What To Do If You Don’t Get Into Your Dream School

Spring: an exciting and anxious time for high school seniors. Graduation is in sight, and your newfound freedom (college!) is on the horizon.  This means that decision letters have started to arrive.  It also means there’s a possibility that you didn’t get accepted to the school your heart was set on… Don’t fret! Here’s what to do if the letter from your dream school does not say “ACCEPTED”:

Accept It (as cliché as it sounds)

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You open the letter and read their regret to inform you. So, you didn’t get in. Reality sets in. If you need to, give yourself a moment to really consider this and then…

Move On

accept it

…and realize it’s not the end of the world. Don’t even think about blaming yourself for ‘not being good enough!

You may never know why you didn’t get in, but, you know what – that’s now in the past. Don’t dwell on this rejection. Take a walk, read a book, play a song. Do something to get your mind off of it.

See the Bright Side


Maybe your dream school wouldn’t have lived up to your expectations! You’ll never know this for certain, but placing doubt on your top school will ease the rejection. Think about it, no school is perfect. No one and no thing ever is.  There’s a whole new group of people you will meet and experiences you will have at a different school and it’s going to be great.

Consider Where You Did Get In

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Chances are, your top school wasn’t the only one you applied to. What about the other schools you got accepted to? Consider these schools again and look at what they have to offer.  It’s possible you overlooked all of the awesome things about this school at first glance!

BUT, I still want to go to my dream school. What do I do?


If you can’t see yourself going anywhere besides your top choice here’s another option: transferring. You can reapply next year as a sophomore.  There isn’t as much competition when applying as a sophomore or junior. And you will still graduate from your dream school, which is all that matters!

This will require you to do well in your studies and pay attention to all transfer deadlines.  Do your research about the requirements your dream school has for transfer applicants.  Sometimes schools tend to accept a majority of incoming sophomores or juniors who’ve attended the local community college.  Some community colleges even offer guaranteed admission programs to in-state universities. See if this is the case for your school. If so, guess what?!! You’ve just discovered another perk – saving some money by attending the community college for the first two years!

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