More prospective college students getting deferral letters

25 Feb

Many parents and students spend the junior and senior years of the child’s high school education preparing for the child’s entrance into hopefully, the college of their choice. Kristina Dell has a great article at the Daily Beast, 10 College Admission Trends about the difficulties students will encounter when applying to college. So, students and families applying to colleges will have to apply to more schools. College.Com  has some great suggestions for a good campus tour For many families, the expense of a college tour is very difficult considering they are having a difficult time even affording college. Kiplinger has some good suggestions about how to keep costs in check in the article Make The Most of A Campus Tour Many families cannot afford the costs of going to college out of their area, so they will be considering community colleges and colleges close to their home. See, College Tour Checklist, What to Look For

The College Board has a checklist for the college bound:

The Application

Parents and students can meet all the deadlines, complete all the forms, and provide all the supporting documentation required and still not be admitted to the college of their choice. Increasingly, students are being put on deferral lists.

Eli Clarke, Associate Director of counseling, private high school, Washington DC wrote the article, What Does it Mean to be Waitlisted or Deferred?

Being deferred can mean a wide variety of things. In most cases, the college has not completed its review of your file and is “deferring” their decision to a later date. Deferrals typically fall into two categories:

  • You applied under the Early Action or Early Decision plan and have been pushed back into the regular pool. This may be frustrating, but also has an advantage.  If you are accepted into the college/university under regular decision, you are not obligated to attend as you would have been if you were accepted under an Early Decision plan (Early Action is non-binding to begin with). You may feel free to consider offers from other schools.
  • You have applied under a regular decision or rolling admission and the college/university would like to have more information in order to make a decision about your application. In almost every case, a college or university would like to see more grades from the senior year or new test scores. If a school receives the information they want, they could admit you earlier.

Being waitlisted is unlike being deferred; the college has finished reviewing your file and made a decision to put you on a waiting list for admission.

  • Being on a waitlist typically means that you are placed within a “holding pattern” of sorts. The admissions committee may or may not admit students from the waitlist. And unlike a deferral situation, new information does not usually change a waitlist decision.
  • If you are placed on a waitlist, you can usually find out if the school has gone to their wait list in the past and if so, how many students they admitted from the waitlist. In some cases, your chances of eventually getting in are very good; at other colleges, waitlisted applicants are almost never admitted.
  • It is always wise to deposit to another institution and ensure that you have a place somewhere. Do not pin your hopes on a waitlisted college; this is the time to make plans with one of your backup schools.

Whether you are deferred or waitlisted, avoid the temptation to begin a flood of recommendation letters and phone calls to the admissions department. In almost every case, this can have an adverse affect on your chances for admission. Some institutions even state in the letters that they do not take any additional letters of recommendation or phone calls on the student’s behalf.  If the admissions office does need more materials, they are generally interested in concrete information (test scores, grades, etc.) rather than personal testimony or recommendations.

A deferral letter is not a “no” and it may provide the opportunity to look at other options for college.

In Like Me.Com has excellent advice which was posted in the article, How to Handle a College Admissions Deferral:

Here are some things deferred applicants should do to enhance the likelihood of admission and maximize college options:

1 – Carefully follow directions from the admissions department. You may be asked to submit mid-year grades, additional test scores or other information.

2- Review your college list and apply to other schools. For many students a deferral is a wake up call! Make sure you are applying to the right mix of schools including a sufficient number of colleges where there is a good or better likelihood that you will be offered admission.

3- Share updated information, and new accomplishments, with the admissions staff. While the admissions team is not likely to appreciate a barrage of disparate information promoting your candidacy, a well-written update letter and other carefully selected correspondence may be well received. Often the admissions staff will provide advice on desirable opportunities to strengthen your application.

4- Touch base with your interviewer and let the person know you were deferred.
Your interviewer may offer some worthwhile suggestions, or may even send a letter or email to the admissions office further recommending you.

5- Keep your grades up. Many colleges give strong consideration to first semester grades from senior year!

6- Consider submitting no more than a few letters of recommendation from people who can provide objective input regarding your abilities, character, strengths, etc. Check with the college first to see if these types of letters are welcome before pursuing additional recommendations.

7- Stay involved. Continue to be active in clubs, sports and other activities. Some colleges and universities are randomly auditing applications to promote honesty.

Finally, don’t panic or give up hope. Maintain a positive outlook as you pursue other colleges, complete applications and communicate with people from the college that deferred you.


Colleges deferring more students

You Got Deferred. Now What?    

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

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