This is that time of year when graduate coordinators behold students who, for whatever reason, have not been accepted into a (the) graduate program of their choosing. If you are one of those students, and are disconcerted/dismayed/distressed/otherwise dis- about your rejection, here are some suggestions for successfully discussing matters with a graduate coordinator:
1. To begin with, you were almost certainly turned down not by a single person, but by a committee (or, in the case of some doctoral programs, the entire department). Graduate Coordinator X is usually not the sole person responsible, and should not be addressed (attacked) as such. Moreover, Graduate Coordinator X usually cannot overturn the committee's/department's decision all by his or her lonesome.
2. What does the rejection letter say? If you did not meet the minimum qualifications as laid out on the admissions form, then protesting is perhaps not the ideal response in this situation.
3. Along the same lines, there are some questions (qualifications, application procedures, GRE requirements, deadlines, etc.) that you should have asked before you submitted the application. If you a) did not do so and b) were rejected for something have to do with same, then c) again, protesting is not the ideal response. By the same token, if you insisted in your application that you only wanted to work on Field X, and the department does not support Field X, then you might wish to ask yourself why you applied to an inappropriate department for your needs.
4. Thanks to confidentiality rules, the graduate coordinator cannot discuss certain elements of your application.
5. It is highly unlikely (at some schools, may be impossible, depending on how the administration handles paperwork) that you will be allowed to revise-and-resubmit just one element of your application.
6. A student graduating summa cum laude with a 4.0 in her major and a portable multi-year fellowship can nevertheless still be rejected by, say, Stanford and Harvard. Just about everyone was rejected somewhere--because there were too many applicants, because there were too many applicants in their field, because there were no faculty in their field, because there were a lot of other applicants with a summa cum laude, a 4.0, and a portable multi-year fellowship in the pool, etc.
Keeping those things in mind,
1. The average graduate coordinator will be happy to explain how to meet minimum qualifications, whether by additional coursework, taking the appropriate GREs, etc.
2. Some graduate coordinators may be willing to discuss your statement of purpose or essay--if they remember it or even still have it (see #5). (In case you're wondering, I have met with rejected applicants to discuss problem writing samples; however, this is a small program where the applicants are almost all local.)
3. If you wish to follow through with #2, then you must ask yourself if you are willing to hear what the graduate coordinator has to say.
4. Let's say that the graduate coordinator does suggest how you could improve your writing sample or statement of purpose. This does not mean that a) the program will accept you in the future or b) that you can fix everything and be accepted now. Always remember #1 above: the graduate coordinator does not control your destiny.