Do Colleges Save Applications from Students Who Did Not Enroll?

Question: I applied to a university but decided not to go, and instead I went to a community college. Will they still have my application and information on file?

Policies will vary from school to school but many colleges and universities keep old applications on file for several years, knowing that former applicants may decide to re-apply as transfers. Commonly, recommendations are purged from the application folders before they are saved.

If you are interested in re-applying to the university that you chose not to initially attend, it will be very easy to telephone the admission office and ask if you must start from scratch or if the university has maintained some materials you already sent. You will definitely have to supply a transcript from your community college as well as references from current college profs and administrators. You will most likely also have to write a new essay (probably on why you want to transfer to this college). But it will save you some hassle if you don’t have to track down and resubmit your old high school transcript and test scores.

So make that quick phone call to find out what your next steps are. (You can also check the college Web site first to see if there are instructions specifically for students in your situation. But, even if they are, it may be something of a treasure hunt to find them, so the phone call could be your best bet.)