Students who applied early to some colleges may find themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to wait longer than they had expected. Some colleges defer early applicants to the regular pool. “This can’t be good,” you might think, should that e-mail or letter arrive telling you to hold on just a little longer. Not true! But the best response should be a combination of “continue to show them your best” – maybe by sending them an additional teacher recommendation, or essay showing them specifically why you are a great match for that school – but also “move on and fall in love with someone else.” A deferral is not a rejection! But there are no guarantees. And some students may be put off by a deferral, which may tamper the enthusiasm that had once existed.
Here are four things to do if you’ve been deferred:
- Read the rules! They’ll tell you what they want from you. Some colleges request an updated transcript, an additional letter of recommendation, possibly an additional short essay from you. Send them what they want – BUT NOT MORE.
- Express your continued interest in the college. Reach out to your admission counselor by e-mail to thank them for reconsidering you with the rest of the pool, and let them know not only that you are still interested, but that you think you will make a strong contribution to their community.
- Apply to a few more colleges whose mid-range GPA is just a hair lower than yours – that is, where your GPA is ABOVE their average. You’ll find people just as smart as you – I promise! And colleges where your GPA is on the high side is more likely to offer you scholarship money!
- Keep a level head. Know that it’s all going to work out in the end. The place you end up will be the place you’ll make lifelong friends and begin to shape where and how you’ll make your mark on the world. That’s more important than which bumper sticker on your parents’ car.
Hope this helps. Deferred is not denied! You still have a shot at it. Just make sure you have other options!