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Articles / Applying to College / Do Colleges Save Applications from Students Who Did Not Enroll?

March 8, 2013

Do Colleges Save Applications from Students Who Did Not Enroll?

Question: I applied to a university but decided not to go, and instead I went to a community college. Will they still have my application and information on file?

Policies will vary from school to school but many colleges and universities keep old applications on file for several years, knowing that former applicants may decide to re-apply as transfers. Commonly, recommendations are purged from the application folders before they are saved.

If you are interested in re-applying to the university that you chose not to initially attend, it will be very easy to telephone the admission office and ask if you must start from scratch or if the university has maintained some materials you already sent. You will definitely have to supply a transcript from your community college as well as references from current college profs and administrators. You will most likely also have to write a new essay (probably on why you want to transfer to this college). But it will save you some hassle if you don’t have to track down and resubmit your old high school transcript and test scores.


So make that quick phone call to find out what your next steps are. (You can also check the college Web site first to see if there are instructions specifically for students in your situation. But, even if they are, it may be something of a treasure hunt to find them, so the phone call could be your best bet.)

 

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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