Can College Withdraw Acceptance?

As fast as you can gain something, you can lose it too. This article will go over whether colleges can withdraw acceptance, why, and what to do to prevent it.

Being accepted into colleges is a big part of the high school-to-college transition. However, an acceptance is not a contract. If deemed necessary, a college might withdraw your acceptance and revoke any scholarships offered to you.

It would help if you thought of a college as a business; they also make money by providing a service. Yet, they might want to let you go if you are a liability to their scores and you are not a good fit.

Before and After

Keep in mind that a handful of factors might affect your application to a college, and a withdrawal can occur before or after you begin your first semester. Let’s take a look at some reasons why.

colleges can withdraw acceptance


Before starting college, admission officers may review your social media if they choose to and could find something they deem inappropriate and unfit for their college.

You should be more cautious with this, especially if applying to a school with a high reputation, such as Ivy League colleges. If for any reason, you are wrongfully accused of this, you should fight back and have a sit-down meeting with said college.

Other factors include:

  • Dropping out of high school.
  • Not passing or completing the credits you reported.
  • Lying of any sort on your application.

Furthermore, if you have been expelled, suspended, and/or arrested, you might find yourself saying goodbye to your acceptance.

Additionally, if you fail to graduate for any reason, including conduct, grades, or lack of credits, the college will likely revoke your application. Lastly, if you have been accepted to attend two colleges, it will also create a conflict of interest for one, if not both, colleges.


Colleges can withdraw acceptance even after you have already been attending. The reason behind it is usually the student’s performance and grades. If your Grade Percent Average (GPA) suffers for a long time and continues to be a C-F, then it is a possible factor.

Remind yourself that some semesters will be more challenging than others, and your grades will fluctuate. Nevertheless, it would be best if you did not let your grades slip and become a recurring issue that might get your acceptance withdrawn.

Since colleges can withdraw acceptance, if your grades are suffering because you are going through hardships, such as a family emergency, an illness, or other similar issues, you should speak to someone in your college that handles this situation. 

Make sure to document and prove to the college that those things are happening to you, thus, affecting your performance in class. This can justify your plummeting grades and excuse you from having to be removed from the college as a whole.

What to do if your acceptance is revoked?

Usually, you will be alerted through a call or email that the college will remove your acceptance. You might also be called to a superior’s office to alleviate the situation.

If called by a Dean to clarify the ongoing issue, you should be more than prepared to explain the situation. Whether it is due to outside factors beyond your control or if you should genuinely take the blame.

When something as important as your acceptance to college is on the line, skip the lies and be honest with the Dean and yourself. If you have let yourself go and lack effort, then say so and own up to it.

By telling the truth, you might be able to cut yourself a deal. For instance, you can ask for another semester to demonstrate you can improve your grades and get back on track. This is referred to as an appeal.

By appealing the rejection from the college, you can prove yourself and continue to attend the college as long as you continue being on top of the issue that got you in this situation in the first place.

As mentioned previously, a college is still a business. Thus, if they let you go, they will lose some sort of money. Therefore, they also want the best for you and want you to stay, as long as you do not challenge their integrity.

How often are acceptances revoked?

Colleges can withdraw acceptance, but they only do it if deemed necessary. Around 21% of college applications are revoked yearly throughout the nation due to the various factors mentioned above.

Don’t add to the percentage! You can do a couple of things to ensure you won’t have your acceptance revoked by your college. Let’s explore them below.

Tips to avoid application withdrawal.

The best thing you can do when applying is to remain honest throughout your entire application. Do not lie or extend the truth in any manner to make yourself look better. 

Furthermore, remember that being accepted does not mean the work is over. Continue to excel in your classes in high school even after you are admitted into college. 

If you are unable to pass classes, drop out of high school, or can’t walk at graduation, you might not make it into college. The work is far from over once you get the thumbs up from your application.

Interested in knowing how often do college students fail classes? We have a whole article on that! 

Watch out for misconduct and stay out of trouble. Suspensions, expulsions, and arrests can alter your integrity to attend college. This also includes the misuse of alcohol and other drugs. 

Keep yourself in line, and try your best to do well in your classes. At times they can be overwhelming and difficult so try to stagger them out throughout the week to even the workload. 

What happens when college withdraws your admission? 

The revoke of your admission simply means you won’t be able to attend that college anymore. You will usually be notified and discuss this with an administrator before leaving said college.

This does not mean the student cannot reapply. Usually, it is recommended for the student to leave the college and enroll in another for a semester in which they can better their grades. Then reapply to the college of their choice.

Students can also take a gap year to receive job experience, travel, or figure out what they want to study. Either way, it is a great way to take the time to reflect and focus on what was keeping you from excelling.

You might be able to argue for probation, in which your grades will be monitored to determine whether you are able to stay or not. This can happen either when you first enroll in the college and are monitored through your first semester.

Or during one of your college years in which your grades are suffering, and you will need to enhance them. Failure to do well during probation can lead to acceptance withdrawal.

Final Thoughts

In short, colleges can withdraw acceptance. However, it does not mean they want to. Thus, you should try your best to appeal it if possible and prove yourself to stay afloat.

Remember that you are human; in the event of emergencies in your family and life, accidents or illnesses. Always have documentation to prove yourself, and you should be able to continue attending college.

But the most important thing is never to leave it to the last minute. Keeping up with your classes and discussing your performance with your advisor can be extremely helpful to continue on track and avoid having your admission revoked.

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