How to deal with college rejection

By Griffith Jennings


As second semester has begun, so has the season of college admission decisions. Students all over the country will receive admission decisions that will have a significant impact on their future. However, it’s important to remember that getting a rejection letter from a college or university doesn’t make a bad student.

Some of the elite colleges in the country reject around 95% of applicants. Harvard’s acceptance rate is barely above 5% while Yale’s hovers around 6%. Unfortunately, some high school seniors see themselves in a negative light when they read bad news from a highly desired institution no matter the statistics.

“With so many qualified students, top colleges don’t, as you might expect, look for the very best. They don’t even operate on a single, well-defined notion of what ‘best’ means. Instead, they go for balance. They’re just trying to fill their campus with a diverse cohort of freshmen,” Ben Orlin wrote in his article “Why I won’t reenlist as a Yale alumni interviewer.”

Dealing with rejection is difficult and students tend to take it on a personal level when they don’t receive an acceptance letter. Rejection can feel like the ultimate failure and that a student’s life is over before it’s even started.

Every year, top colleges reject thousands and thousands of perfectly qualified applicants. They can’t take every single student who meets their qualifications. However, students are complex and simply cannot be described in 500 words or less.

Additionally, college rejection letters can be used as an opportunity reevaluate your future. Maybe that intended career path isn’t meant for you and you can now move onto to something new.

“I can’t say I would be indifferent to not getting into my dream school because that would undermine all of the work I put in towards going to my favorite school. However, I’m fully aware that almost any school can prepare me for what I wish to achieve, and that more important than the school one attends, is the student who attends,” senior Ethan Trunfio said.

Ultimately, students need to understand that, although it may not be ideal, being rejected from a school is not the end of the world.

“Wherever I get accepted, I know that’s the school I was meant to be at. And that’s what matters,” senior Nick Neumann said.

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