The Ivy Coach Daily

December 6, 2023

How to Get Into a College That Rejected You

A bronze statue of John Harvard is featured from a side view at Harvard University.

Were you rejected by the college or colleges of your dreams? Maybe you received a rejection notification after the Early Action/Early Decision round. Or perhaps you got one or more after the Regular Decision round. Heck, maybe you received rejections in both rounds of admission. Whenever you received your college rejections, it’s important to understand the path forward if you remain fixated on earning admission to the school(s) that did not offer you a place in their Class of 2028.

What to Do After a College Rejection

Except for the few elite schools that offer an appeal process, a rejection is the final word from a school for the given year. That said, your path forward will depend on when you receive the rejection(s).

3 Steps to Take After an Early Action/Early Decision Rejection

If you’ve been rejected during the Early Action/Early Decision round, don’t bother calling the admissions office to find out why. They’ll never tell you the real answer anyway. Instead, your path forward should be as follows:

  1. Sign up for a complimentary consultation with Ivy Coach to learn about our services for denied candidates.
  2. Complete a PostMortem with Ivy Coach so you understand what went wrong with your Early application. This way, you won’t repeat the mistakes with your yet-to-be-submitted Regular Decision schools. While there will be some mistakes that you won’t be able to correct in mid-December, there is so much that you can still change to improve your odds.
  3. Revamp your applications for Regular Decision, so you don’t receive similar results with other schools.

3 Steps to Take After a Regular Decision Rejection

If you’ve been rejected during the Regular Decision round, don’t bother calling the admissions offices to find out why. They’ll never tell you the real answer anyway. Instead, your path forward should be as follows:

  1. Pursue the waitlists of any schools that are more competitive than the best school you earned admission to in Regular Decision. To do so, you’ll need to submit a powerful Letter of Continued Interest.
  2. Commit to attending the best school you got into. If you happen to earn admission off the waitlist of another school, you can always change your plans (you’ll just, more than likely, lose your deposit).
  3. Prepare transfer applications with Ivy Coach’s assistance over the summer before you attend college. This way, you can focus on enjoying your college experience at the school you attend as a first-year student. Most transfer admissions deadlines are in March. We’ll make some changes to the applications in February, but the bulk of our work takes place during the summer before you begin your college experience.

How to Get into a College That Rejected Your Application

1. The Appeal Process

While many parents — who were not our clients — reach out to Ivy Coach annually about the appeal process, they’re often surprised to learn that few elite schools, namely the University of Southern California, the University of California schools, and the University of Texas at Austin, offer an appeal process.

If you have been denied admission to one of these institutions, we’re happy to help you with your appeal process, though it’s important you understand your odds are slim and you’re coming to us for a last-minute Hail, Mary.

2. The Transfer Admission Process

With the exception of the few school that offer an appeal process, the transfer admissions process is really the only path forward for rejected applicants.

As we tell our transfer applicants, the transfer process is slightly less predictable than the admissions process out of high school. After all, there have been years when some schools haven’t accepted transfers or accepted only a few. Princeton University, for instance, accepts a minuscule number of transfer applicants who have not served America in uniform.

That said, we regularly help transfer applicants earn admission to their dream colleges. They just often need to expand their dreams by expanding their list. In fact, we work with students on a minimum of three transfer schools. So, for all those students who only wish to earn admission to the school that denied their admission, we wish them all the best. After all, that school can always return their attention to their previously submitted application.

We want our transfer applicants to have at least two fresh starts. In our book, it’s simply not worth it to only apply to one school as a transfer.

Ivy Coach’s Assistance Moving Forward from a College Rejection

If you’ve been rejected by the college or colleges of your dreams and you still wish to earn admission as a transfer applicant (unless, of course, it’s one of the few elite universities with an appeal process), fill out Ivy Coach’s complimentary consultation form, and we’ll be in touch to outline our services for denied seniors.

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