. I decided it was worth it to take a gap year and reapply because I would rather be at an affordable state school (that I knew I would get in to) than go to the backup school I had planned.

    I ended up finding that my gap year did strengthen my applications and I had way better results this year at the schools I was reapplying to. This fall, I'm going to a top 5 public school that's pretty close to home. I don't know that a gap year would've made a difference if I'd just been reapplying to Ivies. It helped that I had more realistic goals this time around and I couldn't be happier with the school I've picked.

    I also had a really great time on my gap year. I loved having some time off from school to decompress. To occupy my time, I got an internship as well as a part time job and was able to get a few promotions, so I've got some good experience to put on my resumé (and I was able to write about these opportunities in my essays).

    My experience was so great that I tell everyone to take a gap year if they're thinking about it. I don't know about your chances reapplying to Ivies, but if you're REALLY unhappy with your backup school, I think you could use this time to find some schools that you'd really love that are more attainable.

    This was super long but I hope it helps!!
    edited July 18
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  • CardinalBobcatCardinalBobcat 155 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited July 19
    @lucky99 - what a great message. Thanks for posting! I know several kids who have taken a gap year, and they and their gap year friends did all sorts of interesting things during their years. Decompressing was a BIG part of it. I have yet to hear IRL about anyone regretting taking the gap. One is now at an Ivy (accepted prior to the gap year) and others are at or about to begin at various state flagships (applied during the gap.) I think your attitude was/is fantastic, and wish you the very best in the coming years!!
    edited July 19
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3848 replies84 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    An option is going to community college and applying 2 years later to Ivies. I just found out that schools like Cornell and Columbia apparently take quite a few CC transfers.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77133 replies672 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    An option is going to community college and applying 2 years later to Ivies. I just found out that schools like Cornell and Columbia apparently take quite a few CC transfers.

    However, for Columbia, this may be more the case for non-traditional students applying to its General Studies division, while for Cornell, it may be more for NY community college students aiming to transfer to the NY state-associated divisions.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28772 replies56 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    What are you doing during your gap year? Will it enhance your application ?

    If you think a do over will make a difference, since you have the opportunity to do this, give it a go. Then you’ll know. Also add some schools to your list that you think you’ll prefer to the one thAt accepted you but to which you did not apply. Some not as selective as the grouping you mention.

    I also suggest you look at St Andrews in Scotland and other schools outside the US. Think outside the box a bit.
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  • emmymeetscollegeemmymeetscollege 3 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    A year ago, I found myself in a similar situation, with an offer from a backup university and rejections from my top schools. I decided to reapply and go on a gap year. I changed my application completely: my major choice, extracurriculars, standardized testing and essays. I emerge from my gap year, having travelled, volunteered, worked and explored but also having gained admission into Stanford. It is definitely possible, but some of the Ivies that rejected me the first time rejected me again.

    You can truly work for it if you want it but you've got to change your application completely. You've got to ask yourself some questions honestly:
    1. What other subjects are you interested in that you didn't put as your major choice the first time?
    2. Are you willing to try and increase your standardized test scores?
    3. Can you switch perspectives to rewrite all of your college essays?
    4. Could you use the year constructively to further your application?
    5. Are you willing to risk your current university place for no guarantee later?
    You could also think about transferring, going to your dream college at grad school or looking abroad (maybe the UK). I wish you the best of luck!!
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