What To Do If You’re Denied

What do you do if your denied or waitlisted for your first choice college?


Scream. Good and loud.  Get out all your disappointment, anger and frustration of a process that can seem fraught with uncertainty.

Curse out the school(s) in question. How dare they deny or waitlist you?  What were they thinking?  Don’t they know how great you are?

Slam the door to your room. And sulk, mope, pout and feel your pain.

Blame your parents. For pushing you too hard when it doesn’t even matter?  And generally just being annoying all the time.


Be grateful. For all the other excellent options that you undoubtedly have.

Regroup. Start to look at your options with a fresh eye and think about your priorities and how they can be met.

Narrow down your choices.  Identify the top 2-4 schools on your list and speak with as many people as possible to help you make your decision, e.g. students, professors, etc.

Schedule visits. Seeing a school for a second time (or first time) will help you put things in perspective and you will likely be surprised by how great a fit many of the schools on your list are.

Look forward. Be proud of your options and yourself.  Focus on making your college experience the best it can be, wherever you land.

Read this article from the Georgia Tech Blog about what to do if you don’t get into your dream college.

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