Tips for Students Who Were Deferred in an Early Decision/Action Program

  1. Don’t Panic! You were deferred - not denied. Of course, it is disappointing when you are not accepted right away, but colleges will reconsider you during the regular decision cycle.

  2. Call the admission office; speak to an admission counselor and ask for feedback on your application:
    1. Ask what new information or materials the admission staff would like to see for your second review.

    2. Ask about the percentage of deferred candidates that are later accepted during the regular decision process. Colleges differ in this category. You need to get a realistic picture of your status.)

  3. Take Action with that college:
    1. Keep the name of your admission counselor and write a follow up letter indicating your continued interest, mentioning any new academic or extracurricular experiences since you applied. Express your appreciation for the feedback you received, as well.

    2. Provide documentation of new academic or extracurricular ventures. Submit additional writing sample, tape, or piece of artwork, etc. if the college has expressed an interest.

  4. Keep your grades up. Do not ask to drop courses or let things slide. Grades are still the top factor in college admission.

  5. Try to liberate yourself from your fixation on the school that deferred you. Research and review your other college choices, especially your safe schools. Many early decision candidates are surprised to discover what other campuses have to offer, because they have focused too narrowly on one school. Believe it or not, some students choose other schools in the end after being accepted at their original first choice.     

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