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Denied College Admission? Should You Appeal?
By Elizabeth LaScala
E-mail Elizabeth LaScala
About this blog: I post articles to offer timely and substantive college admission guidance on important topics and issues. Originally from New York, I have a B.S. from Hunter College in NYC and advanced professional degrees from the University of... (More)
View all posts from Elizabeth LaScala
Denied College Admission? Should You Appeal?
Uploaded: Dec 8, 2017
Paul was denied admission to a private college that he, his parents, and high school counselor all had agreed matched his interests and academic profile. The question the parents asked me was “Should we appeal the decision?”
In my experience, appeals are rarely justified. Whether the denial is from an Early Action, Early Decision or Regular Decision application, (more about early college options here) the circumstances that substantiate an appeal generally involve NEW information about the student that was not available at the time the student applied. If you do not have new information to supply, you are essentially telling the admission staff that they made an error in judgment, and misread a file. This tact is unlikely to result in any positive change.
A college must have a compelling reason to reverse an admission decision. For example, new information might be that the student was a semi-finalist for an academic award or scholarship and moved into the finalist category or, better, actually won the award since filing the college application. If there is no new information to provide, there is sometimes a circumstance that was not fully explained in the application. For example, a student might have had surgery and missed a great deal of school in the spring of his junior year. Grades were lower due to an extended recovery process. Presumably the student’s grades in the fall of senior year should have demonstrated significant improvement to show the earlier drop in grades was tied directly to the medical problem.
If you believe you have a strong enough reason to appeal, I suggest that the school counselor make a phone call. Few students are mature enough to handle this type of call, and parents are rarely objective enough to make these inquires. The call should be to the admissions office to ask if it is possible to get some insight into the decision. Some colleges are happy to talk about admission decisions. Others will only give generalities. Be prepared to accept the response you receive, which may well be that the application was not considered sufficiently competitive within the applicant pool. Attempting to glean more information should not hurt the student’s cause, so long as the approach is constructive. The most constructive approach is an information gathering perspective. If the counselor calls, the information gathering can be used to help future students as well as the current applicant. Presumably a counselor will want to understand what would have strengthened the applicant’s profile for future reference. Information gathering can be viewed as a way to build a more positive relationship with the school beyond this particular inquiry.
Once you are involved in a conversation and you have some additional information, you must determine whether the information you have acquired indicates an appeal is the right course of action. If so, ask if the college has a set procedure for appealing decisions. Some colleges have a specific form and process and others leave it completely up to the student to decide how to proceed with an appeal.
In general, if you truly feel an appeal is justified and you have new information to support the process, the appeal must come from the student, hopefully with the counselor’s support. I suggest the student begin by submitting a letter to the dean or vice president that oversees admission. The letter should respectfully explain the reason for writing, and offer new information with supporting documentation. Essentially, the letter should provide the college new, specific information that it did not have before. It should address any additional honors and awards or describe special circumstances. Concrete and clear documentation must accompany the appeal. If the appeal involves a specific problem, like a downturn in grades and explanation for why it happened, documentation should be provided that demonstrates that the student is on track to be successful in college.
To sum up, if you are denied admission to a college it is best to accept the institution’s decision. If you can acquire information that will help you apply to another college with greater success, all the better. Generally speaking, denials tend to remain denials. It is best to learn what you can from the experience and move on. In the end, you really do want to go to a college that really wants you.
Elizabeth LaScala, PhD personally guides each student through each step of selecting and applying to well-matched colleges both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. With decades of admissions experience, Elizabeth has placed hundreds of students in some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the US and abroad. By attending professional conferences, visiting college campuses and making personal contacts with admissions networks, Elizabeth stays current on the evolving nature of admissions and generously passes that know-how on to her clients as well as the community at large in blogs and articles. Both college and graduate school advising is available and the number of clients taken is limited to ensure each applicant has personalized attention. Call Elizabeth early in the process for a courtesy phone consultation: 925.385.0562; Write [email protected]; Visit Elizabeth for detailed information for each grade level.
10 Best Next Steps to Take if a Student is Denied Admission
10 Best Next Steps to Take if a Student is Denied Admission | When a student is denied admission, it can be difficult to know what steps
10 Best Next Steps to Take if a Student is Denied Admission
Posted by Lenon Share
When a student is denied admission, it can be difficult to know what steps to take next. There are many steps you can take that will lead the way towards success for your future. In this blog post, we will go over 10 steps that every student should follow when they’re denied admission. 10 Best Next Steps to Take if a Student is Denied Admission
This includes steps such as understanding why they were not accepted and how to use their time wisely while waiting for new acceptance letters or applications to open up again. We hope you find these steps helpful!
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What steps should students take if they are denied admission from their dream school that they’ve worked hard to get into? The first thing a student needs to do is understand why they were not accepted. This will help them identify what steps to take in order to improve and apply again for the next round of admissions.
We’ll go over some steps you can take after being denied admission below, but it’s important to remember that there doesn’t have to be just one reason as these steps might vary depending on who has been turned down – whether it is an international or domestic applicant, undergraduate or graduate program, etc.
1. Try Reapplying
Students may want to try applying again once new applications open up (usually during November), so check the school’s website for any updates on this front.
2. Reach Out to the Admission Office
It can be helpful to reach out and set up a time to talk with someone in the admissions office, so they might have more information or advice that will help future applicants.
3. Look into other schools
This is something students should do even before being denied admission from their dream school, but now could be an opportunity to explore new options. Consider whether there are programs at different schools that align better with what you’re looking for (location, major). There may also be deadlines coming up soon for some of these applications – take steps toward applying early! And don’t forget about scholarships and financial aid opportunities too; apply as much as possible to offset the costs of school.
4. Reconsider your career goals
If you’re not sure about what steps to take next after being denied admission, identify steps that are important for a future in this field and search for graduate programs or other opportunities at schools near you or even abroad. Consider whether there is another major you might want to try out – it could help clarify your interests by exploring different areas! You can also research how much time and money will be needed based on these new information points in order to apply again successfully in the future.
5. Find an internship opportunity
There’s no better way than experience working with professionals within this industry before committing fully as students may end up loving their internships more than they expected! And don’t forget about networking opportunities too – this could be a great way to meet someone who can offer advice or even connections.
6. Research other schools:
If you’re not 100% sure that the denial is because of your grades, consider researching different programs and applying for them next round!
7. Restart classes in order to retake an exam:
This may sound like a last resort, but students should check with their school’s admissions office on steps they need to take if they would like to postpone taking one of these exams until after being denied admission. It might require some steps such as registering early so there are enough seats available for those retaking it, etc., but it has been known as helpful for many others before when they’ve taken steps to retake exams.
8. Make Decisive Efforts
Students should consider taking classes or retaking an exam in order to improve their chances for being accepted again later on. They may also want to research and apply for graduate programs near them where they can explore a different field, potentially leading students down the path toward their dream career! And don’t forget about applying as much as possible – whether scholarships, financial aid opportunities or internship possibilities – so there is more opportunity available when it comes time to reapply. We hope these steps are helpful after being denied admission from your school of choice; remember not all steps work for everyone depending on who has been turned down (international vs domestic applicants), undergraduate vs graduate applicants, and more.
The steps outlined in this blog post may be helpful for students who are denied admission from their school of choice; however, these steps will not work for all cases as some steps depend on whether an applicant is international or domestic undergraduate vs graduate student, etc. Please reach out to our team if you have any other questions related to your own situation!
Don’t forget about scholarships and financial aid opportunities too – apply as much as possible so that when it comes time to reapply there’s a better chance at securing one of them again later down the line. And take steps toward applying early (schools tend to release deadlines around November) since many schools require applications months ahead of the deadline date.