Getting into a college can be very competitive, with thousands of students from different backgrounds and education vying for a spot. Applying for college is so competitive that even having been accepted into a college and paying for your enrollment deposit does not guarantee that you will be able to go there. In other words, a college can revoke your application.
But why can a college rescind acceptance? What actual or perceived offenses would invoke that decision? What goes into the decision-making? Is there any for a student to have the college re-accept their application? And finally, what can a student do if they lose out on their dream college? This article is here to answer these questions.
What Does it Mean When a College Revokes Your Application?
You apply to a college, and, against all odds, they happily accept your application. Fantastic! You are finally going to your dream college. Now you just need to finish your high school classes, get financial aid, and prepare for post-secondary education. Unfortunately, even though you have already been accepted, your college has decided to revoke your acceptance for one reason or another. What gives? What does it mean when a college revokes your application?
When a college revokes your application, you are no longer a student of their campus. In other words, it would be as if you failed to apply to begin with. Colleges can reject an application for any reason, even after formally accepting you. Such a decision may seem sudden, especially if the college does not explicitly give a reason for the reversal, but in many cases, it might not be sudden. They will typically have a good reason behind it, and there are many reasons a college may revoke a student’s acceptance.
Why a college revokes your acceptance is entirely up to the college. The student cannot do much to change these results, and these decisions are likely made to the most of a college’s informed ability. But what are the possible reasons why a college rescinds a student’s acceptance?
3 Reasons Why Colleges Revoke Acceptance
We will discuss what students can do after they have had, or are at risk of having, their acceptance revoked. Before that, we will inform you of what a student has done. While there are a number of different reasons as to why a student has had their acceptance revoked, we shall focus on the three most common reasons:
Poor Academic Performance
The first and most common reason for a college revoking your application is that the college considers your high school grades and performance below their standards. This will most likely be the case for your reversed acceptance if you have accrued several failing grades. It is typical that colleges tend to accept students who have a high enough grade point average (GPA) when they graduate high school, in addition to a good enough score on the SAT or ACT. If your grades end up falling below those expectations, the college will revoke your application.
For many reasons, poor academic performance is the most prominent reason for a college to revoke acceptance. Even if you are not informed as to what caused you to lose your acceptance, you can reasonably assume that poor grades may have influenced the decision. However, it is not the only way.
Dishonesty and Behavior
Colleges thoroughly assess every student’s application and look for honest students who completed their high school education without cheating. Dishonesty includes any misleading information, intentional or otherwise. For example, if you list difficult high school classes as a course you completed your application, but in reality, you took different and easier classes by the time you finish high school, a college that values students who challenge themselves in school may consider that being dishonest. If the college discovers that your application, in fact, has fraudulent information, such as cheating or fraud, then they will revoke your application.
Schools may also revoke acceptance if the student has been known to make offensive actions, such as racist or offensive posts on social media. Dishonesty and bad behavior are factors strongly dependent on the values of the college you are applying to. Different colleges have different ideas for what counts as honest or offensive. We have one more reason that colleges rescind acceptance is a lot more ironclad, as it is more representative of the student in ways beyond opinion.
“Disciplinary infractions” are behaviors that fall under the umbrella of behavior that includes borderline criminal activity, such as assault, rape, murder, or robbery. If you have a disciplinary infraction, you have committed an actual crime, either during or after your application was submitted and accepted. Having committed a crime alone is not enough for a submission to be revoked; it is when the school decides that your problematic behavior poses a threat to the campus and the people who reside in it that they will revoke your application.
Can Colleges Revoke Acceptance After a Deposit Has Been Paid?
A college can revoke acceptance at any time, including after a college enrollment deposit has been paid. A college can revoke an application even when a student is actively enrolled (in which case, the student will find themselves suspended, or worse, expelled). Incidentally, making enrollment deposits at multiple colleges is another action colleges find worthy of rescinding acceptance. Unfortunately, enrollment deposits are nonrefundable at most colleges.
Simply put, these decisions emphasize the value of a student making sure they can complete high school and enter college without any issues.
How Colleges Handle Revoking Acceptance After Deposit?
As stated before, colleges can and will revoke acceptance even after a student make an enrollment deposit, and they will not offer them any refunds. These decisions are usually nonnegotiable, as the college makes these decisions based on careful review.
There is not much a student once a college has decided to revoke their application aside from finishing high school and applying to a new college; hopefully one that will overlook or have different opinions on what caused them to lose out on their initial choice. However, we can help students prepare and prepare for the event in which you have their admission revoked.
3 Tips for Students on How to Prepare for Potential Revocation
As we have stated before, once a college has decided to revoke your acceptance, there is very little you can do to reverse the decision. If you believe your application will be revoked, it is in your best interest to prepare yourself and guarantee that the next college will wholeheartedly accept your application. Here are three major tips to make this dreadful feeling feel just a little bit easier.
Focus on High School
If you are rejected because your grades are below average, then the most straightforward solution is to complete your high school courses to the best of your ability before applying to another college. Buckle down and get those grades up.
If possible, attend additional extracurricular activities like clubs to make your transcript more attractive. You may also discuss with your guidance counselor the best way to improve your performance in school in time for your next submitted application.
Revise and Prepare a New Application
We mentioned that colleges dislike dishonesty and will reject an application if they believe that your transcript is in some way misleading or dishonest. If you have had your application rejected due to dishonesty, then you should revise and adjust your application so that it accurately reflects your time spent in high school and avoid colleges reviewing you for academic dishonesty.
Fix Your Mistakes
On a superficial level, staying out of trouble and avoiding further infractions is the best option. For any infractions you may have made that do not fit in the realm of the irrevocable—such as committing a felony or misdemeanor—you have the chance to make sure that it will not be an issue for your next application. Depending on your recorded infractions, however, it may be wiser to pursue a different college and make sure that they will accept you. Finally, if you are particularly anxious about your chances of success, hold off the deposit for as long as possible so that you do not lose the money you can use for the next possible college (while also avoiding making multiple enrollment deposits at once).
Wrapping Things Up: Can Colleges Revoke Acceptance After Deposit?
A college can revoke acceptance at any point, even after you made your enrollment deposit. Whether it is for poor academic performance, they believe that the student has been dishonest/engaged in offensive behavior, or has committed an infraction to where the college no longer feels safe, the student will have to live with the admission revocation. But there is no reason to fret: there are many, many colleges that will be happy to take you (and your money) in! As long as you keep your grades up, remain honest and sincere, and keep yourself out of trouble, there is almost no college you can’t attend.
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