Checklist If You Applied Early and Were Denied

Wallow for a little bit... and then regroup.
December 16, 2016

Oh that hurts. No kidding. But you still have options if you follow these steps.

1. Wallow in your misery for a short time and then move on.

Being denied by a college where you applied feels bad. So let yourself feel bad for a little bit. Allow yourself as much as 48 hours to rant, rave, cry, or be grumpy. You just don’t want to get stuck here.

2. Then regroup quickly. 

Remember life isn’t over and you can go onto a perfectly wonderful future. So dust yourself off and get back in the game. You still have the option of applying to other colleges for their Regular Decision or Rolling deadlines.

3. Do some deep analysis of what went wrong this time. 

Then set about doing it differently. Was that school a long shot because of your credentials? Do you have newer, better credentials that you can showcase for your next batch of schools? Do you have a more realistic list of schools to pursue? Did you lose steam when you got to the application forms themselves? What can you do better or differently going forward? Do you need to take a gap year to fix bigger problems? Consider both your short-term and long-term options.

Sometimes we take a shot and we miss. We all do at one point or another. Don't quit now... tap into your inner resilience and keep going.

Anna Ivey is one of the founders of Inline. An experienced admissions consultant and a frequently cited media expert on the topic of college admissions, she is also co-author of the book How to Prepare a Standout College Application. Learn more about Anna's background here.

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