Amusing Reasons Why Students Rejected Colleges

Young man holding out his hand in a "stop" motion

Amusing Reasons Why Students Rejected Colleges

Published June 7, 2023

Young man holding out his hand in a "stop" motion

A parent in our Paying for College 101 FB Group recently asked the community for some of the most “interesting” reasons why kids turned down a college. They came through with over a thousand comments, and we’ve gathered some of our favorites here  for you to enjoy.

The Tour Guide Made Me Do It 

Don’t underestimate a college tour guide’s influence on whether a student chooses to attend a school. 

“Our tour guide said his favorite class was PFW which according to him stood for Physical and Fecal Wellness. We looked up the class. It’s Physical Fitness and Wellness,” said Angela M.  

That was a hard pass.

On a different tour, “the guide didn’t pause as he walked by a Keith Haring sculpture, couldn’t answer if it was actually by Keith Haring, and probably didn’t know who Keith Haring was anyway,” said Marivi L.T. “My kid was appalled, and we know another kid who turned down an offer for the very same reason!”

Then there are the grumpy guides. 

“The student giving me and my son a tour asked if I was going to keep interrupting him to ask questions,“ said Karen M. “My son couldn’t believe he talked to me that way.”

Another mom, Rose W., said her daughter turned down a school because the theater department only showed them empty rooms. “They said we could not go backstage where the performers were,” she said. Then her daughter toured another college where nothing was held back, and it made a huge difference. “They were showing the students everything.”

A parent shared her experience with a tour guide who went on and on about how all students show up late for class, and the professors end up starting ten minutes late because students aren’t there. 

“At one point, she said, ‘You know how some schools have a reputation for having intelligent, ambitious students?’ Everyone nodded excitedly. ‘Well, everyone here is weird and late,’’ said Noelle K. “They ended up offering my daughter a lot of money, but unfortunately, she is neither weird nor late, so she was not interested.”

School Representatives Seem a Little Too Excited

 It turns out there is such a thing as being too enthusiastic. 

“They said, “ROLL TIDE” every five minutes on the bus tour,” said Shannon Q. “My son said it felt like a cult.”

At a different school the representatives made the parents and kids on tours do a cheer at the end of the tour. “My son’s eyes rolled ALL the way back in his head,” said Julie K. 

“My son was hugged by the mascot minutes after exiting the car,” said Susan J. “He has hated mascots since an unfortunate Chuck E. Cheese incident when he was four.”

Is “Too Boring” a Good Reason to Turn Down a College?

 On the other end of the spectrum are the schools that are just a little too dull for some students. 

“We passed the same kid twice on a campus tour,” said Kirsten R. “[To my child] that meant the school was too small.”

 “My son said he didn’t like how it felt,” said Barbara H. “Nothing stood out, and it didn’t seem like anything special.”

Location, Location, Location

You’ve heard that location is key when deciding where to invest in real estate, but apparently, that’s true of colleges, too. Many parents said the school’s address was the main reason their students wouldn’t attend.

For Kelly B.’s child, the problem was the closest Chick-Fil-A being located a whopping 45 minutes away.

Dining options weren’t the problem for Aimee O.’s student. “We visited a college on a hot day and the whole town smelled like cow poop.”

Random Reasons Why Students Turn Down a College

My son eliminated one school because he saw a snake, two schools because they were too preppy, and one school because the parking lots were too big and it looked like a prison,” said Debbie D.J.

“My son rejected a school because the residence halls were built up a hillside and after a ‘hard day of classes, it would be too taxing to walk up the hill to go home,’” said Cathy H. “He also rejected a school that had too many trees.” 

“Some of the engineering professors at one of the schools used chalk and chalkboards. Apparently that was a dealbreaker,” said Kate R.H.

“My daughter got stung by a bee walking into the admissions building and it was off the table.” said Kerri W. R.

In the end, parents provided lots of examples of the unique reasons why students turn down a college — so much so that it prompted one parent, Hallie S., to say, “This is the best post… Made. My. Day.”

To read and be a part of other interesting conversations parents are having about their student’s college journey, be sure to sign up for our Paying for College 101 Facebook group! 


Use R2C Insights to help find merit aid and schools that fit the criteria most important to your student. You’ll not only save precious time, but your student will avoid the heartache of applying to schools they aren’t likely to get into or can’t afford to attend.  

Other Articles You Might Like:

College Campus Tour Red Flags: What to Look for on a Visit

College Tours: 6 Things to Pay Attention To

Tips and Tricks to Make the Most of Your College Tours




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