What is a Deferral?
A deferral is an admissions outcome for an early applicant whereby the college postpones its admissions decision and will review the student’s application with the regular decision applicants in the spring. So what should a student do until then?
Deferral Action Plan
There are several actionable steps a student can take once deferred. While some argue the futility of acting on a deferral, at the very least having a plan in place empowers the student and allows him to exact some control over the process, though not the outcome.
1. Complete Regular Decision Applications. Early application students must now complete all regular decision applications. Is it possible that many students waited for the early application decision before finishing the supplemental essays on the rest of their applications? Hmmm . . . Well, now is the time to get to work. Do not delay as students should not submit their regular decision applications at the eleventh hour.
2. Draft a Letter of Continued Interest. A letter of continued interest is a standard response to a deferral and demonstrates to the admissions office continued interest in the college. A well-crafted letter of continued interest should address the student’s enthusiasm for the school and intent to enroll if accepted. The student should include any changes or updates regarding classes, extracurricular activities, achievements, and even summer plans. The letter must be succinct and professional, and students should only include information that was not previously mentioned on the application. Be aware of the school’s deferral policy as some schools specifically state deferred applicants should not send any further materials.
3. Additional Letters of Recommendations. Ask an additional teacher, coach, employer, etc. to submit a glowing letter of recommendation. Note: this should obviously be a new recommender, not one who submitted a recommendation with the initial application.
4. Reach out to any faculty, administrators, or distinguished alumni. Now is the time for students and parents to connect with any known faculty, administrators, or alumni of the college and inquire if they have any suggestions. Often they will write a letter, email, or call the admissions office on the student’s behalf.
The Waiting Game
It is difficult. I know. The early application was submitted in October, and now a final decision will not be rendered until spring. But stay positive. Rather than worrying, have confidence in the quality of the applications submitted. May will come, and the angst will have passed. Remember that deferred students usually receive acceptances to other good fit colleges and universities. And while being admitted to a first choice college is wonderful, it is more important what you do at college than where you attend.
Contact Mears College Consulting LLC to assist with your college admissions process.