Moving Forward After a College Admissions Rejection

Acceptance Or Rejection Written On A Blackboard

It’s a fact: colleges are more selective than ever. The acceptance rates for many U.S. universities have shrunk by as much as a half in recent years, according to Lacey Crawford, an author and former college application master who spent fifteen years researching her book, Early Decision: Based on a True Frenzy. Though many a student puts in an enormous amount of energy when it comes to their studies, extracurricular activities, and the college admissions process, there is unfortunately no guarantee that acceptance to the university of his or her dreams is waiting just around the corner.

So how does a student cope when ideal future plans take a detour following a college rejection? According to a recent article over at, the best thing to do to combat the post college rejection malaise is to use it as fuel for your next endeavor. It’s natural to mourn when long-held hopes and plans are dashed after an unexpected (or even anticipated) rejection. Take time to process the disappointment, and then turn that rejection into a launch pad.

The fact of the matter is this: college rejections occur for all sorts of reasons, many of which have little do with your strength as a candidate, and much more to do with the college in question. Perhaps your top choice university lost a disproportionate amount of student athletes to graduation the following year, and so a large number of incoming student slots were reserved for future track stars, Olympians, and the like. Or perhaps the university decided to limit its class sizes, and thus whittled down its acceptance rate. The point is, maybe the timing wasn’t right to be accepted at your number one choice for college, but that doesn’t mean your talents are useless or unrecognized elsewhere. Try not to cultivate negative, regretful energy by wondering what you might have done differently or what might have gone wrong. A rejection from college is actually a definitive platform to launch your next vision—so don’t waste your imagination in the past; angle it towards the future instead.

The unexpected benefit that comes from a college rejection is in the unexpected. Oftentimes, fixating on a specific goal and vision for the future can create a myopic perspective, one limited to what we are able to imagine for ourselves in a specific moment in time. By enduring a rejection from college, the silver lining is in the opportunity to surprise yourself, and perhaps learn something new about your interests, goals, career path, or otherwise by following a path you hadn’t planned on.

Though the college admission process is a tough one to endure—from ACT and SAT test prep to the drafting of personal essays and the upkeep of GPAs—you don’t have to navigate it alone. At Vogel Prep Tutoring and Test Prep, we offer the best in one-on-one private tutoring and small classes in the state, whether your goals are to improve your grades and/or GPA, strengthen SAT or ACT scores, discover the SAT II Test that’s right for you, or to develop personally-tailored study strategies that deliver results. No matter where you end up for college, the best way to achieve worthwhile, long term success is to arrive armed with good study habits and properly prepared by a tutoring professional that can you help you map your strengths and weaknesses, decipher your goals, and create a vision for your future.

Vogel Tutoring and Test Prep offers private tutoring and small group classes for students in Phoenix’s East Valley including those from Scottsdale, Arcadia, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, Carefree and Fountain Hills, who are looking to elevate their scores on exams including the AP, PSAT, SAT, ACT and SAT Subject Tests. With our conveniently located tutoring center at 13951 N Scottsdale Rd in Scottsdale, Vogel Prep also provides academic advising services to students and their families. Visit, call 480-990-7347 or email