How to Appeal an Admissions Decision

College rejection is never easy. It is especially difficult to accept if you know you meet all of the school’s admissions requirements and you have successfully demonstrated how you will add value to their student life. The natural first step after getting a rejection letter from your plan A school is to follow-up with your plan B school. But if you feel you have been overlooked by your top choice and are certain that there has been some sort of admissions error do not be bashful! Speak up and appropriately appeal the unfavorable admissions decision. But do keep in mind, most schools are very thorough so only appeal if you are certain a paper error has been made. Here is how to make your case.

Submit Proof

If you noticed that your most recently submitted high school transcripts did not reflect your final HIGHER grades or your high school counselor never submitted your updated SAT scores you are the perfect candidate to appeal. Whatever your paper issue is collect copies of proof and call the admissions office and confirm how they would like to receive them.

Let the Professionals Talk

Keep in mind the higher ranking schools are less likely to consider appeals. Regardless of your choice school’s rank you should ask your high school counselor to contact the admissions office and make your case. They will use the right details and verbiage and state the factual paper errors that matter. You or a parent may come off emotional or upset and that is not the best way to make your case.

Know the Date

Most schools have a March or April appeals deadline! Do not delay or wait to hear back from other schools. Submit your appeals request in writing along with your evidence ASAP.

Do Not Debate

If you are speaking one on one with the admissions officers do not debate and argue your case. This is not the time to discuss other candidates, brag about all that you have accomplished, or discuss how their standards are less than fair. You should only be discussing your factual errors in an articulate and pleasant tone.

Have a Recommendation Letter on Deck

Sometimes the appeals process will require an additional recommendation letter from an educator. Remember timing is essential so go ahead and request 1 or 2 letters that clearly state your value as a student and your academic brilliance. They do not have time to wait on you to collect these letters so act now.

If it Isn’t New Leave it Out

Appealing is solely about submitting new information. If it is not new information you are wasting your time. Only submit new and compelling information that they should have used when making their final decision.

Be brave, be bold, and stay positive. Most importantly be patient. If they are willing to consider an appeal give them time to sort it all out and be respectful of their time and efforts.

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