How to Write a Letter of Appeal for College (Examples)

Applying to colleges is a challenging but fulfilling process, especially when securing an admission slot in your dream school. However, there are instances where your college admission application request is declined. Getting a rejection letter lowers your morale, and you become emotionally drained. Luckily, many colleges have a window for admission appeal where students are allowed to convince the admission office that their application deserves another consideration. The best strategy that a student should use to appeal the rejection decision is to write an appeal letter for college admission.

A letter of college appeal is a formal letter written by either a parent or a student when the college admission office declines the college application of an individual.

Before you can start writing, it’s paramount to confirm that the college accepts appeal letters. Each college that accepts appeal letters has its own policies, and it’s important to understand them so that you can have certainty of what component to include and how the letter should be structured.

A good letter of appeal for college should have the following features:

  • It must be addressed to the admission representative
  • It must establish a solid ground for the appeal to be successful
  • It should be brief and straight to the point
  • It should be written in an official and polite tone

Free Samples

Free Customizable College Appeal Letter Sample 01 for Word Document
Free Customizable College Appeal Letter Sample 02 for Word Document

    When Should Parents Write a Letter Of Appeal For College?

    There are instances where it’s deemed fit for parents to write an appeal letter for college on behalf of their children. For the appeal to be successful, parents must provide compelling reasons why their child deserves a second consideration.

     Some of the common grounds that can make parents write a Letter Of Appeal For College include when a child:

    Has a significant accomplishment

    They include new non-academic honors or awards your child has accomplished after submitting their first application documents.

    Achieves higher scores

    If your child garners more than 2 points on the ACT or over 100 points on SAT assessments, then you should write an appeal letter for college.

    Missed any necessary facts in an application

    Suppose there was an omission of significant information about the student in their original college application. In that case, that may bring a new perspective to convince the admission committee to reconsider their application.


    It’s important to note that not all colleges accept appeal letters. In addition, chances of a successful appeal are scarce. For colleges that accept appeals, it’s important to note that each has specific guidelines governing how the appeal process is undertaken. 

    If you are still convinced that you have valid reasons for appeal, the following are various factors that you need to consider when preparing to make your appeal:

    Understand the process clearly

    Different colleges have different formal appeal processes, and some don’t accept appeals. However, most colleges that accept appeals have clear instructions either on their official website or as a segment in the regret documents that they send to you on how one can launch a formal appeal.  Do your research well to find out your college appeal policies and procedures. If the information is not readily available, contact a senior person in the college and enquire about the right appealing procedures.

    Find out the addressee

    An Letter Of Appeal For College should be addressed to the right admission department or office. If you don’t have their contact, enquire from other senior persons who clearly understand the department that oversees the appeals.

    Make alternate plan

    With the knowledge that successful appeals are extremely rare, it’s always advisable to have an alternative plan. When you establish alternative plans, you reduce the anxiety of waiting for unpredictable feedback. The best alternative plan is to review other colleges that have accepted your application and learn more about them. Also, you can look for other colleges that offer similar courses and try your luck if applications are still open.

    Writing a Letter of Appeal for College

    An appeal letter for college admission rejection carries a lot of weight, and it should be drafted most professionally.

    Here is a guide on how to write a Letter of appeal for college:

    Greet the recipient

    You should start your letter of appeal for college officially with a salutation. Common salutations that you can use include Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss or Dear Sir/Madam.

    Represent yourself

    A letter of appeal for college written by yourself carries more weight than the one that your parent or representative writes. Since you are the subject matter, the admission office would like to hear from you directly and compare your new ground for appeal with your academic scores and admission test.

    In addition, when you take the initiative of representing yourself, the college admission office will see you as a more responsible student.

     Explain the situation in detail

    A successful appeal can only be possible if you can provide crucial new information not included in the original application. When drafting a letter of appeal for college, prepare your ground for appeal in a detailed and convincing manner. If it was a case of error or omission in your original transcripts, you need to provide proof by attaching the correct transcripts and offering the proper references.

    If you managed to achieve new accomplishments, such as new test scores or awards in co-curricular activities, include them and provide evidence by attaching the certificates.

    Reveal your reality

    Were there any exceptional circumstances that could have contributed to your application missing the selection criteria? Maybe it can be a sickness, the loss of a parent, or you have been living with a permanent disability. Use this opportunity to explain how the situation affected your academic and co-curriculum performance and how the situation would change if you were allowed to join the college.

    For every reason that you mention, make sure you provide proper documentation so that the admission office committee can take your appeal seriously.

    Describe the importance of college to you

    It would be best if you convinced the admission office that you value the college and how it will contribute positively to your personal and career goals. You need to demonstrate how you will value the opportunity if accorded the chance by promising to attend all your classes and improve your grades.

    If you are good in co-curricular activities, you also need to assure that you will continue excelling so that you can push the reputation of the college and your teachers even higher.

    Thank the recipient

    It’s good etiquette to show gratitude to the recipient of your letter of appeal for college. Once you thank the addressee, indicate that you are available for in-person interview if needed. At the end of the letter you should sign it.

    Letter Template

    [Sender’s Name]
    [Sender’s Address]
    [City, State, Zip Code]
    [Sender’s Phone Number]


     [Name and Title of Admission Officer]
    [College Name]
    [College Address]
    [City, State, Zip Code]

     [Dear Mr. /Mrs. /Ms. Last Name)

     I recently submitted my application to the [mention the college department] in [Include the name of the institution]. Unfortunately, I received a decline letter from the admission office on [mention the reply date] due to [Indicate the reason for denial].

    I’m writing this letter to kindly appeal this decision. [Provide new information, including details that contributed to rejection such as low grades, or illness]. I am/have [mention your positive attributes]. [Mention the name of the college] has always been my college of choice. I’m very passionate about [mention the course/career and what are your academic achievements].

    I have attached all the necessary documents to support my case. I truly value [College Name] and given an opportunity, I will be able to [Demonstrate how it will help you achieve your career goals]. I humbly request you to consider my appeal.

    [Thank the recipient] for your time and consideration that you have given this matter.


    [Sender’s Signature]

    Appeal Letter Samples

    Sample 01

    Jackeline Colman
    127 East 57th Street
    New York, NW 10022
    (212) 793 3982 178 3

     12th February 20xx

     Mr. Michael Pence
    Director of Admissions
    New York Art College
    New York City, USA

     Dear Mr. Michael Pence

     I recently expressed my interest in joining your visual arts department at your esteemed New York Art College. I’m very passionate about arts and graphic design matters, and it has always been my dream to build a career as a visual artist and graphic designer. Unfortunately, I received a regret letter that my application has been declined due to low SAT points.

    I want to take this opportunity to appeal this decision kindly. When I sat for my SAT exams, I was not feeling well, which contributed to my low scores. However, after submitting my application, I got an opportunity to re-sit the test as my initial scores were not a true reflection of my competence. I have also enrolled in an online course to sharpen my artistic and design skills.

    I have attached all the new SAT performance documentation and the medical report for your reference. New York Art College has always been my dream college since I was in high school, and I believe I will be able to deliver outstanding results if given the admission opportunity.

    Thank you for your time and consideration. You can also reach out to me if you need additional information or require an in-person meeting.




    Sample 02

    Leonard Morgan
    289 West 24th Street
    Atlanta, Georgia  19291
    229 390 3982 342 8

     20th March 20xx

     Mrs. Frida Carter
    Head of the journalism department
    Atlanta University
    Georgia, USA

     Dear Mrs. Frida Carter,

    I’m writing you this letter to kindly appeal the recent decision by the admission office committee to decline my application to join the school of journalism at Atlanta University. I have always admired pursuing my journalism career at Atlanta University. But sadly, my application was declined because there were some errors in my original transcripts.

    I’m an honest and hardworking student who always believes in setting the records straight. I realized that there was inconsistency in my transcript scores, and I took the initiative to contact my high school principal to correct the mistake. I’m glad to report that the error was amended, and my transcripts now reflect the correct scores.

    I have attached the principal’s new signed and stamped transcript copies to validate my appeal case. As an all-around student, I believe I will also contribute positively to other departments. I hope that the admission office will reconsider my initial application and accord me an opportunity in your prestigious learning institution. I fully respect your decision to reject my application, but I urge you to give my appeal a new consideration.

    Thank you very much for your time, and I’m ready for any positive deliberations.




    Professional Tips to Stand Out

    To increase the chances of your appeal getting favorable consideration, the following are some of the fundamentals that you need to get right:

    Appeal quickly 

    When appealing for an admission rejection, you need to write and submit your letter of college appeal immediately when you receive the rejection feedback. When you submit your appeal as soon as possible, you give the admission office committee ample time to review your grounds for appeal and make a new decision before the enrollment deadline is over.

    In addition, the sooner you submit your appeal letter, the quicker you will receive feedback from the college admission office so that you can have enough time to execute your next alternative college before the enrollment window is closed.

    Be kind and friendly

    The tone or wording of your letter should not portray that you feel bitter about the rejection decision made by the admission office. Instead, your letter of appeal should focus more on bringing out the positives and any new information omitted during your original application.

    When an appeal letter for college is written in a kind and professional manner, the admission office committee is encouraged to re-evaluate the appeal reasons and make a sound determination.

    Avoid mentioning

    • Any information that was initially submitted in your original application had already been considered.
    • You are better as compare to other students that were admitted.
    • You have another option for a prestigious college, and they should feel privileged to have you as their student.
    • There was no fairness in the selection procedures since the process is vigorous and the admission office committee constitutes persons of high caliber.
    • You had already submitted long-standing accomplishments in your initial application that the admission committee reviewed.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I ask a college why I was rejected?

    Yes, you can seek answers as to why your college application was declined. However, most colleges will rarely provide a convincing answer to why your application was rejected.

    Do college rejection appeals work?

    Yes, there are instances where some students get lucky and are reconsidered. However, successful appeals are extremely rare and only happen when a student has valid reasons for raising the appeal.

    Do rejection letters come first?

    Not at all. For instance, all the undergraduate admissions results are released within a day. Students can check their application status in real-time to determine whether their application request was accepted, rejected, or put on a waiting list.

    How long does it take for a college to make a decision?

    The admission office committee typically takes about 6-8 weeks to decide in a situation where a student submits their application after November 1 of their senior year.

    About This Article

    Alexander Ruiz
    Authored by:
    Educational Consulting, Test Prep Tutoring, College Application Consulting
    Alexander Ruiz stands as the Educational Director of Link Educational Institute in Claremont, California, a distinguished establishment offering tailored educational plans, specialized subject and test prep tutoring, and comprehensive college application consulting. With a rich experience spanning over a decade and a half in the education sector, Alexander's approach transcends traditional teaching. He empowers students not just academically, but also fosters self-awareness and emotional intelligence, essential tools for holistic development. Alexander's academic credentials, a BA in Psychology from Florida International University and an MA in Education from Georgia Southern University, further enhance his ability to guide students towards their academic and personal aspirations.

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