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Top Reasons behind an Unsuccessful College/Graduate School Application

Every year, thousands of students send various admission applications with the hope of gaining admission into their dream school. While a number eventually gain an offer of admission, the dreams of a handful are dashed! If you have ever been in the pool of rejected applicants and are still struggling to come out or if you are going to be submitting an application in the near future and want to avoid that rejection notice, then this post is for you! This post will provide an insight into some reasons behind an unsuccessful college/graduate school application so as to better your chances the next time you submit an application.

1. Weak Recommendation Letters

Applicants have 100% authority of who they choose to write a letter of recommendation on their behalf. The recommender is expected to be a professional who can speak highly of the applicants abilities in the classroom or at the workplace. Failure of a recommender to stamp a strong nod of approval over the applicant's candidacy for college or graduate school is a serious red flag which has a high potential of hurting the applicant's admission decision. The latter can be avoided by making sure that as the applicant, you are 100% confident that the people you choose as recommenders would provide nothing short of a stellar recommendation!

2. Inadequate Institutional Funding

For international undergraduates, admission tends to be also based on certain financial factors and applications are mostly reviewed on a need - aware or need - blind basis. Thus, an applicant could be a top - notch student, but the inability of the applicant to show they can meet the financial cost of tuition and fees at the desired institution would cause the admissions committee to render an unfavorable admission decision.

3. Inability to Meet Standard Academic Requirements

Certain schools have academic requirements all applicants must meet in order to be admitted into their institution. Most of the times, these requirements are clearly stated on the school's official website. Some schools would require a proof of English Language Proficiency regardless of if you are from an English speaking country and others would require you to meet a minimum standardized test score before you can be admitted into their program. It is not always the case that these academic requirements would be communicated to you directly by the admission staff before submitting an application, hence, the reason to thoroughly browse the websites of institutions you intend to apply to and make sure you meet or can meet all the admission requirements, especially before paying the application fee.

4. Weak Personal Statement

The personal statement, sometimes referred to as the statement of purpose or letter of motivation is one of the few documents you have 100% control of in the application process. The personal statement provides you with the opportunity to prove to the admissions committee that choosing you would not be a mistake on their part. As such, failing to make a strong case for yourself in the personal statement would cost your admission severely.

5. Fierce Competition in the Applicant Pool

One thing you should know is that, no matter how good you are, there is always going to be someone out there who does what you do better than you! Some schools tend to have more applicants than they can admit in any given admission cycle, hence, the reason you must broaden your scope when it comes to applying to schools. It doesn't matter that you graduated top of your class, obtained a 1580 SAT score or graduated with a first class upper degree, because when you are competing with other equally good students from all over the world who also boasts of such merits, it is not always a guarantee that you are going to gain admission into your first choice of school.

It's application season and you would want to avoid petty mistakes which have the potential of influencing your admission decision negatively! If you need assistance with your college/graduate school application, send an email to


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