Will Applying To A University Twice Hurt Admission Chance?

Last Updated on July 28, 2021 by David Shaw

student thinking about college application

If you’ve ever applied to a university of your dreams, you’ve probably gone through mixed feelings of an adrenaline rush, anxiety, or discouragement throughout the entire application process. The feeling of uncertainly and waiting game is surely dreadful, and you feel as if your fate would be upon the outcome of an acceptance letter. If you’ve ever been rejected by your dream university and planning to reapply for the next intake, you’re not alone.

Some might ask, does applying to a particular university more than once hurt our chances of admission?

There are no statements by universities saying that reapplying more than once will hurt or decrease your chances of admission. Although universities do not explicitly encourage applicants to reapply, they will be more than happy to review future admission applications from the same applicant.

Most universities don’t make it not seem obvious, but no universities will ever discourage students from reapplying in the future as they value each applicant as a potentially worthy candidate for their school. Other than that, there are things you can prepare to make yourself a stronger candidate for the next intake.

How to Prepare For Next Application Attempt

Reapplying more than once to a university would never put your admission evaluation or chances at a disadvantage. However, there might be helpful hints or indications you should take note of from rejection letters by universities, mainly:

  • Your GPA puts you far down the offer list among other strong applicants.
  • Your trancript indicate signs of decline in personal or academic performance.
  • Your personal statements iare too vague or wordy, and does not tell enough about yourself.
  • High volume of applicants for the specific intake.

Other than the first 3 factors mentioned above that can be manipulated, we can see there is a fourth factor that might cause lower admission rates in universities. You should know that as the economy experiences a decline in its performance, college enrollment tends to increase, hence causing higher application volume and more competition in the selection process.

Nevertheless, it never hurts to give yourself another chance, so here are some helpful tips and constructive steps you can take to prepare for the next application date:

– Never submit same application

If a university that you’re applying to requires supplemental essays or testimonials, you should never reuse your old material from previous applications even if you feel your previous application is eloquent. Unless you feel strongly that you’re personal statement essays were very well constructed and have very little room for improvement, rework on other parts of the application that you can improve on.

Since you have time until the next application deadline, let more people have a chance to review your work, as receiving feedback from professionals or people with a stronger command of language can help you a lot.

Retake college entrance exams

Let’s be real, dedicating the discipline and effort to earn extracurricular achievements for your university application requires a great deal of time and some sacrifice. Conversely, getting a higher college entrance exam score (SAT/ACT) is the best and quickest way to leverage your chances of admission into a university.

Participating in college events, networking, and building good relationships with people certainly require a lot of time and patience. If you simply don’t have the luxury of time before the next round of application deadlines, investing the remaining time to work on getting higher college entrance exam scores is the wisest choice.

– Take a productive Gap Year

Universities typically don’t care what you did during a gap year away from school, but taking a productive gap year to work on progressive development is significantly helpful to boost the strength of your application.

Is there a charity organization you’d like to join, or a community’s life you can impact? If you need inspiration or ideas to make the most out of your gap year, take a trip overseas, finish a modern subject course on Coursera, invent something or achieve something that you feel is unique. Using the opportunity where you can be free of academic commitments, planning a gap year filled with meaningful activities helps you progress and develop intrapersonally.

You don’t have to be a genius or ‘gifted’ to qualify for top colleges. Instead, you have to show that you have a passion and are willing to take initiative and take risks to discover your potential to succeed. There is virtually no limit to what you can achieve gap year, so use your creativity or passion to plan it wisely.

Formulate A List of Safety, Target, Dream Schools

stick notes of list of universities

If you’re only applying to only a few top universities that are competitive, then you’re doing something wrong. As an ambitious scholar, you should at least be applying to a minimum of 4-6 schools which has a mix of safety, target, and dreams schools. This way, you don’t risk getting rejected by all universities and will still end up in a college of your liking. Additionally, if you get accepted to more schools, you will more likely be matched with schools that offer better financial aid plans. So what are safety, target, and dream schools?

Safety Schools

Most district public universities in the US are generally considered safety schools in which one’s academic credentials far exceed the school’s minimum academic standards for both undergraduate and graduate admission. For safety schools, you easily have more than an 80% chance of acceptance even as long as you have above-average test scores.

Target Schools

Target schools, which include more state-level private and public universities, are reputable academic institutions across the country in which one’s academic credentials and qualifications safely fall within the school’s average range compared to applicants of recent years. As for the acceptance rates, your chance of admission would normally range from 30-80% depending on the university’s reputation, but different factors each year could be changing the numbers. Hence, it is wise to apply to a minimum of 2 target schools during college application season.

Dream Schools

Dream schools, also known as ‘reach’ schools are prestigious national universities known globally where people normally hear on the news, read on the internet, or basically mentioned every college student. This includes universities from the Ivy League, elite organizations like the Association of American Universities (AAU), or of similar academic caliber. Demand for admissions is extremely competitive, where admission rates can even be as low as 4% and up to 20%. A good practice is to always apply to a minimum of 2 dream schools each time you can.

Make Rational Back Up Plans

making notes of back up plans

If you take into consideration of your age, tuition debt, and assets you would have attained by the time you graduate with a professional degree, it would be wise to make backup plans before the date of next college application season comes up.

Weight the responsibilities of tuition debt

University tuition fees can get expensive, especially in countries like the US. Taking the route of tuition debt might help you land a higher paying job right off the bat, but there are also drawbacks to start working without a professional degree from the bottom of the corporate ladder. Always plan strategically and wisely before making a loan for tuition, apply and take advantage of as many scholarships as you can.

Achieving financial stability

If you’re someone who prefers to achieve financial stability early, maybe settle for a university with cheaper tuition fees, or maybe even pursue an Associate’s Degree momentarily. You can choose to settle for a job with a stable income, and choose to pursue a professional degree later in the future without having to apply for a loan.

Reapply for Transfer or Graduate Admission

If the lists of schools that offered you admission letters don’t include your dream schools, then fret not! You can always commit to other universities during your first 2 years and transfer to your dream school in the future. This is a common direction among many students, as it works out nicely and students get to connect with more people from both colleges. Other than the option of transferring, you can even apply to your dream school for their Master’s or Doctoral programs, where different perks apply as to undergraduate admissions.

Related Questions

Will universities tell you why you were rejected? No, universities never assume that any applicant is underqualified for their school, but they only select those that stood out to them during the admission process. Don’t take rejections as a negative implication, you can always opt to transfer or apply to their Master’s program offered by the university in the future.

Will taking an unproductive gap year affect admission chances? An unproductive gap year should not affect your admission chances at the slightest. Universities are typically only interested to learn about additional knowledge or experiences you’ve attained during a gap yap, but you can greatly leverage your admission chance by taking a productive gap year.

Can I apply to a university twice within the same year? You can definitely apply to a university however many times you want or need to. Applying to a university more than once will not have affect impact on your admission chances. However, if you’re applying to a university more than once, it would be better to not reuse personal statements or testimonials similar to previous applications.

How do you ask a university to reconsider their offer decision? Not all universities allow appeal letters especially if their enrollment spaces remained constant compared to previous years. If a university allows the exception to submit appeal letters, applicants will usually be informed in the letter or email of their offer decision.

David Shaw

I enjoy blogging about the college experience, teaching people how to navigate and hack their way through college. I also enjoy promoting financial literacy among young individuals.

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