By David Reynaldo|March 7, 2011|Director of College Zoom
Did you know that most universities will let you appeal an admissions decision even if the option to do so is not listed anywhere on their website? The best way to find out if an appeal is allowed is to call the admissions office and inquire with a representative.
Every school has different criteria for reversing an admissions decision. When you call the admissions office, be sure to inquire about those criteria. Also ask where your application fell short. They’ll probably tell you and that’s what you’ll want to address in your appeal letter.
The key to any successful appeal is to bring to light new and compelling information. However, every school defines new and compelling information differently. For example, at CU Boulder (a university you would never know accepts appeals by visiting their website) there must have been a substantial change in your academic work since your decision was issued in order for your application to be reconsidered. However, at the University of California, Los Angeles: higher grades, recently acquired awards, or an increase in activities since your decision was issued are not bases for the reversal of a decision (and each UC campus handles appeals differently).
Most universities also allow letters of recommendation to be submitted with an appeal letter. In 2009, one of our students became one of roughly 25 students (out of over 500 appellants) who successfully reversed a USC admissions decision with an appeal letter complimented by three very carefully coordinated letters of recommendation from three very carefully chosen recommenders.
Did you know that most letters of recommendation are essentially written by the person being recommended? Not all letters of recommendation are created equal, and the recommenders most often coveted by students and parents (e.g. CEOs, politicians, celebrities, people with status and impressive titles, etc.) almost always unintentionally hinder students with faint praise.
David Reynaldo is the director of College Zoom, an award-winning college counseling service that helps students increase their admissions success with a money-back guarantee.