Hold colleges on to rejected applications

Application rejected? You can do that now!

by Tim Reichel

Problems with your board of examiners? Heads up! I'll tell you what to do if your application is denied.

Whether you need to register for an exam at a later date, recognize a course achievement or extend your submission deadline: Sometimes an application to the examination board is simply necessary during your studies to keep everything in order. Stupid only if your application is rejected.

After an initial negative decision, many students give up anxious and annoyed or do not even know what options are available to them. This is where I start with this article!

I'll tell you what to do if your application has been rejected by your board of examiners. I want to take away your fear of the creepy university authorities and show you where you can find competent and powerful help.


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Application refused - don't put the sand in your head!

If your application has been rejected by your responsible examination board, this is of course terribly annoying at first. But before you give up immediately and tick the topic as failed, you should stay calm and analyze your situation. Because your situation may not be as final as you might think.

From many years of experience, I know that a rejection letter for your application does not have to be the end.

Often there are other ways and means that can lead to your goal. So keep a cool head, don't be sad for too long and adjust to the new situation. I'll show you how to proceed!


Collect information and find out reasons for rejection

After your application has been rejected and you have received the official rejection letter from your examination board, you start with an error and cause research. Ask yourself: Why was the application denied?

As a rule, the reasons are listed in the rejection notice. The most common causes of rejection are:

  • Formal reasons
  • Equal opportunities / equality
  • Contradiction to a decision of principle
  • Contradicting a regulation or a law

If you have difficulties with precisely naming the causes and reasons, you can find help in my blog article Your application has been rejected - but why?

As soon as you have found out why your application was rejected, you can decide how you want to proceed in general. In principle, you only have two options ...


Give up or fight?

Now that you know why your board of examiners rejected your application, you can better assess whether it is worth going on or giving up. I will illustrate this with two examples.

The application was rejected because the proposed project contradicts the examination regulations and the university law.

If so, it may be worth giving up and looking for other options. If you take action against the decision of your examination board, your chances of success are very low, because your application may violate the applicable examination law.

From case to case, however, there is room for legal interpretation and a challenge to the rejection notice could work. You should definitely seek the advice of a lawyer for this ...

The application was rejected because it is not clear which test it is about

That looks like a small form error! It can very well be that a contradiction or a new application leads to success. I mean: Forbidden to give up!

But what's next when giving up isn't an option for you?


2nd attempt: lodge an objection

You are not satisfied with the rejection letter and want to defend yourself against the decision of your examination board? Okay, then do it right! And in this way:

After receiving the written rejection of your application, you submit one Contradiction against this decision. To do this, you set up a letter in the classic way, communicate your objection and explain why the rejection is unjustified. A very simple example could look like this:

Dear Sirs and Madames,
I hereby raise an objection to your decision on my application dated 11/11/2014. The rejection notice is unfounded and violates my personal rights blah blah.
Best regards

In general, it is advisable to only initiate an objection procedure with the help of a lawyer. With experts at your side, you avoid mistakes and are many times more successful! In addition, you don't have to write annoying letters and scroll through paragraphs ...

Some formalities must be observed in the objection procedure:

  • The objection must be in writing (an email is not enough!)
  • The objection must be submitted on time (the deadline is in your examination regulations)
  • The contradiction should be justified

After the appeal process has been initiated, your examination board will respond to your letter. The contested decision will then be checked again and legally assessed by your university. There are two starting options:

  1. The examination board rejects your objection: Issue a notice of objection
  2. The examination board overturns the initial decision and gives you the right

In the event that alternative 2 does not apply, you can either give up and come to terms with the decision or go to the next higher instance and file a lawsuit before the administrative court.


If nothing works anymore: take legal action before the administrative court

If your examination board issues a negative notice of objection and still does not agree to your application, you only have the option of filing a lawsuit. This can make sense if you are objectively clearly right or if the decision of the examination board is in a gray area under examination law.

The fact is: You should carefully consider the decision to file a lawsuit and definitely seek professional legal help. Often such disputes are even covered by legal expenses insurance. The action must then be lodged with the competent administrative court. You can read the formal aspects of a lawsuit in the so-called legal remedies for the notice of objection.


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In this article, I've shown you what to do if your application has been rejected by your examination board. You start with a thorough analysis and after researching the errors and causes, you can clearly identify the reasons for the rejection.

On this basis, you then decide whether you want to accept the rejection or take action against the decision. If you do not agree with the negative decision, the first step is to submit an objection to the rejection notice.

If this does not work and your application is still not approved, you have the option to file a lawsuit. With the support of a legal expert, you can file a lawsuit with the competent administrative court.


Image: © Viktor Hanacek / picjumbo.com