Getting into college can be challenging. Some schools, like many Ivy League colleges, accept less than 9% of the students who apply. Yet, having good grades and extracurricular activities may not be enough. College admission officers have reported a variety of reasons for not accepting a student.

Being Nice to Everyone Counts

While you know that you need to be polite to professors and college admission recruiters, the way you act toward other staff is also essential. One Reddit reader says that she worked in the college’s call center, and if you were not nice to them, your application was rejected.

Online Behavior

Another reader reported that his college checked a student’s social media accounts to see what they posted. If the student was discussing drug use and constant partying, they were rejected.


Especially today, make sure that your facts check out. For example, do not claim to be a top student at a particular school if that school cannot be found on the internet. There is a student out there somewhere who was rejected because she made up a school.

Misaligned Values

Students need to make sure that they do not write something in their personal essay or say something in their interview that does not align with the school or their chosen profession’s values.

For example, one science doctoral candidate admitted to not believing in data.

Screwed Up Goals

One admission counselor says that she rejected a student’s application because he admitted he wanted to be a doctor because they got to wear a white coat.

Not Following Directions

Each school has its admission requirements, and students should be sure that they follow them. One admission counselor says that she turned down a student who had poor grades but submitted more than 100 letters of recommendation.

Students will want to ensure that they learn from the mistakes of others and not follow these examples.