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Articles / Applying to College / Will a College I Turned Down Re-Admit Me After a Gap Year?
Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Feb. 27, 2016

Will a College I Turned Down Re-Admit Me After a Gap Year?

Question: Hi Dean, I apologize for the inconvenience, however I am in a bit of a dilemma at the moment. I am a 19 year old who is currently on a gap year and reapplying to some schools. I've realized that the school that I've put my deposit down for currently is just not the right fit for me. I want to know what my chances are of getting into a certain school that already accepted me last year. I've already applied to that specific school there regular decision but am very nervous and anxious about whether or not they'll take me back or not. Thank you so much!

If your top-choice college accepted you once before then your chances of being readmitted are very good, BUT only if you make sure that the admission committee knows that you really mean it this time! Thus if you haven't done so already, contact this college immediately (email is fine) and explain that, after you were accepted last year, you committed to a different college, then you took a gap year, and now you realize that THIS college—and not the one you'd committed to—will be a better fit. Next, explain specifically WHY you think it's a better fit. You should also provide some information about what you did during your gap year, if your new application doesn't include this (and it probably does).


Because colleges are in the middle of making their decisions right now ... maybe this very week ... don't dawdle. You should direct your email to the staff member who oversees applicants from your high school (even though you're not in high school anymore). If you don't know who this “regional rep" is, look on the college Web site and, if you can't find it there, telephone the admission office on Monday morning and ask. But don't wait past Monday to send your message. Since you blew off this school last spring, you don't want the admission folks to assume that you're likely to do it again.

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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