What to do When a College Rejects Your Application

Rejection happens to the best of us. Wondering what to do when a college rejects your application? There are a few ways you can bounce back and come back on top.

It’s the moment you have dreamed of. You’ve received a letter from the college or university of your choice, but it’s not the news you have been hoping for. Your application has been rejected. Where do you go from here? Here’s what to do when a college rejects your application.

Why Your Application was Rejected

Before you doubt your greatness, please remember that there are many reasons why your application was rejected. There are thousands of students out there who may have eyed the same course as you. The competition to get into college is stiff. 

There are quite a few reasons why your application was rejected. Colleges or universities usually don’t provide reasons why. This leads students to overthink things, and often they delay planning their next step because they are still dwelling on the rejection. 

Reasons Why Your Application was Rejected

  • You did not meet the academic requirements
  • The demand for the course is too high and seats are limited
  • Your application is filled with errors
  • There are missing documents or information – application incomplete

Rejected – Now What?

It can be very difficult to face the reality of rejection, especially if you went on and planned your future. If you didn’t have a backup plan, you might feel helpless. But don’t worry, there are still ways to achieve your dreams. Here’s what to do when a college rejects your application:

  1. Give Yourself Some Time
  2. Search for Alternative Colleges
  3. Challenge the Rejection
  4. Take a Gap Year
  5. Upgrade Your Matric
  6. Consider a Distance Learning College

Give Yourself Some Time

Things don’t always go as planned. And sometimes we have to face rejection. Allow yourself to process the letter and give yourself some time to feel. Your feelings are valid. Unfortunately, there will always be people who think they know best. They will invalidate your feelings. Try to avoid them as much as you can. 

Search for Alternative Colleges

Believe it or not, there are colleges and other private institutions that are still accepting applications. They may not be your first choice, but their qualifications are just as good. The great thing about these colleges and private institutions is that they often offer practical training. This can put you at an advantage and set you apart from the other candidates. 

Challenge the Rejection

Once others find out about your rejection letter, the first thing they may do is tell you to challenge the rejection. This often means that you have to go to the college or university. There are extremely rare cases where students get accepted this way. You need to prepare yourself to get rejected again and your visit may be a waste of time.

Take a Gap Year

Gap years often get a bad reputation. No, taking one doesn’t mean you’re lazy. You deserve a break to figure things out. You don’t have to go and do voluntary work in a foreign country or go backpacking in Paris. You can do it all here. In your gap year you may job shadow, find a job, or do things you couldn’t while you were in school. 

Upgrade Your Matric

It could be that you didn’t meet the academic requirements. If you are up for improving your marks, you can do so with a matric upgrade. This means that you will only redo the subjects you have failed or just improve your marks. A matric upgrade is the perfect way to give yourself another chance to apply for college or university again. 

Consider a Distance Learning College

Registration and admissions for distance learning colleges differ a lot from others. Some offer students a chance to apply at any time of the year. Others may be open for registration twice a year, before each semester. Make sure you take note of the dates. 

How to Deal With Rejection

Coping with rejection can be difficult. It is normal to feel disappointed and discouraged when a college rejects your application. But here’s how you can deal with rejection when a college declines your application. 

Process it, allow yourself to feel – Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions. Rejection hurts, but be careful not to react to it in a negative way. Don’t do anything malicious, instead, work on the next step. 

Get excited about learning again – Don’t dwell on the negative. Think about the future and get excited about learning again. Research other colleges, learning institutions and see what their students are up to. 

Plan your next step – Only you can determine the outcome of your future. So what’s next? It doesn’t have to end here. Create your own happy ending by planning your next step. Learn from your rejection. 

Bounce Back

Come back bigger and better. Achieve your goals with a matric upgrade or choose any of our open access courses. 

  • Call us for free on 0800 39 00 27
  • Or fill out this contact form for a call back
Last Updated: January 11, 2021

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cherri-Lee Rhode
Cherri-Lee Rhode
Cherri-Lee is the Head Writer and Content Team Leader at Skills Academy. She enjoys writing but loves the mentoring and training aspects of her job just as much. Her philosophy and answer for everything is 'skills are taught'. You can view her LinkedIn here

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