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7 Tips for Students Denied From Their Top-Choice College

Tue, Mar 27, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

what to do if you're rejectedIf You're Denied Don't Give Up Hope!

Receiving a denial from a college can be extremely disappointing, but it’s not the end of the world. There are a number of things that students can do to deal with a denial – and focus on the positives.

Decision time can be very exciting for students, but it can quickly take a turn if the outcome isn’t what they hoped. As part of this last big week before all admission decisions are out, we’re posting a series of blog posts with advice for students who were accepted, denied, or waitlisted from the first, second, or event third choice colleges.

A denial can be deflating, and can really make students reevaluate what they want out of their college experience. While not ideal, a denial doesn’t have to define students’ college admissions journey. Here are seven tips for students who were rejected from their top-choice college.

Take Time To Work Through Your Feelings

It’s ok to take some time to feel disappointed. After a denial many students might want their space to work through their feelings and take a break from the talk of college decisions, so, if you’re a parent, let them have it. If you’re a student, don’t be afraid to ask for some time to process, but don’t dwell on it for too long!

Evaluate Where You Did Get In

Chances are, if you applied to a balanced list of 10-15 target, reach, and likely schools, you should have a few acceptances from some other institutions. Be diligent about evaluating where you did get in. Has that rejection made you change your priorities? Did it impact how you felt about one institution over another? Weigh your offers of admission based on your previous research but also through this new lens now that one or more schools are completely off the table.

Consider Why That School Was Your Top-Choice

Part of evaluating other offers of admission is recognizing what about a particular institution made it a top-choice for you. Was it the location? Professors? The curriculum? The specific program for your major? Take all of that into consideration and see how the schools that you were admitted to stack up.

Visit The Schools You Were Admitted To Again If Possible

A second visit to some of the schools you were admitted to can help you make an informed decision about where to enroll May 1, but it can also get you excited again! Getting on campus and realizing the great experiences ahead – no matter where you end up – can help you put your head back in the right place after a denial. Attend an accepted students’ weekend if you can, or if you haven’t already visited some of the schools you were admitted to, try to visit at least one or two before making your final decision.

Weigh Your Other Options

Your other options don’t have to just be the schools you were admitted to. If you weren’t accepted to any colleges, or you’re just not excited about the college choices you do have, there are some other paths you can consider. For example, some students might take a gap year and revisit the college admissions process one year later with new eyes. Students can also enroll at a local community college before applying again in the spring or for the fall. Students can also enroll in a four-year institution and plan to transfer after their first year. There are a number of options out there for students who might feel lost after a rejection – evaluate them all!

Talk With Your Family

Sometimes it helps to have someone to listen. Discuss your feelings about your denial with your family and even your college counselor. Talk about what your options are now, how you feel about them, and what you want to do next.

Stay Positive!

As we said before, life goes on after a college admissions rejection! There’s still so much to look forward to. Celebrate the acceptances you did receive, keep up your hard work in school, enjoy the rest of your senior year, make new memories, and remember that, at the end of the day, your education is what you make it – no matter where you end up this fall.

An admissions denial is never ideal, but it happens to everyone. If you’re struggling with where to enroll, how to evaluate your other offers of admission, deciding whether a gap year is the best fit for you, or any other decision as a result of a denial, IvyWise is here to help. Contact us today for more information on our services for denied or waitlisted high school seniors.

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