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The Ivy Coach Daily

July 13, 2021

Reasons College Applicants Have Been Rejected

Harvard University once admitted Ted Kaczynski. You might know him as The Unabomber.

Want to hear some colorful anecdotes related to why admissions officers rejected certain applicants? Maybe a student wrote about a proclivity for violence in an admissions essay. Maybe a student tried to sabotage the case for admission of another student. Or lied about being the president of a school club. Or cheated on a test. You name it, we’ve heard the story. But BuzzFeed is out with a new piece on the subject penned by Victoria Vouloumanos and entitled “College Admission Officers Are Sharing The Reasons They’ve Rejected An Applicant, And I’m Glad I Never Have To Deal With The Common App Again” that is definitely a fun read. So what kind of reasons did admissions officers give for rejecting applicants? Here are five of our favorites from the BuzzFeed piece.

“The worst case I’ve seen is a kid openly admit in his application essay that he was a habitual cheater throughout high school — but it taught him how to become resourceful and think outside the box.”

“An admissions officer at W&M once told me about this student who had submitted a beautifully written essay. It was not only well written but emotional, and spelling- and error-free – overall, a fantastic essay. The admissions officer was just about ready to accept her right there when she saw that at the end of the essay, the student had written, ‘And that’s why I want to go to UVA.'”

“We had a kid once send in his own worn and slightly smelly shoe, along with a note that said, ‘Hope this helps get my foot in the door.'”

“I’m an admissions counselor for all of our Chinese applicants, so you can imagine I get a lot of interesting essays, some of which look like they’re either straight from Google Translate or they paid a consultant to write something for them. One essay I read recently was from a girl who wrote about her experience volunteering in a nursing home. I thought this would just be the typical ‘I’m awesome because I made a difference’ essay, but in fact, it turned into softcore porn.”

“In a program about CommonApp essays, the university I wanted to attend told us the story of a particular applicant. He mentioned the show Dexter in his essay, then ended his essay with something along the lines of, ‘I would definitely become Dexter and kill bad guys.'”

What do our readers think of these reasons? Are these admissions officers justified in saying no to these applicants for these reasons? Does it make sense that a college wouldn’t wish to admit the next serial killer? We sure think so!

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