What options does a student have if they are rejected by a college?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,499
    Jerome Cole, Director of College Counseling at the Edmund Burke School in Washington D.C., discusses what options student have if they are rejected by a college.

    Jerome A. Cole, MA

    Jerome A. Cole, M.A., is the Director of College Counseling for the Edmund Burke school in Washington, D.C. and the founder of Cole Educational Consulting Services (Cole ECS.) He has worked with students and families for over seven years to help them plan and strategize for college. As a college counselor at Burke, an independent college preparatory high school founded in 1968, Mr. Cole oversees a program that is designed to support students and families as they go through the selection and admission process for college. Mr. Cole advises over 100 students each year in a small academically challenging environment where every senior is expected to apply to and enroll in college. Prior to Burke, he was a school counselor at Bethesda-Chevy Chase high school in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has successfully counseled hundreds of students and helped them prepare for admission to a variety of schools such as: American University, Clark-Atlanta University, Davidson College, George Washington University, Harvard University, Pitzer College, Stanford University, Temple University, and the University of Maryland at College Park, to highlight just a few. He established the consulting firm Cole ECS to provide students and families with the necessary information and support to make the best choice for college. Cole ECS defines the best choice as the optimal learning and social environment to ensure a student’s holistic success, culminating in on-time or early graduation and desirable post-graduate options. Mr. Cole earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Catholic University, and then went on to obtain a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development from George Washington University. He is certified as a school counselor and is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC).

    Host: What options does a student have if they are rejected by a college?

    Jerome Cole: I would say for a student that has received a rejection or a denial letter from the college, the first thing that you want to do is go and look at your other schools where you have been admitted. Go back and revisit those schools, give them a second look. So, that is first. The second thing is, if you have been rejected by a school and you feel like, maybe they did not get all my information, I am really curious as to why, I thought I had a really good shot at getting in.

    Pick up the telephone and call. They are not going to tell you why they have rejected you or what they will do as they will, you can verify with them, whether or not they received everything. Did they get the mid-year report which schools traditionally send out in January time frame? Did they hear about the fact that you got a particular award and it was late in the school year? Did the counselor give that information to them?

    Once you verify that they did in fact, have all the information, they may give you a little feedback, but they will never tell you specifically why you were denied. So, the last option that you would have before you is to ask for a review. Now, colleges do this all the time, but I will have to caution students and families about asking for a review, unless, there is some significant information that the school was not privy to when they initially reviewed your application, the chances of them reversing your decision are not likely.

    So, it s a long shot, but if you feel like, You know, I want to give it one more shot. Then, ask for the review. Some schools do it, it is not something that every college or university does, but some schools do and you certainly can ask. So, that is an option, but I would go into that not being very optimistic, I would go into that with the thought of, I want to focus on the schools where I was admitted and just give it a shot and see how it turns out.

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