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What do you do if you're rejected from college?

New York University recently sent out admissions decisions and, like clockwork, the phones in the NYU admissions office began to ring. There were elated accepted students who thanked NYU for admitting them and couldn't wait to be in New York City. There were parents and proactive students calling to find out more about financial aid. And then, there were some of the 30,000 who got rejected. Some callers simply questioned, "Why?" Others threw the challenge flag. With the help of anonymous NYU admissions ambassadors who were working the phone lines on decision day, we here at NYU Local have compiled a list of the most interesting rejected-student phone calls.

1. The race card

Caller: "Hi, I just got rejected from NYU and I was wondering if there is a re-review process?"

Admissions ambassador begins to explain that NYU does not have a re-review process.

Caller's mother: "My daughter is an African-American student — I demand to talk to the Head of Diversity Initiatives!"

Admissions ambassador: "Unfortunately, none of our counselors are available today. You can call back …"


Admissions ambassador puts caller's mother on hold and speaks to supervisor.

Admissions ambassador: "Hi, can I get more information …"

Caller's mother: "GIVE ME THE NAME!"

Admissions ambassador: "Her name is …"

Caller's mother: "WOULD YOU JUST SPIT IT …"

Admissions ambassador: "Her name is …"

Caller's mother: "STOP CUTTING ME OFF!"

Admissions ambassador gives name and email address.

Caller's mother: "I have been stuck in traffic for three freaking hours! Does it sound like I have a pen and paper on me? I do not have more than two hands! You must be a student. I need to talk to an admissions counselor RIGHT NOW."

Admissions ambassador transfers call.

2. The 'better' candidate

Caller: "Hi, so my daughter just got rejected, and we were wondering why."

Admissions ambassador (after expressing condolences): "Unfortunately, I do not have access to her files and the admissions counselors have stepped out for the day."

Caller: "Well we were wondering because her friend who had a lower GPA, SAT score, and (fewer) extra-curricular activities got in to NYU. What makes him better than my daughter?"

Admissions ambassador explains that he/she cannot answer the caller's question.

Caller: "Well this is SO unfair! My daughter deserves to go to NYU more than her friend!"

Admissions ambassador (after expressing condolences again): "Please feel free to call back on Monday to speak to an admissions counselor."

3. The little brother

Caller: "Hi, my older brother just got rejected from NYU and it was his number one choice. What do we do now?"

Admissions ambassador expresses condolences, explains that NYU does not have a re-review process.

Caller: "Okay, I guess." (Hangs up.)

4. The understanding caller

Caller: "Hi, my son just got rejected from Tisch (School of the Arts at NYU) and it was his number one choice for four years. We were wondering what we can do next?"

Admissions ambassador begins to explain transfer process, hears son of caller sobbing in the background.

Caller: "Thank you so much, can you suggest other schools my son should apply to?"

Admissions ambassador: "Unfortunately, I cannot suggest specific schools …"

Caller: "Thank you so much for being so kind. I realize that you're probably getting many calls like this today — hope we didn't put a damper on your day!"

• • •

There you have it. Whining gets you nowhere — whether you play the race card, seek pity, claim superiority, or feign understanding, we regret to inform you … you're still rejected.

What do you do if you're rejected from college? 04/02/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 11:31pm]
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