You may have recently received a defer decision from one of your early application colleges, and you might be wondering what that means, and what you can do about it. This blog post should clear a few things up, and help you plan for the future.
What does it mean that my application was deferred? If your application was deferred it means that for any number of reasons, the admissions office chose not to give you a final decision in December. The college will re-review your application in the spring, and give you an updated admissions decision along with the rest of the Regular Decision applicant pool.
Why was my application deferred? That’s very difficult to say, as every college defers applicants for different reasons. Instead of focusing on why your application was deferred, it’s more important to look forward to what you can do to potentially improve your chances of admission in the next round.
So what should I do? The first thing you should do is send a friendly and polite e-mail to your area admissions counselor telling them that you’re still very interested in the school, and ask if there’s anything that would be helpful for you to send them. Sometimes, they might have a very specific request, so it’s important to ask. For example, they might just want to see how your fall semester grades turned out. They might also have specific advice about what you should and shouldn’t do to increase your chances of admission. If there’s nothing specific that they need from you, here are some ideas for you to strengthen your application.
- Send a short, sincere, and specific letter or e-mail of interest to your area admissions counselor. Let them know you are still interested in the school and why.
- Ask if you can have an interview (if you haven’t had one yet). Many colleges will not allow deferred applicants to interview, so don’t be discouraged if this is not an option for you.
- Ask the admissions office if paying them a visit would be a good idea (if you haven’t already visited). Some schools care about demonstrated interest, and a visit could be something they would note.
- If you feel that perhaps your test scores are a bit weak for the college, you can sign up to take the SAT or ACT again and send the college your new scores.
- If you’ve had any significant extracurricular or academic accomplishments or achievements since submitting your application, you can send your area admissions counselor an update.
We recommend asking the college before doing anything beyond these suggestions. You want them to know that you’re still interested, but you don’t want to do too much. A few well-written lines can have more impact than an overload of information. There’s no guarantee you’ll be admitted, even if you follow the admissions office’s instructions to the letter. So you should think positive thoughts, and look forward to the admissions decisions you’ll be getting in the spring from all of the colleges you applied to.