The Ivy Coach Daily

July 6, 2024

Reasons Why College Applicants Have Been Rejected

Duke's gothic architecture is visible behind leaves on a tree.

Previously Published on July 13, 2021:

There are so many reasons why college applicants may receive rejections. Maybe they simply didn’t have the grades or scores. Or perhaps they presented as well-rounded when America’s elite colleges seek singularly talented students. But today, instead of focusing on more common reasons why applicants to our nation’s top colleges receive rejections, let’s focus on some super colorful reasons!

5 Salacious Reasons for College Rejections

BuzzFeed piece published a couple of years back by Victoria Vouloumanos focused on some salacious reasons why admissions officers chose to reject applicants to their institutions. Here are five of our very favorites:

1. “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.”

2. “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.’”

3. “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.’”

4. “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.”

5. “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.’”

Avoiding Rejection with Ivy Coach

While surely you don’t intend to mail in a shoe or write about how you cheated your way through high school in an admissions essay, you might be surprised that you have glaring faux pas on your applications as well.

In fact, during Ivy Coach’s PostMortem application review, we’ll point out such faux pas on your Common Application and up to three college supplements. So even though students who first come to us for PostMortems are coming to us post-deferral or denial, they can avoid similar results in the Regular Decision round.

If you’re interested in learning more about Ivy Coach’s PostMortem, fill out our complimentary consultation form, and we’ll be in touch to outline our go-forward services for seniors.

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