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Articles / Applying to College / Why Was My Granddaughter's Admission Verdict Reversed?

May 27, 2020

Why Was My Granddaughter's Admission Verdict Reversed?

Question: My grandaughter was recently accepted for admission to UCSC as a freshman, but approximately 45 days or so after acceptance, she received an e-mail that her application/acceptance was to be reviewed. The end result: admission denied. Preparing to attend UCSC, she made no efforts to attend another school. My question is why the review and reversal of the original acceptance? To the best of my knowledge, "Diana" has had one D (in trig) on her report card during high school resulting in a GPA drop to 3.47.

Diana has no vision in one eye and limited vision in the other. She suffered a serious setback related to her condition that resulted in major surgery and five weeks of missed classes. In spite of these absences, she managed to keep her GPA very close to 4.0 but she did miss out on the fundamental concepts of trig. Is there anyone I can appeal to regarding this situation?


I understand your concern, and I assume that Diana also has no clue why her acceptance was reversed. Have you discussed this thoroughly with her? If so, are you convinced that she has been completely forthcoming with you?

In trying to hunt for explanations, I found that I was not clear on your timeline. In particular, did Diana receive her D in trig AFTER being accepted to UCSC? If so, that MIGHT explain the change of heart, especially if the university admissions office was not given any explanation of Diana's medical problems. You should also ask Diana if she had any other poor grades in her senior year.

I'm not sure what ELSE might account for the change of heart. Could Diana have been involved in some sort of disciplinary action, suspension, etc. that she wouldn't want to reveal to you? If that seems unlikely, then one other possibility I can think of is that the UC system "spot checks" applications to make sure that extracurricular activities, test scores, etc., have been reported honestly and accurately. So MAYBE an irregularity turned up if Diana's application was randomly selected for such a check.

Most commonly, however, when admission decisions are revoked, it is due to sliding grades in the final term of senior year or some sort of serious disciplinary action or suspension.

However, rather than speculating, I would suggest that you have Diana contact the office of admission at UCSC and ask for an explanation. Frankly, I'm surprised that she hasn't done so already. You can certainly do so yourself, but you may find that the school will not give out confidential information to anyone but the applicant herself and perhaps a parent. (If you are Diana's guardian, then you should tell them that right from the start.) Even if the admission official you contact will not give the SPECIFIC reason for rescinding Diana's acceptance, MAYBE you can at least flesh out a general reason (e.g., academic, disciplinary, etc.)

Let me know what you discover and perhaps I can then assist you with finding other options for Diana.

Good luck to you.

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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