Is there a polite offer rejection?

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: May 2003 Archive: Is there a polite offer rejection?
By Mjourney (Mjourney) on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 07:46 pm: Edit

I've decided which college I'm going to, but now another letter to write. Is there a polite way to say, "After reviewing my options, I don't want to attend your school"? I wasn't offered any financial aid from this school, so is there still a date I should have this mailed out besides asap? Thanks for any help.

By Fender1 (Fender1) on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 08:44 pm: Edit

just send back the card and check the box saying "i do not plan to attend X university"


Hold thier admission offer hostage. Demand a free porsche and parking on campus. A guarenteed job at the university doing whatever you want. The ability to fire any faculty on the spot for recieveing a bad grade. They must provide a student solely to carry your books between classes. Red carpet to be laid down wherever you walk. The university must change their name after you.

For those of you satire-impaired, and i'm sure that you do NOT know who you are, that whole last part was a joke. LIGHTEN UP!!

How are you defining success?

By Yourlocalmayor (Yourlocalmayor) on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 10:01 pm: Edit

dude, why in the world would you write a letter to a school telling them that you're not interested?! They aren't interested enough in you b/c you're not getting a scholarship! what the heck, even if you had gotten a scholarship, who cares about writing a "polite letter." just check the damn box!

By Yourlocalmayor (Yourlocalmayor) on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 10:02 pm: Edit

it sounds rather cocky to do that.

By Yourlocalmayor (Yourlocalmayor) on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 10:02 pm: Edit

it sounds rather cocky to do that.

By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 12:33 am: Edit

Write politely and promptly to any school who accepts you and you have decided not to attend. Several good things will flow from this: it will open up an opportunity for some student who WANTS to go there, and it will leave a good impression so that the school is likely to offer acceptances to students from your high school in the future.

By Kk02 (Kk02) on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 04:55 am: Edit

Yeah thats right! Even I'm looking for a letter like that to write to them, since I had all good choices and I was keen on 4 of them but had to choose based on the dough they offered me.

I have written a letter but haven't sent it yet. I've just put down my true reflections on their admissions process and thanked them. What do you think? Is such a letter worth sending?

By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 09:04 am: Edit

Colleges highly value any input from students who decide not to attend. Be sure to keep it as positive as you can and polite--it's a small world. Many schools actually send out long questionaires to students who choose not to attend.

They took the time to read your application, write to you several times, and make you an offer. You "owe" them something. How you behave here, also reflects on the high school you went to... and the college you will be attending. Some day you might even find yourself applying to graduate school---to the same place that you are now writing to.

There is one thing that many great people seem to have in common: they write lots of thank you notes. Get in the habit.

By Tenisghs (Tenisghs) on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 11:32 am: Edit

Oops, I didn't write thank-you notes to the colleges I refused admission. Oh well!

By Sluggbugg (Sluggbugg) on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 01:28 pm: Edit

Mjourney, I think it's a good idea to let them know either by checking off the box and returning the postcard, or by writing a very brief thank-you letter. Remember, there are real human beings on the other end of whatever you send back. I just think it's a very nice way to end an arduous process for both sides by returning a personal thank-you. Most people won't do that. They'll just return the card, which is fine, too.

It's good to send in your decline notifications now because the colleges will start to process their waitlists after May 15. My daughter has started to receive letters back from the colleges confirming her inactive status.

Make your letter short, no more than a few sentences. What you have started is great! Finish it with something like this:

After reviewing your options, you've decided to attend college elsewhere.

However, if your circumstances should change, you would like to keep your application on file as inactive for two years.

Thank you very much for the opportunity to consider (name of the university) as a college choice.

(4 spaces down)
Your name

By Cscourneen (Cscourneen) on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 01:55 am: Edit

I would most defiantly send a “polite rejection letter.” I sent a letter to Brown and then got a call from the assistant dean of admissions (he was the one that was recruiting me all year). He said it was only the second time in his career that he had received a rejection letter in a situation like mine (they offered a very nice financial aid package and extra scholarships) but understood and accepted my decision with a light heart. He was happy that I found a college that was a better match for me (I chose Carleton) and said that he hopes to see me in four years when I begin my graduate work.

Sending letters keep doors open. If you want to go to a school for grad work that accepted you for undergrad, but you rejected, send a letter. They really appreciate and respect the gesture. Like someone already said, they spent the time to read your application and accept you, so you could give the courtesy of sending a letter back.

By Kk02 (Kk02) on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 02:38 am: Edit

Yeah! The idea behind sending a letter is great, but do you think they will remember the "applicant" after 4 years when s/he applied for grad school?

By Cscourneen (Cscourneen) on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 03:11 am: Edit

Well, after a year of recruitment, and flying me out, and all of that…I don’t know. But, I don’t want to be remembered as an applicant that was accepted, and then didn’t come…it might give the impression that they are a “safe” school. If they do remember me, and that is if, then I want them to remember me as the polite, considerate applicant that took the time to send them timely correspondences. You know what I mean?

By Kk02 (Kk02) on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 07:37 am: Edit

I have one question, what does it mean by "File inactive"? What are the implications?

By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 09:16 am: Edit

Cscourneen: You've got the right idea!


Some of the people here seem to think that there is some great cost to being polite---just the opposite is true. College (and grad school) is all about the polite interaction of students and professors. You are expected to interact, have discussions, and write notes to professors. While in high school, this kind of behavior is a bit frowned upon (and called brown-nosing) it is encouraged in college. Get used to it. Start writing.

You will not do well in college and beyond if you have the attitude that saying "Thank you" is somehow a form of putting yourself down... as in:

who cares about writing a "polite letter." just check the damn box!

Kk02: When you send in a complete application, your file becomes active. When you tell them you will not attend, most colleges put your application into the "Inactive File" drawer. They do this because many times a student will attend one school for a year or two, and then wish to transfer--sometimes to a school that they already applied to... yet ANOTHER good reason for that considerate note. Most colleges keep applications for two years in the inactive file... and then I don't know what becomes of them. After a couple years it becomes very unlikely that you would seek to attend a particular college.

By Kk02 (Kk02) on Friday, May 09, 2003 - 11:06 am: Edit

Thanks for your reply,

Should I mention the reasons for not attending, which are in some cases connected with the financial aid award?

Sorry to keep bothering you folk with questions, but I don't have anyone else to ask. I look like a question bank, dont I?

By Cscourneen (Cscourneen) on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 03:52 pm: Edit

Um, not too sure on your last question. My last letter was short, sweet, and to the point. It basically said thank you, but I will not be attending your school (in more eloquent language of course). I didn’t give any reasons in my letter. When the assistant dean of admissions called, it was basically to say good luck and to ask why…so you never know what will happen. I don’t know if he had taken the time to call if I didn’t send the letter…so I would say always send a letter! Don’t make it long…just something short and easy.

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