N.C. teen’s comical response to college rejection letter goes viral

Photo: ABC 7/New York

Realizing how much power colleges and universities hold over prospective students, a North Carolina teen decided to give one institution a taste of its own medicine.

Siobham O’Dell is a high school senior in North Carolina. When she was was notified that she was not accepted into Duke University, she fired back with a rejection letter of her own.

O’Dell wrote, in part, “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.”


She told ABC the response was an attempt make some lighthearted fun out of a disappointing situation, but added that the idea stemmed from real emotions that she and many others experience while applying for colleges.

“Seniors labor over their applications, stress over waiting, and sometimes even cry over the answer,” she said. “It made me realize how much power these universities have over us. Their word is final and absolute.

“But what if they got a taste of their own medicine? What if students held as much power as them?” she said she wondered.

Her comical response went viral on social media, earning over 1,000 shares on Tumblr.

“My idea for the Duke rejection rejection letter wasn’t originally something I thought many people would see,” she explained. “The public response to my letter has been a little shocking. I posted it thinking 5 or 6 of my friends would get a good laugh out of it.”

And yes, she mailed it to Duke’s admissions office.

“They replied very professionally saying they were sorry I was disappointed with their decision and told me the steps on how to ask for a repeal of their decision,” she said. “I wasn’t really expecting a response, but it was generous of them to do so.”


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