Deferral Advice 7


I know it’s bittersweet to get deferred from your Early Decision or Action college! But you didn’t get rejected. They just want to look at you in the regular admission pool. Your chances of ultimately getting accepting are somewhat less than regular admissions, but you still have a chance. Here are some tips to help you make it through the holidays and through the beginning of the new year.

Tips to Handle Being Deferred

1. Find other colleges where you will be just as happy as your Early Decision or Action college. You can and will find happiness other colleges. Many, many students do and never look back.

2. Other applications: Work on these applications throughout the holidays.

  • Look at your college list and make sure you have a range of colleges on your list. You aimed high for Early Decision, now you need to diversify your college list.
  • Go to Naviance, if your school has it, and update your lcollege list.
  • Update your original application, including your activities and test scores.
  • Revisit your essays and strengthen them. Perhaps a new story or essay idea will come to you.
  • Think about your letters of recommendation, can you add a senior year teacher?
  • Prepare for alumni interviews for each of these colleges.
  • Submit each application as soon as you can.
  • Plan to visit some of your top colleges this winter if you haven’t visited them already.

3. Deferred College: Now think deeply. If you know that you are in the range of admissions, then develop a four month self-marketing plan. If you know that you were not in the range, then let it go and work on your other colleges.

4. Campaign for Deferred College: Think back to your application and tell yourself that you did the very best you could. At the same time, think of additional information you can provide to express why you should be admitted. Plan to send one piece of new, significant information to the college each month starting now. Remember regular admissions students get to send in November and December information along with first semester grades. Now, you will too!!!!

  • Test scores: If you took additional tests in November and December and like your scores, send them to the deferred college. Make sure to let the admissions office know you sent in the new scores.
  • Email: Write a short email to the admissions officer of the college for your region and express your strong desire to still attend the college. Do not restate all that you said earlier in your application. But really express passionately your commitment to the campus. Commit to going there if you get in regular decision.
  • Visit: Visit the institution one more time and revisit the admissions office to remind them of your interest. Contact anyone in the admissions office whom you met in person or via email. T
  • Additional teacher recommendation: Ask a senior year teacher, who has not already written you a letter to this school, to write you a letter of recommendation. This letter should really emphasize your academic talents and why you will thrive at that college.
  • Counselor contact: Get an updated letter of recommendation from your guidance counselor or even have your counselor contact the school personally.
  • Alumni or campus interviewer: Contact your alumni or campus interviewer–if you think you had a good interview…Thank the interviewer again and then ask for any advice about moving from deferral to admissions.
  • Letter: Write a formal letter in February or early March updating the admissions office with your academic and extracurricular activity performance. This letter will include your first semester performance, exemplary academic projects, and major leadership accomplishments.
  • Updated resume: Consider updating the non-academic portion of your application. Though not required, an updated resume can always help. Just make sure anything you add does contribute in a new way to your application. Do not be redundant.
  • Outsider letters: If you can think of one major person (non-teacher) who knows you extremely well and can witness to your leadership and initiative, ask that person to write a letter. Do not ask people who do not have major contacts with school to contact school. Do not have anyone other than people who know you personally write letters. A perfect person is someone for whom you did a major project this year…volunteer leader, youth group…only someone who can attest to new work this year and who knows you really, really well.

5. Please do not spend your time dwelling on the deferred school as there are so many other colleges where you will thrive. Understand that you will find happiness wherever you attend college!!!

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About rjoseph

I am the creator and visionary behind this site. I want to do everything I can to help students consider college as an option, even when they may be the first in their family to go or may not have the funds at hand. Don't let anyone tell you that you don't have the right or the ability to go to college.


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