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.
View available schools

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. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
      • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
    Master's
      • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master : Business Admin
      • Master of Public Health
      • MBA: Human Resources
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
      • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
      • Bachelor: Nutrition Science
      • Accelerated MS in Finance Option
    Associate's
      • AASBA in Business
      • AAS in Legal Support and Services
      • Associate: Business Admin.
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
      • Associate: Accounting
      • AASBA -Entrepreneurship
    Certificate
      • Medical Assisting Certificate
      • Medical Office Administration Certificate
      • 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
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS - Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
      • Master of Project Management
      • Master of Finance
      • Master of Professional Accounting
      • Master - Information Technology Management
      • Master - Human Resource Management
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Computer Science
      • BS - Human Services
      • BS - Accounting
      • BS - Project Management
      • BS - Marketing
      • BS - Finance
    Certificate
      • Undergraduate Certificate - Project Management
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA
      • MBA Dual Concentration: HR & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA Dual Concentration: BS Mgmt. & HR
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Business Mgmt & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA: Technology Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Accounting and Project Management
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
      • B.S. - Business Management: Entrepreneurial Studies Concentration
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Security Technology Concentration
      • Bachelor: Health Care Management
      • Bachelor: Accounting
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Network Management Concentration
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Business Management
      • Associate: Health Information Management
      • Associate: Healthcare Management
      • Associate of Science - Medical Assisting Services
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DBA - Management
      • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Performance Psychology
      • DBA with an Emphasis in Marketing
      • Doctor of Education in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning
      • Education Specialist in Teaching and Learning
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
    Master's
      • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
      • M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Human Factors
      • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
      • M.Ed. in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in Humanities (ITL)
      • M.Ed. in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in Humanities (NITL)
      • M.Ed. in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in STEM (ITL)
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
      • BS in Psychology
      • B.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sports Psychology
      • Bachelor: Business Admin
      • Bachelor: Accounting
      • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
  • Campus and Online Programs
    5. 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 - Information Technology Bachelors (Campus)
      • BS - Creative Writing Bachelors (Campus)
      • BS - Film (Campus)
      • BS - Media Communications (Campus)
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Central Christian College of Kansas

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts
      • AA in Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    High School Diploma
      • HS Diploma
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Regent University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Ph.D. in Communication
      • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision
      • Ph.D. in Education
      • Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology
      • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies
    Master's
      • M.A. in Communication
      • M.A. in Journalism
      • M.A. in Business & Design Management
      • M.Ed. - Individualized Degree Program
      • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction
    Bachelor's
      • B.A. in Communication
      • B.A. in Communication Studies - Journalism
      • B.A. in Communication Studies - Organizational Communication
      • B.A. in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
      • B.A. in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
      • B.A. in English - Communication
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Liberty University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DME: Doctor of Music Education
      • LLM: International Legal Studies
      • EDD: Curriculum and Instruction
      • EDD: Curriculum and Instruction/Elementary Education
      • EDD: Curriculum and Instruction/Middle Grades Education
      • EDD: Curriculum and Instruction/Secondary Education
    Master's
      • MA: Communication
      • MA: Medical Sciences: Biopsychology
      • MA: Music Education: Music Studies
      • MA: Strategic Communication
      • MBA: American Legal Studies
      • MBA: General (36-hour)
    Bachelor's
      • BS: Psychology
      • BS: Criminal Justice
      • BS: English and Writing: Journalism
      • BS: Strategic Communication
      • BS: Strategic Communication: Social Media Management
      • BS: Psychology - Christian Counseling
    Associate's
      • AA: Business
      • AA: Criminal Justice
      • AA: Education (Non-Licensure)
      • AA: Psychology
      • AAS: Medical Office Assistant
      • AA: Accounting
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
      • PhD in Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
      • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
      • PhD-TIM - Computer Science
      • Doctor of Criminal Justice
      • Doctor of Criminal Justice - Policing
    Master's
      • M.A. in Psychology - General Psychology
      • Master of Business Admin - General Business
      • M.Ed. - General Education
      • MS - Organizational Leadership: Criminal Justice
      • Master of Legal Studies
      • MPA - Criminal Justice

Featured Schools

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?

Colorado State University Global

  • MS - Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • BS - Computer Science
  • Undergraduate Certificate - Project Management

What is your highest level of education?

Herzing University

  • MBA
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Business Management

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA - Management
  • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

What is your highest level of education?

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?

Central Christian College of Kansas

  • Associate of Arts
  • AA in Criminal Justice

What is your highest level of education completed?

Penn Foster High School

  • HS Diploma

What is your age?

Regent University

  • Ph.D. in Communication
  • M.A. in Communication
  • B.A. in Communication

What is your highest level of education completed?