Can students appeal a rejection? Does that ever work?

As part our College Q & A guide, we decided to ask your questions to the the experts. Here are their answers.

Reecy Aresty, College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author, Payless For College, Inc.

Appeal – yes. Does it ever work – hardly! Anything can be appealed, however, the best I’ve every accomplished was to get the school to accept a transfer application for the sophomore year. Unfortunately, the student’s grades (2.8) were below what was expected (3.0), so she was declined. In all my 33 years, I’ve only attempted to appeal a rejection a few times and haven’t been successful. I’m sure it’s happened once in a while, but it’s certainly a rarity today with the over abundance of applications.


Lora Lewis, Educational Consultant, Lora Lewis Consulting

Some schools will accept appeals, but they very rarely result in admission. An appeal is really only appropriate if you have new and very compelling information to offer that wasn’t included on your initial application. If you did a great job with your application and nothing new and incredible has happened in your academic or extracurricular life since then, accept that “no means no” and concentrate your efforts on choosing from among the schools where you did get accepted.


Rebecca Joseph Executive Director & Founder,

Yes you can appeal rejections at many colleges. It RARELY works. I only recommend that students appeal if some key evidence was missing from the original application. Did you forget to send test scores? Did a teacher neglect to send a letter? Did you leave some activity or accomplishment off of your application? I had a kid win an appeal by connecting with a particular department that really wanted him. I suggest that you send in any additional materials the college allows you to submit with an appeal. Then I recommend you move on as appeals rarely work but at least you know you tried.

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