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Rejected? Yes, We’re Saying There’s Still a Chance.


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By Cailean Bailey - ESM Prep Senior College Coach

Today’s college admissions statistics are sobering. More students apply to more schools than ever before, which means your chances of getting the dreaded rejection letter are higher than ever.

The 2016 acceptance rate at UC-Berkeley, for example, was 14.8%…so what happens if UC-Berkeley was your #1 choice, but you ended up in the 85.2% of students who didn’t get in?  

All is not lost. You may still appeal the admissions department’s decision with a letter. Here’s how:

  1. Do your homework to see if appeal letters are accepted…some schools will not accept them, while other schools might “discourage” them, but might still read them.  
  2. Review your own application to see if there was an error or misinformation that could have affected your status.  
  3. Offer to enroll at a later date. For example, you could write: “While I know that UC Berkeley received a record number of applicants, it is still my top choice and, if accepted, I will attend without question, whether it be for Fall 2016, Spring 2017, or even Fall 2017.”
  4. If your GPA and exam scores don’t meet the requirements listed at the school, offer up something new to them. Demonstrate how you would impact campus diversity or demonstrate your value by showing off your unique passions.
  5. Present new information to the admissions department. Do you have an update for them that might change their perspective on you?  Perhaps you won a new award or dramatically improve your grades or test scores since submitting your initial application. One example: “Recently in Model U.N. I won a research award and a commendation for my delegation in a committee of more than two hundred people. Those achievements just prove my love for learning and eagerness to make an impact in the world. I am not afraid to step out of my comfort zone.”

Taking these steps could potentially get your application a second look.