Live

Watch CBSN Live

Student responds to college rejection with her own letter

A college rejection letter may come as devastating news to many, but not to Siobhan O'Dell.

The 17-year-old high school senior wasn't upset when she was told she wasn't going to be a member of Duke University's Fall 2015 freshman class. Instead, she thanked the university by writing her own rejection letter.

"Thank you for [your] rejection letter of March 26, 2015," O'Dell wrote. "After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me admission..."

The letter, which was posted on her Tumblr page, quickly went viral. By Wednesday afternoon, the post had more than 96,000 reblogs.

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

O'Dell said the purpose of the letter was simply to get few friends to laugh. That's why she was surprised to see Duke responded to her email.

"I understand how disappointed you are that we were unable to offer you a space in our incoming class," Duke replied. "Please know that our decision was not a judgement of you as a student or a person, but a reflection of our limited space and talented applicant pool."

The university said O'Dell could appeal the decision by sending a letter or email to the Admissions Committee. However, the chances the committee would change its mind would be slim.

Within the last ten years, the committee has received about 500 requests for review, and changed the decision only four times, according to Duke's response.

"If you choose to appeal, we welcome your request, but I do not wish to raise unreasonable expectations on your part," Duke said in the email.

O'Dell doesn't plan on appealing. In fact, she has already committed another school -- University of South Carolina.

Fortunately, she won't have to worry about writing any more rejection letters.

The one piece of advice the high schooler hopes to give college hopefuls following her "hilarious" letter: "Don't stress too much. It's not worth it."

tumblr.png
Siobhan O'Dell/Tumblr
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome browser logo Chrome Safari browser logo Safari Continue