Many message boards and community forums dedicated to college admissions are filling up with student concerns about having an admission offer rescinded. These “reverse chance me” posts are indicative of the general anxiety high school seniors feel when they haven’t finished the school year as strongly as they had hoped. As final grades are calculated, students begin to re-calculate their chances of attending the school they’ve pictured themselves at for the last several months. Below, you will find a list of reasons why colleges typically rescind offers and, hopefully, students don’t see themselves represented here, so they can breathe a sigh of relief:
- A drastic and significant reduction in academic performance. Going from As to Bs usually doesn’t raise flags, but going from As to Cs (or lower) certainly does. Counselors are obligated to provide schools with final transcripts, so students need to make sure that they don’t coast their Senior year and let those grades drop.
- Disciplinary action and honor violations. If you are suspended or disciplined for any infraction at school, counselors are obligated to report this. The same is true for honor code violations: plagiarism, cheating, sharing test answers, etc. Colleges want to know that incoming students are mature and have academic integrity.
- Illegal or criminal activities. Any criminal activity will result in a rescinded admission offer. This includes activity both on and off of school grounds.
- Deception and dishonesty. If admissions officers determine that there were any omissions, embellishments, or fabrications on a student’s application, the offer of admission will likely be rescinded.
In some cases, colleges may allow a contingent admission whereby the student is placed on academic probation and required to meet certain GPA requirements for continued enrollment; this is usually reserved for conditions regarding a slip in academic performance. Students should also be aware of their social media presence and refrain from posting anything that could compromise their admission by indicating immaturity and a lack of integrity. The recent Harvard rescission story, for example, is a reminder of how students need to maintain integrity in real life and online. Colleges don’t make a habit of reneging on offers, but it can happen.