3 years ago
Admissions Advice

can i send a why didnt i get accepted email?

if i sent one, would they reply? if they did, would it be a useful or generic reply? how should i structure it? whats should i say in the email? what are good words to use in the email and words to avoid? is it worth it?


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1 answer

Accepted Answer
3 years ago[edited]

I would highly recommend that you refrain from doing such a thing.

In life, we will all face many different types of rejection. We may get passed over for a promotion, we may face a lot of "swipe lefts" on dating apps, we may get rejected from other college applications such as grad school and job applications. We may get passed over for a golf club membership or a sorority or fraternity rush. We might not get an invitation to a dinner party or a wedding or win a scholarship.

Dealing with rejection is a bitter pill to swallow but the sooner you recognize that you have to move past the disappointment, the better.

With college applications, there are 3 outcomes, acceptance, a wait-list, and a rejection. If we were qualified to get in this round but there was no space for us, colleges inform us by wait-listing us. If we are not in the running, then they reject us.

Harvard's been rejecting applicants for nearly 400 years and that's just how it's done for all US colleges.

99.9% of all HS school students deal with some kind of rejection and with regards to college admissions, virtually everyone didn't get into somewhere they expected or wanted to get into. If you applied to a school that had 2000 spots for 50000 applications, then 48000 or 96% didn't get in. I'm certain that many of them want answers because they put their heart and soul into their college applications but what good would that accomplish? The college admissions office has already closed their offices up until the next cycle and they really don't feel they should have to explain themselves to each and every one of the applicants they turned down.

Rejection helps us in different ways. It answers the "what if" question because we put ourselves out there to see if someone wants us. It also humbles us if we use it as a teaching moment to learn what we could have done better. I don't know what assumptions you made about the colleges you applied to but let's be fair and say that some students were extremely well prepared and others fooled themselves. With COVID-19, many different parties were reassuring everyone without a test score or a bad test score, that it would really not matter since everyone was using a holistic approach.

In reality that wasn't the case. Most admits at the top schools had great test scores to submit. Why? They were test-prepping since 9th or 10th grade, so when COVID hit, they already had their 1500s and 35s locked up. And many of them also had SAT essay scores, SAT II Subject Test scores, and a whole slew of other data points that supported their narrative as being the best-qualified students. And I'm going to touch upon a controversial subject which is affirmative action. This year, in particular, there was great emphasis on the top schools admitting more BIPOC, Low-income students because COVID really shed light on how marginalized students suffered the most. So if you happened to be a Caucasian or Asian American student, you had better been in that 75% to 100% quartile for all your stats if you had any chance to get picked. So just be aware that when you look at youtube acceptance videos they are deceptive and don't always tell the full story. There are BIPOC students that get into Ivys with test scores that are sometimes 200 pts lower than your upper-middle-class Asian female. It's not a meritocracy and it never was.

Once you understand it's like a Circus, the better off you are in dealing with disappointment. Remember that many schools give preferential treatment to 1.) recruited athletes, 2.) Legacies, 3.) Development Candidates 4.) VIP candidates like your famous student activists or movie stars, 5.) Sons and daughters of employees or faculty and last but not least, 6.) anyone the Dean wants to admit because it's a good quid pro quo for the university.7.) Those apply Early Decision because that's their top choice.

Once these groups get their golden tickets, well maybe there are only 1000 spots out of the 2000 spots left. So the pool of regular admits becomes an incredibly fast round of musical chairs and if you have to reject 97% of regular decision applicants then some good candidates are going to be looked over.

I'm writing this not only for you but anyone who is also upset and wants answers. Be humble, embrace this as a teaching moment, and next time you apply to college like grad school, you may have to be twice as prepared if this cycle caught you off guard.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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