How to Withdraw a College Application

If you have gotten to the point of withdrawing an application, this means that you have been accepted to another university or college - congratulations on your accomplishment! This is a moment to be proud of, as you have poured a ton of time, energy, and effort into your studies and activities during your high school years (and your college application essays!) that have culminated in this moment. Though you may have been guided in the process by college admissions consulting or college application consulting, this was the result of your hard work - be sure to savor it.

There are a few reasons why you may be withdrawing your application (if you have received a college admission rejection, there is no need to withdraw your application from that institution):

  1. You were accepted under a school’s binding Early Decision program, and you must withdraw your applications from all other schools. Early decision applications are binding agreements, meaning that you signed a contract with the institution that commits you to attending that institution if you are admitted during Early Decision. Universities take this commitment very seriously and have been known to share lists of Early Decision admits who they suspect of violating their ED agreements with other peer institutions. This has resulted in students’ offers being rescinded from these peer institutions. Thus, to comply with the agreement and avoid your offer being rescinded from all these institutions, you should withdraw all other applications.

  2. You have been admitted to your top choice school during Early Action or Regular Decision. While Early Action and Regular Decision are non-binding, if you are admitted to your top choice, you will want to first accept that offer (congrats) and then withdraw your other offers. You want to do this because while the other schools may not be your personal top choice, they are oftentimes the top choice for other students who would love to attend that institution. Thus, by withdrawing your application, you are freeing up your spot for another student to be admitted.

  3. You have weighed all your options and have made your final choice of institution. Similar to the logic in the previous response, withdrawing or declining your offering will free up spots for other students.

Now that you have gotten to the point that you have made the decision to withdraw, there are two main avenues to do this which are dependent on the particular institution:

  1. Withdrawing via school application portal. Some institutions grant you access to a school application portal where you can submit documents, track the status of your application, etc. If this is the case, this is often where you will withdraw your application. Thus, you simply find the section/area of the portal where you can withdraw the decision and then follow the process for completing the withdrawal.

  2. Withdrawing via sending an email to the admissions office. If there is not a portal or you are having trouble finding a particular place in the portal to withdraw, you can send an email to the admissions office or regional admissions officer (contact information found on institution admissions websites) indicating you are withdrawing your application from that institution. Please be sure to include your full name, date of birth, and application ID to make sure the office can match your email with your application.


And that’s it! You have now completed your college application search process by accepting an offer from your preferred institution and withdrawing all other offers. Thank you on behalf of other students who will gladly take your offered spot at the other institutions! Good luck with your next four years.


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