Deferred From Your First Choice College?

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Deferred From Your First Choice College?

The biggest benefit of applying to college early action or early decision is knowing early if you have been accepted or not to a top choice school. Nothing is more frustrating than being deferred.

Getting deferred means the college is postponing its admission decision and will review your application with the regular decision applicants. You will find out in the spring if you’ve been accepted or rejected. You are in “application limbo.” Is there something you can do to increase your chances of getting accepted the second time around? Here are ten suggestions that might tip the scale in your favor.

  1. Treat yourself. You have worked very hard completing your applications, studying and taking your ACT or SAT exam and earning your very best grades. Now it the time to indulge and treat yourself to something special. Maybe it is a night out with your friends, dinner at a special restaurant, tickets to see a favorite band or sports team. Whatever it is, indulge yourself. You deserve it for all your hard work getting to this point.
  2. Review your options. Some schools will ask you to indicate if you want to be considered in the regular admission pool. If you are still interested, let the admission department know.
  3. Ask your counselor to intercede. If the school is your number one pick, ask your counselor to call the school and notify them of that fact. While on the phone, the counselor can also ask what else you can do to heighten your chances of acceptance.
  4. Assess your chances. Some schools defer very few students, while other schools defer many. Contact the school to find out what percentage of deferred applicants win an acceptance letter. If the percentage is small, prepare yourself mentally and review the other colleges on your list to determine which one is now your first choice.
  5. Write a letter to the appropriate college admission officer (find out if you don’t know). Explain why you want to attend the school and how you would be an asset to the school community.
  6. Update the school with any relevant information not on your application. This can include your latest grades, ACT or SAT scores, as well as honors or activities.
  7. Consider sending another recommendation letter or two. Ask if another recommendation letter would be helpful. Choose someone who can provide information about you not previously mentioned that gives greater insight into your character and personality.
  8. Look for connections. If you or a parent knows someone connected to the college – either faculty, administration or distinguished alumni, solicit suggestions on how to proceed. This might lead to an offer to make a phone call or write a letter on your behalf.
  9. Visit (or revisit) the school. If you can, visit the school. Seeing it (again) will either highlight your desire to attend, or aid in determining the school may not be the best place for you after all.
  1. While there, you should go out of your way to talk to someone from admissions. Contact the school to determine if it will consider giving you a personal interview. Having an interview is a good way to show your continued interest in a school and, if possible, provide them with new information.

If you have any other questions about selecting a college, or the admissions process, feel free to contact me through my website at or call me at 760.877.7200. I’d love to answer your questions!

Andrea K. Frimmer. M. Ed.
Prep 4 College Now, Inc.

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