Deferred? What to do next


Photo by Sean Snyder

Senior Luke Danielian looks at his deferral letter from the University of Miami.

As most early action college decisions are released, seniors eagerly await their decision letters. For students who receive an acceptance letter: outstanding, they have now gotten into college. On the other side, students who have received a deferral or rejection letter still have work to do. For students who were deferred, there is still an opportunity to demonstrate your interest in the university and get a second chance at admittance. Seniors can take action to make themselves stronger candidates for their school of interest. 

The first thing that all deferred students must focus on is their grades. As most deferred students are required to send in a mid-year transcript, keeping a strong academic record is a must. This being said, students must not contract senioritis as letting their grades slip will reduce their chances of being admitted into college. “After the deferral I was mad, but at the end of the day if I keep grinding and keep my grades up there is still hope of me being accepted,” senior Luke Danielian said.

The second thing that students should do is understand their colleges deferral policy and follow its directions. Some schools such as the University of Michigan require deferred applicants to send more information, such as a letter of continued interest, while others strictly prohibit students from sending more than a mid-year progress report. As such, read and understand the steps you must take to submit the required materials. 

If your school only requires mid-year grades you can stop here, but if you must submit more than that, here are more tips on what to do once deferred. The first thing you should do is send an email demonstrating your continued interest in the school. Students must craft a detailed email to the admissions office emphasizing why this college is the right school for you. Be sure to indicate that the school is your top choice, though you should make sure you sound confident in your answer. “As soon as I got the deferral letter I made sure to contact the admissions person for our region. He explained to me what I should do to increase my chances of getting accepted and I recommend all students to do the same,” senior Abraham Labban said.

Students must also share any new information that makes them seem a more appealing candidate. This includes any academic and extracurricular success that a student has achieved since submitting their application, with examples being new leadership positions, academic awards and charitable achievements. With schools such as the University of Michigan requiring a new essay once deferred, this is a great place to write about any success you have had since submitting your application.

If your school allows it, sending an additional letter of recommendation is another great way to demonstrate your capabilities as an individual. Individuals who you should go to for this recommendation are your senior year teachers, advisers and coaches. In addition to these candidates, if you are in close contact with an alumni of the school, that is a great way to receive an outstanding letter of recommendation that will stand out to admissions offices. “After being deferred I am looking to submit an additional letter of recommendation from an alumni of the school as I believe it will increase my chances of getting accepted,” a senior who would like to remain anonymous said.

The last thing that I recommend students consider doing when submitting their deferral information is to look at their standardized test scores and see if they could improve. With standardized tests being such a huge part of your application, considering retaking an exam to possibly boost your scores is a great way to boost your appeal for colleges. Although this may take a lot of work, it will be worth as it could allow you to become a student at the college of your dreams.