Can You Appeal a College Rejection?

While you may be able to appeal a college rejection, the chances are incredibly slim that the school’s admission decision will change for the positive.

Every so often, I am asked by my students after all the admissions decisions are in, “Can I appeal a rejection from a school?” Honestly, if you have been declined from school, it is extremely rare that the rejection will ever turn into an acceptance, especially for those highly selective schools. To put it bluntly, the likelihood of that happening is slim to none.

I’m always a realist. I tell the students and families that I work with, in the beginning when they contract with me, that I’m very real with you. In fact, that’s part of what they hire me for. So the few times I am asked this question, I am completely upfront with them. I tell them the chances of successfully appealing a college admissions rejection are very, very slim.

In fact, there are some schools that will absolutely not even entertain an appeal.

If you choose to appeal to a school that will accept your request, you should have a compelling reason for doing so and be able to back it up. Meaning, you need to provide the school with pertinent information about why they should accept you AND that information should be information that the school did not already have in its possession. You can’t just highlight information in your application. If you ask the college admissions office to re-evaluate its decision, and request that they accept rather than decline you, you need to provide the school with new information it didn’t have in its hands to consider previously, such as an incredibly extenuating circumstance.

So, don’t hold out hope that a college will change its mind. In reality, if you have received a rejection, the chances are excellent that the rejection will be the college’s final decision – even if you appeal it.

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