You Got Deferred…Now What?
Lee Norwood, January 10, 2020
You worked hard over the Summer. You rocked your supplemental essays. You applied early to the schools on your list. And then the news; you got deferred from your dream school. What? You had super high scores! Your mom went to that school! You visited, and they liked you!
A deferral can be disappointing, but we’ve had many students get in regular decision after getting deferred. Getting deferred is not a hard NO. It simply means that the school wants to look at you along with the regular decision applicants.
Some tips on what to do after the D…
1. WAIT at Least Three Days
You are upset and you want to fix things. You feel certain that if you had chosen another essay topic the results would be different. You want to contact the admissions office now! Don’t. Take time to breathe. You can cry for 5 minutes-max. Let things settle in for a minute, and then make a plan for your next move. Do not do anything in a highly emotional state.
2. Look at Your List
Whether you were accepted, rejected, or deferred from your top-choice school, now is a really good time to think twice about where you have applied and where you may want to apply next. If you were accepted to your ED school, congratulations. It is now time to rescind your applications from all other schools. If you were accepted EA to your top choice safety school, you may want to rethink applications to other safety schools and only focus on your reach schools. You only want to have applications in at colleges where you think you will be happy for 4 years. If you have no early acceptances, you may add a few, less competitive schools with amazing Merit Scholarship opportunities or less competitive schools with great Honors programs.
3. Start Preparing Your Update Letter
Now that you have calmed down, it is a smart idea to update the schools where you were deferred to let them know you are still interested. Then email them an update on what you have been doing since November. How do you do this? Some schools have a specific format for updating your application. Others accept letters from deferred students. We’ll work with you to help you put your best self forward. The deadline is mid-February.