So your college application was rejected – now what?

USA TODAY College – Mach 23, 2017

You spent hours filling out college applications, writing and rewriting essays, studying for and taking the SAT or ACT, stressed out for months waiting to hear back from admissions. But then you got rejected. So now what do you do?


First things first: take a deep breath. It’s not the end of the world. Rejection is – unfortunately – a part of life and something that you’ll always have to deal with. Don’t worry, it will all be okay!


Rejection can be hard to handle at first, especially if it was from your dream school.

Meet with a school counselor or a mentor to deal with feelings of rejection and ask any questions you may have about the admissions process or what to do moving forward.

Sometimes it may be easier to express your feelings to someone who is not very close to you. But if that doesn’t help, turn to a close friend or family member to vent your feelings and get support.


If you believe there was an error in judgement or a mistake in your application and that you should have been admitted to the college, file an appeal. Seriously. This is a thing that exists, and it could be worth a try.

In your appeal letter, explain the error or mistake you believe happened that resulted in your rejection, and give a compelling argument for why you should have been accepted. Be honest, and of course keep in mind that not all appeals are approved. Try not to get your hopes up, but it doesn’t hurt to try again. While you are waiting for a response for your appeal, start planning other options for your future.


You did apply to more than one college, right? Start considering other colleges where you’ve been accepted, and thinking about key factors such as housing, transportation, and financial aid and scholarships.

Carefully weigh your options and decide what is the best decision for you. Pay attention to deadlines for accepting admission and for registering for freshman orientations.


If you have no other options because you got rejected everywhere or didn’t get into the one school you applied to, don’t stress! Community colleges typically have later deadlines than four-year universities and have quicker and easier applications to fill out.

Attending a community college can be a great way to save money, complete all of your basic core classes before applying to transfer, or even get an associate’s degree.


Just because you don’t start college at your dream school doesn’t mean you can’t finish there. Many people transfer colleges after a year or two. Develop a plan with the goal of transferring.

Whether you start a community college or at another university, double check to make sure your courses will transfer to your dream college and will fit into your desired degree program.


Yes, it sucks, but don’t take your rejection personally.

College admissions offices review thousands of applications every semester, and unfortunately, not everyone can be admitted. This will be the first of many times that you get knocked down during your college career, but you just have to get right back up and keep moving forward.

So your college application was rejected – now what?

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