The Revocation of Offers of Admission

Rescinded Offers of Admission, Colleges Can Rescind Admissions, Colleges Can Revoke Offers of Admission

Offers of admission can be rescinded (photo credit: Chensiyuan).

Can a college rescind an offer of admission? Yes, you bet a college can change their minds and revoke a student’s conditional offer of admission. And we do use that word ‘conditional’ because every offer of admission that a college extends is conditional (do read that fine print!) — conditional on a student demonstrating the same academic work and achievement that they demonstrated when they applied, conditional on a student not getting into trouble with their school or with the law, conditional on the integrity of every component of the student’s application, and more. As our regular readers may remember, last year, Harvard rescinded offers to several students admitted to its Class of 2021 because these students made highly offensive remarks on a Facebook forum for admitted students to Harvard’s Class of 2021. These students deserved to have their offers of admission rescinded and we saluted Harvard for doing the right thing. Harvard did the right thing even when it meant shining a spotlight on the actions of admitted students that certainly didn’t paint Harvard in the best light.

Colleges Do Rescind Offers of Admission

Around this time every year, our seniors tend to have some free time on their hands. They’ve been admitted to college in the Early round. Sure, they’re still excelling in their coursework and continuing their extracurricular pursuits. But the stress of the college admissions process is off. So they reach out to us to see how we’re doing because they miss our names in their inboxes. Our emails flood their inboxes over the summer months and now that they’ve earned admission, there’s nothing left to be said. So they find excuses to email us — you know who you are! One of the common emails we get reads something like this: “I was wondering if my admission can get revoked because I’m getting a B in AP Computer Science right now. Can it, can it?” The answer is that colleges are highly unlikely to revoke an admission because a student gets a B. Can a C lead to a rescinded admission? Yes, but it’s unlikely that a B or even 2 B’s will lead to a rescinded offer. Colleges know students are human and they don’t want to ruin their worlds for a single B.

But colleges do rescind admissions. It does happen. As a “Business Insider” piece in which Ivy Coach is cited details, a significant drop in grades, criminal charges, disciplinary issues with the high school, bad conduct while on campus for things like admitted students weekend (you’d be amazed how many students drink alcohol during these visits and get in major trouble not only with the school but with the police as well), and uncovered lies (e.g., false self-reported test scores) on an application can absolutely lead colleges to change their minds.

Have a question about what can inspire a college to rescind an offer of admission? Let us know your questions, your thoughts, your concerns, your aspirations, and what you ate for lunch by posting a Comment below.


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  • Zach says:

    Hello, last semester I got a B in AP US History and this semester I might end with a C, but than one of my other grades that i got a C+ last semester, I bring it to a B+ does that compensate the other grade in terms of getting my offer rescinded

    • Ivy Coach says:

      It’s difficult to assert if a C+ is or isn’t going to lead to a rescinded admission without having a big picture understanding of your high school transcript to date. But if you earned admission to a highly selective college, a C+ can, in some instances, lead to a rescinded admission so do of course try to get that grade up.

  • Anna says:

    I got a B- in AP physics last semester and might get a B or B+ this semester in the same class. Would an Ivy League school rescind because of that?

  • Toby says:

    I am a transfer applicant and I got 2 Bs and a C this semester. My previous GPA was a 4.0 out of 4.0.

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