Backup Plan: What to do when Your Dream University Says No

Last updated on 24 Jun 2024
Backup Plan: What to do when Your Dream University Says No


Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

By Rebecca Isjwara

Bermimpi Melanjutkan Studi ke Eropa? Jangan lewatkan EHEF Indonesia 2018, pameran pendidikan tinggi Eropa terbesar di Indonesia yang paling dinanti-nanti. Segera daftarkan dirimu sebagai peserta dalam perhelatan akbar EHEF Indonesia 2018 secara GRATIS di sini.


Rejections are always hard to receive, especially if it is from something of your dreams, such as the institution you envisioned yourself spending the next few years at.

However, that rejections are never the end of the world - in fact, it might be the eye-opening experience you needed to look for opportunities that are better suited for you and your future.

What should you do when that dreaded day finally happens, though?

We have a few tips in mind:

1. Pick yourself up

It is okay to feel sad.

You should not discount your dreams just because of one rejection letter, but it is important to acknowledge your feelings and feel disappointed for a bit. Go to the gym and run it off, sing it out in a karaoke room, write it all out. Be sure to release all that anger and frustration.

Once you have done that, it’s time to think of a new game plan - and you would be doing it with a fresh mind as well!

2. Appeal the decision

This sounds like a denial step.

But actually, there is really no harm in writing back to the admission officers and ask them to reconsider their decision.

In your communication, be sure to ask for advice or feedback as well. That way, you can learn what bits and pieces of your application did not suit them so you could omit or change those for your other university applications.

For more information about studying in Europe with Erasmus+ Scholarship programmes, click here.

3. Apply for backup schools

Given the standards of higher education nowadays, lower-ranked schools does not mean that they are significantly worse than the higher-ranked ones.

In fact, they might be even better because they are working to improve their rankings, so they would put in extra effort in their teaching and student experience. You might also be eligible for opportunities that you were stripped off before: scholarship requirements might be lower than your dream university’s, for example.

In fact, this is often the choice that people who get accepted into two universities make: do they take the higher-ranked university and bear a large sum of student loans, or do they go for the lower-ranked university with a full-ride scholarship and a debt-free future?

When you think about it this way, your “backup” school might actually serve you a lot better in the long run.

4. Your actions matter more than your university

If you come from a small university but are much more active than the lazy kid in a prestigious university, chances are, employers will like you more.

Nowadays, people tend to look at attitude instead of merely academic merit. The reason for that is because you can teach a trainee skills, but you cannot teach them work ethic, such as hardwork, integrity, and teamwork. Despite what university you come from, if you have a portfolio or resumé to prove your worth, employers are going to willingly overlook your alma mater.

All in all, being rejected from a dream university sounds discouraging at first, but it does not have to remain so for the rest of your life!

The best things in this world happen unexpectedly - this might be one of them.

If you are planning to study in Europe, register yourself to EHEF Indonesia 2018 here.