It’s the scenario that no college applicant (or parent) ever wants to consider: the admissions decision finally came, and it wasn’t the news you’d hoped for. Maybe you didn’t apply for many schools, or perhaps you simply couldn’t find the right one—either way, you’re at a crossroads.
Dealing with rejection is tough, especially when you’ve devoted so much time and energy into polishing your application, researching schools, and thinking about the future. But the most important thing to remember right now is that this isn’t the end of the world, and you still have options.
Even if your application was rejected, the time and willpower you put into applying to schools proves something: you’re resilient. You may not feel like it now, but you can turn this experience into a positive one—and maybe discover that this rejection was the best thing that ever happened to you.
Finding the right path for you
Being denied admission to a school is a pretty good clue that it wasn’t a good fit for you—at least at this time.
If you had squeaked by with an acceptance, you may have discovered that the school wasn’t right for you, your goals, or your learning style. And sometimes being accepted to the wrong place can feel just as bad—if not worse—than not being accepted at all.
When you’re ready to give your applications another shot, you might reconsider including this school on your list. You can refine your list and try new schools, new programs, and new areas that may be a better match.
Or, if your heart’s still set on giving it another try, you may have a better idea of how to improve your application for a better chance at an acceptance.
You’ve learned a lot
Going through the application process is a real challenge—and challenges are the only way we learn and grow. You know now what the process is like, and probably have a pretty good idea of areas where you performed well and areas where you didn’t.
When you’re ready to dust yourself off and try again, you have a pretty unique opportunity to go through the process again with all the knowledge and experience you gained the first time. This means a better application and the ability to make more informed decisions.
Plus, committing yourself to another round of applications proves how much your college journey and your future matter to you—which could be a great topic for an admissions interview or personal essay (hint hint).
You’re not alone
A lot of people don’t get into the school of their dreams, and a lot of them have gone on to find success and happiness, despite the unexpected detour in their journey. Many found new opportunities at other schools, or seized upon the chance to take some time to figure out their path in life—in fact, taking some time to travel, work, or explore new interests could lead to surprising new goals for you.
There are alternatives
We also want to encourage you to explore other options to still go to school this fall. You can look for schools with rolling admissions, like IPFW, or attend a community college for a semester before transferring.
Maybe it’s time to apply to one or two of those “safety” schools you left off your final list. (P.S. choosing a safety school might not be such a bad thing.)
The important thing is to remember that you’re not the first person faced with a fork in the road, and like many before you, you’ll find the path that’s right for you.
Speaking of seeking new paths, we encourage you to consider applying to IPFW, a comprehensive university that accepts applications throughout the summer. Download the IPFW Viewbook to learn more.