This year’s high school class of 2009 in the United States is of record size and a large proportion of these students applied to more colleges and universities than in the past. This has resulted in many more rejection letters from colleges and universities around the country.
Hundreds of high school students from Massachusetts to California have created a “Rejection Wall” or “Wall of Shame” of college rejection letters to help bond with other students who were also rejected. This gives students a feeling that they are not the only ones who did not get into their chosen college or university and even brings light to the situation. Students critique, criticize, and commend letters from many schools on messages board on CollegeConfidential.com.
The year’s best and worst college denial letters include ones that were the toughest, most final, most confusing, most gracious, kindest, and best coaching.
The toughest was Bates College. Most colleges try to let people down gently by stating there was many qualified applicants and that the school wishes it could admit everyone. But, Bates praises the applicant pool and gives a more direct denial that the admission staff had to select from applicants who had the potential do the best job at the college. The Dean of Admission of Bates, Wylie Mitchell said that he considered how to word denial letters and decided that it was best to be brief and to the point.
The most final letter came from Stanford University where they basically request for rejected applicants not to call and ask questions, that the decision is final that is that. The letter states that the university is not able to consider any appeals. A student who had her heart set on attending Stanford cried for hours after she felt like the letter was saying that the school did not want to ever hear from her in the future.
The University of California, San Diego was considering the most confusing due to a mistake, Admissions staff rejected 29,000 applicants twice when they accidentally sent all applicants, totaling 47,000, an email invitation to attend an open house. The school realized the mistake and sent another email less than two hours later to the applicants that were originally rejected. A spokesperson for the school said it was an honest mistake and the school would never intentionally try to confuse applicants.
Duke University’s letter of rejection was considered to be the most gracious. It states that the school does not judge applicants and strives to admit a well-rounded class of students. Applicants praised Christoph Guttentag, the undergraduate admissions dean, for stating that he knows students will find a college or university where they will be satisfied and where the school and student will both benefit.
Harvard College’s denial of acceptance letters were rated the kindest even though the admission rate for Fall 2009 is only about 7%. The letter was humble and even made one applicant, Evelyn Ann Crunden, feel proud that she applied to the competitive school.
Mount Allison University was noted as the best coaching because the school includes handwritten notes in all denial letters to explain the weak areas. This helps students understand why they did not get admitted and what they can do to improve to apply again in the future.