The Dos and Don’ts of Being Deferred

Being deferred from your favorite school can be upsetting and nerve-wracking.

Being deferred is when a student applies for early decision or early application, and your application is deferred to regular admission.

It isn’t a denial of admission — the school just won’t make a decision until regular application response time.

RELATED: Admitted ED? Don’t lose your offer!

This five-month waiting time can seem like an eternity, but follow these dos and don’ts to make the most of that time!

First of all, if you’re deferred DON’T panic.

deferred letterIt can sound scary, but the school must have seen something in your application in order to keep you in the running. You were not denied, so stay positive! Instead use this as inspiration to have a strong finish to your high school career. I motivated myself by hanging up my deferred letter in my room. By looking at it every day I reminded myself to do my best in school, instead of letting things slide.

You were not denied, so stay positive!

DO keep the college updated.

The best thing you can do as a deferred student is to keep that college updated on what you’ve been doing. Any awards, accomplishments, or something that you would have put on your original application should be sent to the school. This keeps your application fresh and shows that you are still dedicated. Remember not to go overboard and send them every detail, but anything positive that helps your application stand out is useful.

Along with extracurricular activities, DON’T let your grades slip.

Your last semester of senior year has a lot of fun involved, but your midterm and final grades will be sent to the school. You should be showing that you are consistent or making progress with you grades. A lot of schools will tell you in a letter or e-mail after your deferral what they want to see from you later in the year, and it is usually your grades or test scores.

It’s important to be positive, but DO keep your options open.

Make sure you apply to a few other schools, just in case. Even if you have missed the traditional application deadline for some schools, many now offer rolling admission, where you often find out in a matter of weeks if you get in to that school. Also, if your heart is set on one school, check out some community colleges that will help you transfer after a year in case you don’t get in.

RELATED: If you plan to transfer, make sure you plan ahead – It’s complicated

It can seem stressful, but stay calm and keep working hard. It will definitely pay off; I was deferred from my number one school, and after lots of work I was accepted. Truthfully, it was all the sweeter!

Good luck with your college endeavors!

Further reading:

Don’t worry if your Plan A and even Plan B don’t work out. Just figure out your College Admission Plan C.

U.S. News offers a listing of ranked universities with rolling admission in the post Highest Ranked Universities with Rolling Admissions.


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