Teen Rejects College's Rejection Letter & Tells Them 'I Will Be Attending'

She refused to accept that she was rejected and it actually worked to secure a response from the college!

student's email rejecting college decision TikTok

It's no surprise that receiving college rejection letters, especially from a top school, can be extremely disheartening.

However, one high school senior chose to actually respond to a letter of rejection she had received from a rather prestigious university and refused to take their denial of her acceptance into their upcoming freshman class.

A student responded to Duke University's rejection letter and told them that she would still be attending.

In March 2015, Siobhan O'Dell, a 17-year-old high school student, received her long-awaited decision from Duke University. Instead of hoping for an acceptance, O'Dell was disappointed to have received a rejection letter and wasn't going to be a part of their fall 2015 freshman class.


Instead of being upset by the rejection, O'Dell decided to do something unique and responded directly to Duke University's admission staff. O'Dell also decided to share the email response on her Tumblr Page, which quickly went viral.

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"After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me admission into the Fall 2015 freshman class at Duke," O'Dell's email read. The high school senior joked that she had been "fortunate enough" to receive other rejection letters from the "best and brightest universities in the country."




"Despite Duke's outstanding success in rejecting previous applicants, you simply did not meet my qualifications. Therefore, I will not be attending Duke University's 2015 freshman class," she continued.

While Duke University isn't considered an Ivy League, the institution is still known as one of the top schools in the country, and extremely selective when accepting applicants. According to Prep Scholar, Duke's acceptance rate is 8.9%, and for every 100 applicants, only nine are granted admission.

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While O'Dell didn't think Duke University would reply, she was surprised to see that they had.

In an interview with CBS News, O'Dell explained that she had initially sent an email back as a joke to get some of her friends to laugh, and had no idea that the email would go viral, or that it would elicit a response from Duke.

"I wanted to give colleges a taste of their own medicine," O'Dell told the news outlet. "I had no idea the response would be this huge."

Duke University promptly replied to O'Dell's email, and while they didn't change their mind and offered her an acceptance, the institution attempted to clarify why their acceptance pool is as small as it is.

"I understand how disappointed you are that we were unable to offer you a space in our incoming class," Duke's email read, according to CBS News. "Please know that our decision was not a judgment of you as a student or a person, but a reflection of our limited space and talented applicant pool."


While Duke offered O'Dell a chance to repeal her rejection, the 17-year-old decided against it, and instead committed to the University of South Carolina, where she studied Pre-med Biology.

O'Dell even offered advice to high schoolers who are either in the process of sending out college applications or awaiting their decision. "Don't stress too much. It's not worth it."

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics.