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College Admissions

By Tonya DuBois

Wondering what to do when you’ve been deferred?

First, a deferral means that the admission office believes that you will be competitive in their regular pool. So, there is actually some positive validation in a deferral. (Though, it may be hard to believe right now.)

You should do 5 things once deferred:

1. Re-assess if this school is still among your top choices (or still your #1 top choice school).

2. If so, then write to the admission office and express that the school remains a (or THE) top choice. If it is your #1 school, then you should tell them that if accepted, you WILL enroll.

3. Be sure your School Counselor reaches out to the school, as well, to communicate your continued, genuine interest. If still your #1 choice, be sure that your Counselor indicates this in the conversation with the Admission Office.

4. Send additional materials, such as: your next quarter grades, additional test scores, any NEW information – like getting the lead in the school play or being selected Captain of your basketball team. Do NOT bombard the admission office with additional reference letters, or information they already have on your application.

5. Re-visit your list of schools to which you are applying. Would you be happy attending any one of these? Do you have a good mix of safety, target, and reach schools? If not, then you may need to do some more research and even go on additional campus visits to round out your list.

The best a deferred student can do is control the things that he CAN control, like: keeping his grades up, communicating his continued interest, and having a sound plan for his other applications. That’s the most important message…control the things you can!