How to Turn Down College Acceptances

So now it’s the beginning of May, and you have decided you’re going to go to college X instead of college A. Good for you! It’s cheaper, closer, and your scholarships have helped you out. Looks like you have made a good decision. But wait! You’re still getting letters and packages in the mail from college A – and B, and C, and D. So how do you get them to stop? Frankly, it’s becoming a nuisance to you and your family. It’s not the college’s fault – you have yet to notify them that you are not attending their school! How are they supposed to know? Below I will depict the proper way to notify a college that you will not be attending in the future.

Usually, instructions will be enclosed on how to notify a college that you will not be attending. (photo by Orin Zebest)

Usually, instructions will be enclosed on how to notify a college that you will not be attending. (photo by Orin Zebest)

Most colleges, in giving your acceptance letters, will also give a card to send back if you do not wish to attend. Of course, the first step would be to check if you have received one of these. If not, well, read on to find out the next best way of turning down an institution.

Another appropriate method of turning down college acceptances is to write a letter or perhaps send a thoughtful email. Be gracious – colleges took the time to approve you, and now you must take the time to notify them that your decision isn’t to be at their institution. Keep the note or email short, simple, and gracious – or at least that’s what students are saying at collegeconfidential. The reason being, is that colleges understand that not every accepted student is going to end up choosing them. It’s a no-brainer!

Then again, do not feel that sorry for them. They still profited off of your application, after all. Really, turning down college acceptances is not a big deal. What is a big deal is when they give you a deadline to meet to decline them, and you are nearing that deadline with no idea what college you wish to attend.

Though colleges would be aware you were attending by whether or not you were paying for housing, among other aspects of finances that colleges require you to do – it is courteous to the waiting students. Frankly, it opens up spaces for people who truly do want to attend that institution. You are being rude when you turn them down or accept in untimely manners.

Be aware that if you plan to attend graduate school at that institution, you will want to appear respectable. Keep your reputation nice and clean for when you reapply in later years. Although the chance of them remembering who you are are slim, even still, on the off chance that they did remember you, you’d look a little worse than you did when you applied and got accepted.


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