Nov. 23, 2020
I was rejected from the early round at my first choice (University of Michigan). I have achieved a lot since last spring (the most recent grades that Michigan's reviewers saw) and I want to apply again in the regular round to show them my new improvements. Should I do this? It can't hurt, right?
Unfortunately, a student who has been denied outright in the Early Decision or Early Action round is not eligible to re-apply as a Regular Decision candidate. Occasionally students who have been rejected by a favorite college will try to appeal the verdict, but such appeals are rarely successful. You can read more about appealing a rejection in this "Ask the Dean" column.
However, unlike some universities, Michigan does not offer an appeals process, so it is unlikely that any efforts you make to overturn your decision will be considered. But if you enroll elsewhere and do well, Michigan will certainly consider you as a transfer candidate.
Although it is disappointing to be turned away from a top-choice college, many students who land at a second- or third-choice school (or even at a LAST choice!) often end up very happy and even grateful that fate redirected them.
Sally Rubenstone is a veteran of the college admissions process and is the co-author of three books covering admissions. She worked as a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years and has also served as an independent college counselor, in addition to working as a senior advisor at College Confidential since 2002. If you'd like to submit a question to The Dean please email us at email@example.com.