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IvyWise Newsletter

College Admissions Tip: What To Do If You’ve Been Deferred

Have you been deferred? First of all, don’t worry. It is not the end of the world – nor is it the end of your college admissions opportunities.

It’s also important to realize that this is not the final word. In order to express your continued commitment, there are several steps you need to follow at this point.

The first is to write the admissions office a one-page letter that implements the following suggestions:

  • If this college is still your true first choice school, then you need to state clearly that you remain equally committed to it in spite of being deferred. Include a simple, direct sentence indicating that should you be admitted in the spring, you will definitely attend. By expressing your commitment in writing, you are essentially making the spring decision a binding one, which will help the admissions committee determine its yield and, in turn, will help your chances for getting in.
  • The tone of the letter should be upbeat, without signs of disappointment or frustration.
  • You should update this school on all the achievements you have made, both inside and outside of the classroom, since you submitted your Early Action/Decision application.
  • Address your letter to the Dean of Admissions, and cc your admissions representative and anybody else at the school with whom you corresponded.
  • If your application did not have a “Why this school?” essay, as many do, you can write a few paragraphs on how you envision yourself in classes and on campus and exactly how you would contribute to their community, making reference to specific courses, professors, activities and programs. Additionally, if there is anything new about this school that you discovered of interest to you, you can include it here.

In addition to this letter, you should arrange a visit to this school in January. Plan for at least one full day there. Seek out your admissions representative. Meet with this person, and highlight your interest in attending. You can sit in on classes with any professors with whom you have already corresponded, or you can start contacting professors with whom you’d be interested in working to arrange for an in-person meeting while you’re on campus. You should feel free to send them any well thought-out and fully researched projects you may have done that pertain to their specific fields. You never know who might go to bat for you from the inside.

Finally, make sure ALL of your other applications are in order and completed to the best of your ability. {If you are an IvyWise student, please send us the full list of schools to which you will be applying, so we can confirm together that you have at least one viable safety school on your list. Please also keep us posted on any developments over the next few months, so we can help you track your progress through the spring decisions. We are here for you to give you any extra help or insights.} Lastly, please remember to do your best to maintain a great attitude in school now is a crucial time to keep up the hard work and high level of performance. This school, and the others to which you apply, will be looking at your grades closely again in February or March, and it is now more important than ever that you prove yourself academically.