With most early admission programs, you can expect three possible decision outcomes: admitted, deferred or denied. In this post, we will focus on what to do if you find yourself in the second group.
First, let’s define what it means to be “deferred.” With an admissions deferral, the college has decided to postpone your admission decision to a later date and will reconsider or review your application with the Regular Decision applicant pool. Because one of the benefits of applying early is knowing whether you have been accepted to your top school or not, it is understandably frustrating when you are neither accepted or denied. However, that is also the bright side - you receive a second chance. Below are three steps you should to have a better pulse on how to deal with the seemingly ambiguous admission result.
Next steps after receiving a deferral decision
1. Ask yourself is this still my top choice. Understandably, receiving a deferral admission decision could stir up a lot of emotions and could potentially influence how you continue to view the college. Ask yourself if the college is still your top choice. If it is, see step 2. If it is no longer your top choice, still see step 2 and focus on step 3.
2. Determine what the college needs from you. If the college remains your top choice, look to the deferral decision letter for instructions on how to submit a deferral letter accepting the deferral, send updated midyear transcripts and grades, send new test scores or supplemental test scores or a combination of the aforementioned. If the college explicitly states that they do not accept additional materials from deferred applicants, do not submit additional materials.
3. Complete and submit Regular Decision applications. Whether the college remains your top choice or not, it is imperative that you submit Regular Decision applications to other institutions on your list. It is in your best interest to not spend so much time trying to increase your admission chances to the early college that you neglect your Regular Decision applications.
Remember to stay positive, focused and productive - there is a lot that can be done after a deferral. Good luck!
Karen Alonzo is a proud alumna of Stanford University where she worked as an Assistant Director of Admissions for four years. At Stanford, she coordinated the renowned Exploring College Options admissions presentations with Harvard, UPenn, Duke and Georgetown and was involved in co-leading the transfer admission process. Graduating with a BA in Science, Technology and Society, she also worked at Google where she specifically focused on partner marketing and brand strategy. She brings her extensive knowledge of selective college admissions and financial aid to Strategic Admissions Advice as our new Senior College Coach.
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