Can you get into a university that rejected you?

Ben Maples  · May 2nd 2024  · 4 min

Dealing with rejection is never easy – you may have got your hopes up about going to a specific university and now things have changed. But don’t worry! Your university rejection might mean another door opening to a promising future.


Dealing with rejection is never easy – you may have got your hopes up about going to a specific university and now things have changed. But don’t worry! As one door closes, another one could be opening!

Being rejected can be disheartening. After all the studying, writing your personal statement, and prepping for interviews, rejection stings… a lot.

Every year, thousands of students apply for university, and so many won't be accepted to their first or even their second choices. While you’re probably feeling lost or alone, plenty of students will be right there with you and there are many ways you can approach your next steps. Your university journey doesn’t have to stop here!

Can You Get Into A University That Rejected You?

Why have I been rejected?

The most important thing to remember is rejection isn’t personal. The admissions committee at the university will have strict criteria to follow, and there are only so many slots open for the course.

Generally, rejection is down to seat numbers and an assessment based on whether you hit the grade requirements and if there are other students who applied with higher grades.

If you had to sit an admissions test, it might be that you didn't hit the required score. Most of the time, you’ll never really know why you were rejected, but don’t be disheartened! They say everything happens for a reason, after all!

Do universities tell if you are rejected?

A university will always inform you if you’ve been rejected or acceptedl. You'll be able to see the status of your application on your UCAS Hub. Sometimes, you might receive a formal rejection letter from the university telling you that you've been unsuccessful this time around.

Can you appeal a university rejection?

Unfortunately, you can’t appeal your rejection. You can speak to the admissions team for feedback on your application, but it won’t change the decision they’ve made.

If you've had your heart set on a particular university, you can take the feedback and re-apply next year! Remember, if you're applying for the same course, then the entry requirements might change.

Always have a back-up plan!

It can be difficult to accept that your dream university may not be the right one for you, but sometimes it's just not meant to be. Having a back-up planis a great idea, which is why, when submitting your UCAS application, you'll have selected your firm and insurance choices. These are your first and second options for university.

Many universities offer post-offer days. These are a bit like open days but for students who have received an offer from the uni. It's a great chance to have a look around, see the facilities, ask questions and meet ex-students who can let you know what the uni’s like. If the university doesn't offer this, talk to its admissions team as they may be able to arrange a secondary visit for you.

Can I appeal a university rejection?

What if I get reject from all my university choices?

All hope is not lost! If you were rejected from your university choices, you still have plenty of options open to you.

UCAS Extra

UCAS Extra is there for students who didn't receive any offers from their university choices or have decided to reject all offers. This gives you the chance to apply to an extra university, as long as your application is submitted between the 28th of February and the 4th of July.


If you apply after the 4th of July, then your application will be automatically entered into Clearing. Clearing is mainly for students who didn't secure a spot at university, but also for students who achieved different results than they were predicted on A-Level Results Day.

Clearing might offer you options you haven't even considered! Take a look at the universities taking part in Clearing and whether you feel they’re better suited to you.

Take a gap year

Need to clear your head after all the stress of applying to university, revision and exams? A gap year might be the answer! A gap year offers you time to reflect on your options, re-think your application and take a step back from the craziness of it all. After the gap year, you’ll have more clarity on what you want to do.

What Are the Chances You'll Get Accepted on a Second Try?

Retaking your exams

Retaking your exams is an excellent way of improving your grades. In fact, it’s actually more common than you think! In 2019, 29% of students re-sat their exams! If you have your heart set on where you want to go, retaking your exams to get a better grade might give you a better chance if you want to try again in the next admissions cycle.

If you are going to retake your exams, then make sure you speak to your school or college first and understand what the process is.

Can I apply to a university in Clearing, if they already rejected me?

Yes, you can! If the university has spots open and a course you're interested in, then you can apply again in Clearing. Who knows, they might have changed their grade boundaries!

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