Deferred? Advice and Actions You Must Take
With dramatically increasing numbers of applicants, universities are consistently deferring qualified applicants to the regular decision pool. Whether your early action or ED school was a "Hail Mary" or a carefully targeted "safety" school, a deferral stings. Deferrees- take heart! Though disappointing, this interim decision has a silver lining: the college or university views you as a well-qualified and worthy applicant!
The bottom line is that the common application has made applying as simple as the flick of the wrist. Admissions folk are well aware that many students apply to upwards of 20 schools, many of which they've barely researched. If your interest in xxx university is genuine, there are a few key steps you can take to improve your chances of admission:
1. Email your regional admissions counselor. Most colleges have a feature to search for your local admissions counselor who was most likely the first person to review your application. Email this person as soon as you can. The intent is to prove your continued interest in the school. Be polite, humble, and succinct. Some schools will offer a cursory response, while others will provide valuable insights. Either way, you're proving your interest.Here's a sample letter:
" I learned yesterday that I've been deferred from xxx. I was disappointed since xxx is my top choice school, but I appreciate the chance for reconsideration. If you could share with me any factors that may have delayed my acceptance, I will be very grateful. What can I do to further improve my future chances of admission?"
You will also want to include new, relevant updates about you! Universities aren't interested in receiving the same information they've already seen. Examples:
3. Send a new letter of recommendation. First, carefully review university policies about recommendations. Some are clear that they only want two, while others welcome all recommenders. Solicit a recommendation from a trusted adult who can illuminate another side of you. Examples include a coach, boss, or an arts instructor. Ask your recommender to address the letter to your college of choice.
4. Consider snail mail. Compare the number of emails you receive to the number of good old USPS letters you receive. The same applies for admissions departments. Sending a letter of interest to your regional admissions officer is a way to stand out!
5. Attack Plan B. I know you're tired. I know you wanted to be done. Forge ahead with applications to your regular decision schools. Regroup and carefully assess your other options, and start your work on new applications. Many schools have regular decision deadlines of January 1, 15, or even February 1.
6. Think big picture. Chances are that if you are reading this article, you are invested in your future. Call me cheesy if you're inclined, but let's gain some perspective. There are thousands of colleges and universities in our nation. There is one that's right for you. You can't control everything, but you can control your own success wherever you land.
JNeed help with regular decision applications? We're here for you, and we work with students all over the world. Book a free consultation here.
Jen Rosier is owner and Founder of PrepU and owner of Tutor Doctor Suburban Boston. An expert in admissions and test prep, Jen is all about simplifying and de-stressing the admissions process. Oh, and helping families afford an education!