05 Feb Being deferred – what to do? what not to do? — Part II
By Lee Shulman Bierer
Being deferred is NOT the same as being rejected. It may feel that way for students, but this year, with a record number of early applications, there has also been a record number of deferrals and even at some schools, skipping the deferral process entirely and moving straight to a wait-list.
A student who applies through early action or early decision is deferred when a college determines that the student has potential but they want to see first-semester senior grades.
So being deferred gives a student a second chance to impress the admissions office. So how should a student respond to a deferral?
WHAT TO DO
- Visit the college. Even if you have already visited, a follow-up visit where you sit in on a class and/or meet with someone from admissions can set you apart from other applicants.
- Contact your admissions representative. Find out which person in the admissions office handles your geographic territory. Take the opportunity to introduce yourself via e-mail and ask that person if they can share any thoughts on how you could improve your application. Listen to what they say – don’t argue or complain. It is important to be upbeat and leave a positive impression.
- Write a letter. Send it to the Director of Admissions and your admissions representative. Focus on your strongest attributes and how you will be able to contribute to the college community.
- Demonstrate your interest and your commitment. If you are 100 percent sure that if you are accepted you will attend, then say so.
- Talk about college fit; why the college is a good fit for you and why you are a good fit for the college. Use the letter to update the admissions office on any new information such as leadership roles, awards, scholarships, etc.
- Send your midyear transcript. Most colleges will specifically request that you send your seventh-semester grades. Follow instructions to the letter and get it done quickly.
WHAT NOT TO DO
- Don’t be bitter – trust me they know you’re upset, but you’ll serve yourself better in the end if you don’t come across as angry or depressed.
- Don’t sound desperate – don’t make grand overtures of coming to visit the campus again, meeting or interviewing with staff members
- Don’t request multiple unsolicited letters of recommendation.
- Don’t tell them that you’ll do “anything” to be accepted.
- Don’t whine and complain to the Admissions Office that you deserve to be accepted.
- Don’t send volumes of e-mails, snail mail or packages hoping to change their minds.
- Don’t accuse the admissions office of making a mistake in their decision.
- Don’t compare your SAT scores and GPA with someone else’s who was accepted.
- Don’t boast about small accomplishments. It is not really worth it to share that your SAT score went up 10 points.