What Happens When Your College Rejects You?

You spent hours researching, writing and getting recommendations hoping to get into your dream school. You assessed your chances using data you found online and made comparisons between you and your classmates. You were not certain what would happen, but you figured you were playing your odds well. You submitted your application and waited for their response. Finally, you heard back from your schools. 

Sadly, you were not admitted to the school of your dreams.

College applications are complicated. There are many factors that could go wrong. Something might have been missing from your application and you might have caught it too late. Unfortunately, rejection in the college admissions process is a hard reality that many students face. 

Even if you do everything right, ultimately, normal people are evaluating your application. The admissions representative reviewing your application could have had a bad day, the school might have had more applicants than usual, or they may have felt that you were not a great fit for the university. While that may hurt, oftentimes, it has nothing to do with you.

If you applied to numerous schools and were rejected by most to all of them, it is time to step back, reconsider, and ask yourself some questions: 

  1. Why did they reject you?
  2. Did you apply to schools that had standards you could not meet? 
  3. Were your test scores not high enough? 
  4. Did you have enough sports, extracurricular activities and community service? 
  5. Was your GPA good enough?
  6. Did you use all the resources available to you? 

If you still can not figure it out, your best shot would be to ask your counselor, since they are familiar with the application process. It is important  not to blame yourself. Several other factors could have come into play; it is all right, it happens all the time and you are not the only one.

Whatever happens, do not worry about it too much. Life does not run out of opportunities to succeed in other places. You will find another way to reach your life goals and you just might come across an even better opportunity than what you lost in the process.

It may be tempting to cry or disappointed, or just not do anything, but you need to know (and you will eventually realize) that these feelings will pass. Take your time to heal but eventually, you need to pick yourself back up and decide what to do next. Like it or not, there is no way to go except forward.

If you do happen to get rejected from all your schools, community college is an option that is just as beneficial and even more affordable. Students transfer from community colleges to other public and private universities all the time.

You also need to ask yourself if you really want to go to college, at least right now.  You have the options to improve your application, get into an apprenticeship program, join the military, or the workforce. You might even be happier with these options, at least for a while. It might help you figure out what you want to do next. 

Though it may seem like it, not getting into college is not the end of the world. Your friends may be college-bound, or you may be under pressure from your parents, but most people do not know what they want to do when they finish high school; college provides a safe place to mature and think about that decision while you continue your education.

Being content with yourself and what you are doing is the most important thing. Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome. Someday everything will make perfect sense. So for now laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, and keep moving forward.