Why Would a College Withdraw Your Application?

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Suppose you just went through the stressful experience of submitting your college application. Everything seems fine, but you suddenly notice that the college has withdrawn your application. If the process is not daunting enough, having a withdrawn application can be frustrating.

Hence, this article will explore why an institute might take back your application and how you can prevent such instances from happening. However, you should realize that it is not the end of the world if this happens to you. Yet, you should learn about the potential pitfalls of having a withdrawn application.

Can Colleges Revoke Admissions Offers?Can Colleges Revoke Admissions Offers?

Can colleges withdraw applications? Can they revoke your admission offer instead of rejecting you from the beginning? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Most often than not, admissions into a college in the United States are based on conditional requirements.

But what are conditional requirements? Generally, since US universities’ application deadlines are often at the beginning of the year, many students receive acceptance letters before their final grades are out. Hence, colleges provide admission letters that are based on specific conditions.

These conditions will not be satisfied until your high school journey ends when you receive your final results and extra scores. Some conditional admission requirements often revolve around six main aspects, which are:

  • Specific GPA requirement
  • Test scores (SAT or ACT)
  • Particular course requirements
  • Maintaining good behavior and conduct
  • Passing the English language proficiency test
  • Securing adequate funds (potentially through financial aid)

If you want further examples of such circumstances, Harvard has revoked admission offers for people who are racist or throw abusive remarks. Since such an institute bases its philosophies and morals on top behavior, it makes sense that it would refuse admission to anyone who does not meet such standards.

How Do Colleges Withdraw Applications?

How Do Colleges Withdraw Applications?

Before understanding what happens when a college withdraws your application, there is an important note to consider. Revocation of an admission offer is not taken lightly by any institute. Such a decision has significant implications and can radically change the future of the subject in question.

Hence, before revoking the offer, most colleges will conduct a review and reach out to give the student a chance to explain themselves. Moreover, you will possibly be anticipating the revocation decision from the college. For instance, if you do not achieve the grades the institute desires, you might already be worried about the future.

In such a situation, you should contact the college immediately. Address any potential issues or misunderstandings before further problems arise. By portraying honesty and proactiveness, you can increase your chances of resolving difficulties and remaining on the good side of the institute.

But now, let us dive into why you might have a college withdrawal application, how the college will notify you, and the following steps.

So, how do colleges withdraw applications? Find out below.

  • Notification. The first essential element of finding out what is happening is through the message. Every college must tell you they are revoking your application through a formal letter. You might receive a withdrawal college application email, letter, or the application portal.
  • Explanation. You deserve a reason for why you are rejected after being accepted initially. The explanation portion of the email or letter should include factors such as conduct, academic performance, or misrepresentation on your application.
  • Opportunity to respond. Not every college allows you to react and fight for your case. However, you might be allowed to respond to the decision or provide additional resources in some situations. This could include sending an appeal or requesting reconsideration.
  • Removal of admission status. Once you have been notified and the procedure is done, your student admission status will be removed. Hence, you will no longer be enrolled at the institute, and access to any college resources will be denied.

However, remember that colleges do not take such decisions lightly. Refusing admission to a student will hinder their academic progress. No institution truly wants to ruin someone’s future unless they have misused resources or disobeyed some rules. Hence, if you believe you are at risk of revoking your application, we recommend contacting the college before you get notified.

7 Possible Reasons Why Colleges Withdraw Applications

7 Possible Reasons Why Colleges Withdraw Applications

There are many reasons colleges and universities withdraw applications. However, the grounds will vary according to each institute’s rules and regulations. Moreover, you might have already learned about some of them throughout your application process. Even the Common App portal has specific codes of conduct you must abide by. This is the first step in your application process through the portal.

So, why would a college withdraw your application? Read on to find the top 7 common reasons.

Academic Performance

Every institute focuses on students’ grades and achievements before accepting them. Hence, once you get the conditional offer, you will often receive an email telling you that you must achieve specific grades and scores. The university can revoke your application if you fail to achieve those results. This might also include language scores, SATs, or ACTs.


You might lose your application if you misbehave or break some rules during your last year in school. This heavily relies on the standards and regulations set by the university. You might run into trouble if you are inconsistent with the standards.

Misrepresentation of Information

Have you ever been frightened by the prospect of a background check? Well, most colleges do conduct such research before officially accepting your offer. Hence, your application might be withdrawn if you provide false information, misrepresent some aspects, or offer misleading information. Moreover, students face similar issues if they falsify academic records, lie about extracurriculars, or provide inaccurate personal data.

Failure to Meet Conditions

In the typical case where a college offers conditional acceptance, students must meet specific conditions to get into the college. This often includes a certain GPA or completion of particular courses. If you fail to meet any of the conditions the college told you about, then your application is at risk.

Criminal Convictions

Having a criminal record will hinder your academic progress. If you have a history of criminal convictions and the college finds out through their research, they might deny your application.

Offensive Behavior

Any offensive behavior will be treated harshly. However, these issues are becoming more transparent with the spread of social media. For instance, in 2017, Harvard revoked the applications of 10 students. That was due to their participation in a Facebook group that focused on child abuse and jokes about the Holocaust.

Offensive behavior, whether online or offline, will not be treated lightly. With any reprehensible behavior, the college can refuse to admit you to their campus.

Plagiarism, Suspension, or Expulsion

Running into any problems in high school will likely reflect on your permanent record. Colleges have access to these documents, and plagiarism has severe consequences in college. Moreover, suspensions and expulsions often insinuate troubling academic or personal issues you might be facing. Hence, universities will not take the chance on you if your high school has had a bad run with you.

What Happens if Your College Withdraws Your Application?

What Happens if Your College Withdraws Your Application?

College rescinding, or withdrawal of the application, can be a disappointing discovery. It might make getting admission into another desired college much more difficult. Hence, you must significantly plan for your future by understanding what happens after the college rescinds your application.

  • You will lose admission into the university, which means you will no longer be considered a student in that institute.
  • In some cases, you might be eligible for a refund of the application fee, depending on when the withdrawal has been made.
  • If you are still set on attending college in the future, this is the time to reapply. Start the process again, and do not be unmotivated by the time and stress.
  • Remember that other universities might ask you about your previous plans during your new application process. Hence, be ready to address any questions about why you were revoked.
  • Seek professional help if necessary. A withdrawn application might have an emotional impact on you. This could include disappointment, confusion, and frustration. Seek the advice and support of family and friends.

Wrapping Things Up: Why Would a College Withdraw Your Application?

In a nutshell, the possibility of a college withdrawing your application is always present. However, it largely relies on you misbehaving or not completing specific criteria. For instance, if you do not achieve the minimum GPA that the college requires, they might revoke your application. Remember to consult the college if you have any issues or concerns about your application status!

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Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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