Handling that College Rejection Letter

rejection email
rejection email

Waiting to discover whether or not you’re going to be accepted into college is definitely on the short list for most anxiety inducing scenarios. Unfortunately for millions of people every year that stressful situation ends with a rejection letter and the realization that their dream school is just that.

Dealing with rejection can be one of the most difficult things anyone has to deal with in their lives but can be especially difficult during a time when your peers are celebrating their acceptances. The good news is being rejected from a school or every school is not the end of your dreams.

Many notable people started their journey with the same bump in the road before finding success. Famously Tiny Fey was rejected from Princeton University before eventually playing a Princeton admissions officer in the 2014 film “Admission”. Even Katie Couric admitted to being “devastated” when she couldn’t attend Smith College like both her sisters. The eventual media mogul ended up studying journalism at Virginia University and it worked out pretty well!

The other part that helps is to know you are most certainly not alone. Schools are rejecting applicants at record levels. According to the Harvard Crimson, this year the school accepted just 3.19 percent of its applicants for its class of 2026, the lowest acceptance rate in the school's history. And Harvard is not alone; Princeton, Stanford MIT and the California Institute of Technology were all rated as the most selective schools in the country, accepting only 4% or less of possible applicants.

student girl with eyes closed and head in hands crying
student girl with eyes closed and head in hands crying

Don’t let any rejection letter be the end of your path to education. Here are some next steps to take once you’re ready: First, find out if the school that rejected you has an appeal process. Not all schools do but if yours does it may be worth a shot, even if it’s a long shot.

If you got rejected from your dream school but accepted into others do not let the sting of the bad news not let you enjoy the good. You worked hard during high school and earned those acceptances - celebrate them!

If you find yourself without an acceptance from any school you applied to, this too is not the end. Do some research on community colleges and online schools. These can be great resources to continue your education and may provide the growth that admissions officers are looking for come next semester.

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