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MAR 11, 2020 • 4 min read
When acceptance time rolls around, you’re most likely expecting to hear one of two answers- that you’ve been accepted, or rejected.
What most advisors don’t tell you that there is a pretty high chance you could get deferred, meaning that if you applied for early decision or action, the college didn’t accept you during that cycle but they do see potential in your application and will reevaluate it again during the regular decision cycle.
Keep in mind that which university you are deferred from makes a difference.
At Harvard, under the early application program, out of the 6,630 students that applied, 938 were accepted, 611 were rejected, and the rest (4,882) were deferred. Some schools, like Northwestern only defer about 1-2% of their applicants whereas instead of rejecting students, Georgetown University defers all students who aren’t accepted.
If you get deferred- don’t freak out. There are steps you can take to make your application stand out and prove to the university that you deserve a spot in the incoming class:
This university might have been your dream school, but have things changed since you applied? If it’s still your number one, then definitely don’t give up! All good things are worth fighting for.
Sometimes they are looking for more information from you before making their decision on your acceptance. Before sending in additional information or making any changes to your application, make sure the university you’ve applied to accepts additional material. Some students submit a full resume or LinkedIn profile to spice up their application and bring it to life. Check with your school counselor on how to go about reaching out to the university.
If this college is your top choice and you have compelling new information to present, you should definitely write a deferral letter. It should detail why you should be considered for admission. It shouldn’t exceed one page and should include:
All the impressive things you’ve accomplished since applying, don’t restate what’s already in your personal statement and essays, tell them about an award you’ve received or a conference you’ve attended since applying. Such as...
If you’ve decided to write a deferral letter, be sure to inform admission officers you’re still interested in attending the university. You should also let them know of any new accomplishments you’ve had since applying. **Check out this example of a deferral letter below:
**Dear Mr. Smith,
I am writing to inform you of an addition to my University of Georgia application. Although my admission for Early Action has been deferred, I am still very interested in UGA and therefore I wish to keep you up to date on my activities and achievements.
Earlier this month I participated in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology in New York City. My high school team was awarded a $10,000 scholarship for our research on graph theory. The judges consisted of a panel of scientists and mathematicians led by former astronaut Dr. Thomas Jones; the awards were presented at a ceremony on Dec. 7. Over two thousand students entered this competition, and I was extremely honored to be recognized alongside the other winners. More information on this competition can be found through the Siemens Foundation web site.
Thank you for your continued consideration of my application.