University applications are a huge step in a student’s path towards higher education, and it is hard to predict what will happen. Although students are excited to open UCAS and find the offers they have received, it is unfortunately sometimes the case that you may be rejected from a university you wanted to get into. Rejections can leave many students wondering what they could have done to improve their applications: can you find this out from the university that rejected you?
Yes, it is possible to request feedback from a university that has rejected you. You can do this by contacting the university directly, or they may even send an email asking if you would like to receive feedback. A university is not required to explain why they have rejected you, but they will be able to provide you with feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of your application. You are also able to request feedback from a university you have received an offer from.
If you still want to know more, don’t worry! This article is here to tell you all you need to know about getting feedback from a university that rejected you.
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Can you ask a university why they rejected you?
You are technically allowed to ask a university why they rejected you. However, according to an article by The Uni Guide linked here, universities are not obligated to tell you why you were rejected.
This means that even if you ask, you might not get an answer. You should also try to remember that universities receive many applications, and lots are oversubscribed, so they don’t have time to respond to every single rejection request.
If you would like to ask a university why they have rejected you, you should contact their admissions office. This will be the same email that you have been receiving correspondence from, so you will likely be able to contact them already.
If for some reason you do not have their email, it should be available on the university website.
Keep in mind that universities are more likely to give you feedback on your application than outline the main reasons for your rejection. Therefore, if you’d like to know why you were rejected, it’s better to ask for feedback on your application instead.
I’ll be explaining how to request feedback later in the article, so keep reading!
Do universities reject you straight away?
Unfortunately, it is possible for a university to reject you “straight away”, i.e., without inviting you for interview.
Your application to university is judged and processed in several steps, including your references, your personal statement, any interviews you complete, and any extra work you have to submit.
Because of this, you may be rejected even before the interview stages. Universities are entitled to make their decisions how and when they want, but you will sometimes be able to request feedback on these decisions.
University applications are judged on a huge variety of factors to make sure that decisions universities reach are fair and accurate. If you’d like to know more about how applications are evaluated, check out this page of the University of Sheffield’s website.
As mentioned previously in the article, universities are not required to tell you why they have rejected you. It is up to their discretion, and you cannot appeal that decision.
It’s important not to take a university rejection too personally; they have hundreds of applications and only a certain number of spaces, so if you didn’t make the cut, you will most definitely not be the only one.
How do you get feedback from a university that rejected you?
If you would like to receive feedback from your application, you can contact the university directly through the admissions office.
As already mentioned in the article, you will already have the admissions office email, as they will have been communicating with you thus far. Alternatively, if universities send you a rejection email, they may even include a section in the email where you can request feedback to be sent to you.
If you do request feedback on your application, it may take anywhere from a few days to weeks to receive this application.
You should also keep in mind that if you do receive feedback, it may not be extremely detailed. Universities send out a lot of rejections, so they simply don’t have the time or resources to reply to dozens of feedback requests with a detailed breakdown.
You may feel that the feedback you receive is not very helpful, but there will be personalised feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of your application, so it is still useful, especially for a university that you’ve been rejected from.
You can also request feedback from universities that have sent you an offer! Even if you have been offered a place at a university, you can contact the admissions office to request feedback on your personal statement and interviews.
However, keep in mind that you are less likely to receive feedback from a university you have received an offer from, compared to a university that has rejected you. You can find this information on the University of Sheffield’s website as linked above.
Is getting feedback from a university rejection useful?
Yes! Receiving feedback from universities, particularly a university that has rejected you, can be really useful.
You can use this information to improve your further applications. It will help you to tailor your application to that university, should you choose to reapply the next academic year, or just improve the quality of your application overall.
You can even address this in future applications or interviews – receiving feedback and using it to grow and improve is a key skill for university and will demonstrate that to the universities you are applying to.
Although some of the feedback the university provides will be generic and sometimes even vague, it’s still important to take it in and process how it will strengthen any future applications you make.
As mentioned earlier in this article, don’t let a university rejection dishearten you. The feedback you receive from a university that rejected you isn’t supposed to be criticism of your character – it’s there to help and provide insight!
Can you appeal a university rejection?
Yes, it is possible to appeal a university rejection.
In the event that you feel your application was rejected by a university based on discrimination or misconduct by the university, it is possible to appeal the decision.
It is also possible that you will be able to request feedback as well as requesting an appeal, but this isn’t always the case, and a university may reject your request for feedback if you are appealing the decision. This depends on the university and their protocol.
If you’d like to know more about how to appeal a university rejection, you should check out this Think Student article!
If you would like to learn more about the actual reasons why a university might reject you, check out this Think Student article.