College Admissions: Dealing With Rejection

About this article
Rejection can be one of the hardest things to deal with during the college application process. This article provides advice to help students manage the stress of receiving a rejection letter.
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Before ever opening a letter from the college you applied to, you may experience some anxiety. Many others also have similar experiences. If you receive the little envelope, you may be dealing with rejection (unless the school has agreed to waitlist you) and, unfortunately, you may begin to question your self worth.

But do not despair. According to those at collegeboard.com, colleges have many reasons for rejecting students. Your academic standing is not the only factor in a school's decision. Colleges and universities must address the following items: their own needs for a diverse population, strength on sports teams and number of students allowed in a specific degree program.

The best thing to handle rejection is to apply to a variety of different colleges and universities. At collegeboard.com, research shows that nine out of ten students get into their first or second choice college. Persistence pays off - and so does filling out several of those lengthy college applications. Your second choice school is probably still a good fit for you even if it's not your first choice.

Another way to help increase your chances of being accepted is working hard. If you're still in high school, don't get 'senioritis.' While grades aren't the only thing colleges look at, a nose dive at the end of your high school career isn't going to help your cause.

So, what happens if you weren't accepted at any of the schools you applied to? Again, don't get down on yourself. First, if the letter of denial isn't clear, determine the reason for your rejection. Did you only apply to one school? Were the schools you applied to too selective? How are your high school grades?

Now is the time to re-evaluate you situation. If you can still apply to schools whose deadlines haven't passed, then look into that option. Also, consider junior colleges. These schools are usually the least selective of any colleges, and you can transfer your work to another school at any time. If you are dead set on getting in to one of the schools you applied to then do the following: reapply after you have corrected initial problems (check with that school's admissions office), or make an appeal to the school about their rejection decision.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Liberty University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor Of Education - Leadership
      • Doctor of Education - Curriculum and Instruction
      • DBA: Healthcare Management
      • DBA: Marketing
      • DBA: Project Management
      • DBA: Human Resources
    Master's
      • MA: Communication
      • MS: Criminal Justice
      • MA: Professional Counseling
      • Master of Arts in Public Policy - Public Administration
      • MA: Applied Psychology: Developmental Psychology
      • MA: Applied Psychology: Industrial Organizational Psychology
    Bachelor's
      • BS: Psychology
      • BS: Psychology - Christian Counseling
      • BS: Interdisciplinary Studies
      • BS: Early Childhood Education in Interdisciplinary Studies
      • BS: Elementary Education in Interdisciplinary Studies
      • BS: Information Systems
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    2. Walden University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Education (EdD) - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
      • PhD in Criminal Justice - General
      • PhD in Criminal Justice - Online Teaching in Higher Education
      • PhD in Education - Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment & Evaluation
      • PhD in Education - Learning, Instruction & Innovation
      • PhD in Psychology - Teaching
    Master's
      • MS in Education - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (Grades K-12)
      • MS in Education - Self-Designed
      • MS in Education - Elementary Reading & Literacy (Grades PreK-6)
      • MS in Education - Elementary Reading & Mathematics (Grades K-6)
      • MS in Education - Mathematics & Science (Grades K-8)
      • MS in Education - Mathematics (Grades 5-8)
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    3. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science - Film Production
      • MS - Entertainment Business (Campus)
      • MS - Game Design (Campus)
      • M.S. - Entertainment Business
      • M.S. - New Media Journalism
      • Master of Fine Arts - Creative Writing
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Sportscasting (Campus)
      • Bachelor of Science - Software Development
      • BS - Cloud Technologies (Campus)
      • BS - Creative Writing for Entertainment (Campus)
      • BS - Film (Campus)
      • BS - Media Communications (Campus)
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    4. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
      • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Special Education
      • DBA with an Emphasis in Marketing
      • Doctor of Education in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning
      • Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership - Higher Education Leadership
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
    Master's
      • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
      • M.A. in Reading with an Emphasis in Secondary Education
      • M.A. in Reading with an Emphasis in Elementary Education
      • M.Ed. in Early Childhood
      • M.Ed. in Educational Administration
      • M.Ed. in Elementary Education
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
      • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
      • BS in Early Childhood
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      • BS in Health Care Administration
      • BS in Health Sciences: Professional Development & Advanced Patient Care
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    5. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
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    Master's
      • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master of Public Health
      • MBA: Human Resources
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    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
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      • BSBA - Investment
      • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
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      • Accelerated MS in Finance Option
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      • AASBA in Business
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      • Associate: Business Admin. - Office Mgmt
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    Certificate
      • Medical Assisting Certificate
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      • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
      • Graduate Certificate in Addictions
      • Graduate Certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
      • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate
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    6. Saint Leo University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Criminal Justice: Education
      • Doctor of Criminal Justice: Homeland Security
    Master's
      • MS: Criminal Justice
      • MS: Criminal Justice - Critical Incident Management
      • MS: Criminal Justice - Legal Studies
      • MA: Creative Writing - Fiction
      • MA: Creative Writing - Non-Fiction
      • MAcc: Accounting
    Bachelor's
      • BA: Criminal Justice
      • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
      • BA: Liberal Studies
      • BA: Psychology
      • BA: Psychology - General
      • BS: Computer Science
    Associate's
      • AA: Criminal Justice
      • AA: Liberal Arts
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    7. Colorado Christian University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice in Visionary Leadership
    Master's
      • Criminal Justice, M.S.
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      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Leadership
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      • Curriculum and Instruction, M.A. - Emphasis in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
    Bachelor's
      • Communication Studies, B.A.
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      • Psychology, B.S.
      • B.S. Applied Psychology: Biblical Studies
    Associate's
      • Criminal Justice, A.S.
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  • Online Programs Available
    8. Penn Foster

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Career Diploma - Residential Electrician
      • Career Diploma - Virtual Assistant
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    9. Trident University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Business Administration (Ph.D.)
      • Health Sciences (Ph.D.)
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    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Education
    Bachelor's
      • Computer Sciences (BSCS)
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      • Human Resources Management (BSHRM)
      • Homeland Security (BSHLS)
      • Information Technology Management (BSITM)
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      • Professional Studies (ASPS)
    Certificate
      • CMCB - Certificate in Medical Coding and Billing
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    10. Florida Tech

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BA in Applied Psychology
      • BA in Business Administration/Management
      • BA in Criminal Justice
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      • BA in Applied Psychology/Clinical Psychology
    Associate's
      • AA in Applied Psychology
      • AA in Criminal Justice
      • AA in Accounting
      • AA in Business Administration
      • AA in Healthcare Management
      • AA in Management

Featured Schools

Liberty University

  • Doctor Of Education - Leadership
  • MA: Communication
  • BS: Psychology

What is your highest level of education?

Walden University

  • Doctor of Education (EdD) - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - General
  • MS in Education - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (Grades K-12)
  • MS in Education - Self-Designed

What is your highest level of education completed?

Full Sail University

  • Master of Science - Film Production
  • MS - Entertainment Business (Campus)
  • BS - Sportscasting (Campus)
  • Bachelor of Science - Software Development

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
  • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

What is your highest level of education?

Purdue University Global

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
  • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
  • AASBA in Business
  • Medical Assisting Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Saint Leo University

  • Doctor of Criminal Justice: Education
  • MS: Criminal Justice
  • BA: Criminal Justice
  • AA: Criminal Justice

What is your highest level of education completed?

Colorado Christian University

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice in Visionary Leadership
  • Criminal Justice, M.S.
  • Communication Studies, B.A.
  • Criminal Justice, A.S.

What is your highest level of education completed?

Penn Foster

  • Career Diploma - Residential Electrician
  • Career Diploma - Virtual Assistant
  • Career Diploma - Wildlife/Forestry Conservation

What is your highest level of education?