Withdrawing a college application | A Complete Guide on How to so in 2021

Withdrawing college application
649-08306919 © Masterfile Royalty-Free Model Release: Yes Property Release: Yes Female student, sitting at desk in classroom, thinking

There are several reasons why you may want to withdraw a college application.

While we will look at those reasons later, how exactly are you going to go about withdrawing your college application?

In this article, I will be taking off your fears of how to present this message to the college

After reading this, you will be able to boldly tell the school that you don’t wish to continue with them anymore.

That’s not all, you’ll also see the reason why you should definitely withdraw your college application immediately. 

In addition, you will see the consequences of this action so that you can weigh your options.

So, if you are ready to learn how to withdraw a college application, let’s get right into it!

READ ALSO: How to get into college with bad grades in high school

Why do students withdraw a college application?

Like I mentioned earlier, there are many reasons that may cause a student to consider withdrawing a college application.

But just to put things in context, here are some of the reasons that may cause you to consider that option.

#1. You were accepted Early Decision at another college

Early decision is binding. 

This means if you are accepted through early decision, you are committed to attending that school, and will withdraw any applications you may have submitted for the regular deadlines at other schools. 

That is why it is advisable that you do not apply to more than one college under early decision.

So, when you are accepted “early decision” at another school, by all means you must withdraw from other schools.

#2. You were accepted Early Action at another college and have decided to attend

Early action means that “students apply early and receive a decision well in advance of the institution’s regular response date.”

Unlike “early decision”, this method of admission is not binding.

So if you choose one college over another, it’s okay to withdraw your application from the other school.

#3. You are no longer interested in a particular college where you applied

It’s okay to not want to go to the school you applied to initially.

There are several reasons why you may want to change your mind about attending that college.

So, since you are no longer interested, courtesy demands that you withdraw. 

#4. The financial aid package offered was not large enough to cover costs

If you applied for financial aid but received something less than your cost, then withdrawing your application is okay.

It’s better to not go to the college than face serious challenges footing your bills.

#5. All decisions have been received and you’ve made your selection

Let’s say you are super at submitting topnotch applications to colleges.

Now, you have several schools that have accepted. 

It’s obvious you can’t attend all at the same time.

So, it’s best to notify the college of your application withdrawal.

Is it bad to withdraw a college application?

As a matter of fact, withdrawing from a college if you will not be attending is the right thing to do.

It is an essential step in helping to keep the larger college ecosystem thriving.

Institutions are always curious to know the percentage of accepted students that will attend.

Because of this reason, they need to know how many students to accept so as to ensure maximum attendance. 

Also, somewhere in the world there is a student just like you, whose admissions fate depends on your withdrawal.

So, taking a few minutes to withdraw your application will set off a massive celebration in another applicant’s home.

That is because the college will give your now open slot to another student in the list.

Can you withdraw a college application and reapply?

If you intend to reapply to a school after withdrawal then you need to be careful with the withdrawal process. 

Being able to reapply to the college will depend on how you withdrew, what reason you gave, and the timing. 

The school may assume you were less committed to them than they want if you don’t have a good reason for withdrawing.

And now that you’ve had almost a year, they’ll want to really scrutinise your application.

But the fact is that you can go ahead and reapply. 

Colleges understand that students are applying during a period of big growth and change in their lives. 

It just took you longer to figure out what you wanted. 

No harm or foul.

How to withdraw a college application

The process of withdrawing your college application will vary based on school and there are two ways about it.

#1. Withdraw your application via the college admission portal

For some schools, you can withdraw your application on the college application portal.

So, check to see if the portal you used to apply has the ability to decline or rescind your application. 

Usually after you submitted your application, the college would send you an email regarding login information to check application status. 

You can withdraw your application by clicking some buttons in that portal.

#2. Contact the school via email or letter writing 

If the first method doesn’t work, your best bet is to directly contact the admissions counselor.

This could be in the form of a formal college withdrawal letter or email to the admission office. 

Be sure to include all applicable information such as your name, address and any other IDs assigned to you through the admissions process. 

Simply, state that you just want to withdraw your application from the college. 

Otherwise, you can state it with specific reasons for withdrawing.

Don’t make too much of a big deal out of it. Admissions officers are very understanding.

However, if available, colleges would prefer the first method which requires using the school portal.

How to write a college application withdrawal letter?

To withdraw a college application, you may need to submit a letter to the admissions office.

A letter of application withdrawal from a college is a formal letter written to prevent a relationship from beginning with the school. 

You can write a formal letter for this purpose by following these steps

1. Remain polite even if you are withdrawing due to negative circumstances.

2. If applicable state the reason for the withdrawal.

3. Confirm the date when the relationship will officially be over.

4. Thank the college for considering your application in the first place.


If you follow the steps in this article, you will be able to withdraw your application from a school.

As you have seen already, withdrawing your application from a college is a noble task.

You are officially making way for another student to get the opportunity of studying in the school.

So, you don’t have to be scared whether or not you need to withdraw. 

Just do it!

Please, share this article now to help someone in this situation. 

You May Also Like