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College Rejection letters

Updated on April 11, 2017
brightforyou profile image

Retired counselor, 341 short stories published by FSU. I have 4 sons, love sharing photography, writing, love travel, sunshine, sea & Grace.


The final year of high school is riddled with distractions: "Senioritis," hormones and emotional turmoil at a time when major decisions, challenging academic courses and community commitments must be fulfilled.

There are few students who know exacty what career to chose and which colleges to apply to, but after much consideration and planning, decisions are made, college applications and essays are careful written (and rewritten) and finally submitted to the colleges of choice.

Spring arrives and the long anticipated college letters arrive in the mail. After such a build-up, a letter of rejection can be a devastating blow. No matter how confident your teen may be, a rejection letter from the college of choice, is a hard pill to swallow and can lead to some serious angst.

If this happens to your teen, take heart and let them know that they are in extremely good company. Past "rejectees" include Nobel laureates, billionaires, university presidents, constitutional scholars, best-selling authors, leaders in business, media and the arts.

A rejection letter isn't the end of the world, and could be the beginning of a wonderful future. After all, the name and prestige of a college says nothing about the inherent character and potential of the student being rejected. Rather, it is qualities such as compassion, tenacity, work ethic, enterprise and talent that lead to a fully-rounded and contributing member of society.

The rejection letter isn't personal, although it feels very personal. The selection process is complex and isn't just based on test scores, GPA's and admission essays. The students first choice colleges are usually based on reputation, location and family desirability; however parental disappointment shouldn't overshadow the students ability to adapt and be proud of any college they may be accepted into: (It is important to trust your teen's choice over your own). Adversity isn't always a negative. College isn't a given. It is dependent on the student's work ethic and oftentimes the parent's pockets. Tenacity and gumption are also powerful components for a successful future.

How did your college acceptance or rejection letters affect you?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Life is already hard and getting more difficult and to put these high school students through these rejection will discourage some for life. My daughter is an honor student doing AP classes and worked very hard.Now she got rejected from the colleges she wanted to go. It makes our lives miserable because she does want to do anything. America needs to do more for children born in the US with parents who are working had to give them a better life.

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      6 years ago from Florida

      Hi tsmog, thank you for your comments and I'm glad you found the hub inspiring! :-) Helen inspiring!

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      6 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Very insightful. Grades alone on papers are very disheartening to students of all ages. Through my workplace co-workers are studying at the local community college trying to gain entrance into a larger school. Doing this while working and supporting a family at times.

      For teens a rejection letter could be a life altering experience. Especially if it is to the school your friends are accepted and going to. Change occurs in many ways.

      The encouragement of your message is heartfelt and inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

    • Ebower profile image

      Erin Bower 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      This was very encouraging and true. I liked how you added a specific and personal example. I voted this up and useful! :)

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Hi Maria Speight, thank you for your very kind comments. I look forward to reading more of your hubs and welcome to hubpages! :-) Helen

    • profile image

      Maria Speight 

      7 years ago

      This was beautiful and great practical advice. Thanks for following me. This is the first of your articles I've read and if they are all written with this much grace and strength, I look forward to it!

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Thank you deepthinker76 for your comment - sorry it took me so long to reply - I have just seen it!

      Hi Mr. Happy, again I am so sorry I didn't see your comment sooner and reply; Yes, you are absolutely right there are specific and generic reasons why certain kids don't get accepted (regardless of their grades). My son received one rejection letter and five acceptances, and it was the one rejection letter that had fairly profound affect on him and also three of his friends who had wanted to go to the same University. This prompted me to dig deeper and I did some research in order to write this hub. As mentioned in the hub, they go through so much that last year at school and have so much expectation placed on them at school (and inside themselves - and maybe parental pressure) that even one rejection is enough to send them into a bit of angst!

      Thanks for your contribution to this hub, I really appreciate it!

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      A rejection letter just means you don't fit that specific "scenario". Universities have their specific strong points too and look for people to fit those "areas". Perhaps getting a handfull of all rejection letters might be something to worry about but other than that, it's all good.

    • deepthinker76 profile image


      8 years ago from South Carolina

      great hub..i enjoy your writing. :)

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Thank you green tea-cher - I'm looking forward to reading more of your hubs!

    • green tea-cher profile image

      green tea-cher 

      8 years ago

      I really like two statements in your hub - "Adversity isn't always negative" and "if everything...goes according to plan, there isn't the same need to mature and grow". A rejection although disappointing is a perfect starting point to head in a new direction. Great Hub!

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      I agree wholeheartedly petermdhart. Thanks for your insightful comments!

    • petermdhart profile image


      8 years ago from Cornwall, UK

      There's nothing more hurtful to the spirit than rejection. Your hub explains that college rejection letters are not personal although they feel like it. It's also important to note, as you did with your example, that the undergraduate college name and prestige isn't as important as the student's tenacity and drive.


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